My home health nurse came to check on me today and she didn't like the looks of my wound so she called my doctor's office. My doctor wanted to see me immediately. Today it rained for the first time in a long time. This was my first adventure driving since my surgery. Ever diligent about safety, I got into my car and while still on my driveway I made certain I could stomp on the brakes and turn my steering wheel sharply before I would drive the 8-10 miles to the hospital where my doctor's office is located. But this story isn't so much about going to the doctor or the state of my wound. It is more about the state of my heart and emotions.
The doctor repacked my open wounds and redressed them. He also put me on antibiotics and then sent me home with instructions to see him in a week unless of course I had any trouble or the nurse wanted me seen earlier. Somewhat relieved that he didn't want to throw me back in the hospital, I filled the new prescription and headed home. That's when it happened.
There is a particular place on the highway I live off of that has a small hill and just about at the bottom of the hill is where the back parking lot is for the high school. The buses and the students use that parking lot and driving can be chaotic there. The road also tends to be very slick, much more so that in other places on the highway after a rain. There are lots of accidents there. As I was coming down the hill the car in front of me stopped in order to turn left into the high school parking lot. I applied my brakes and for some reason they locked up. I have anti-lock brakes but something caught and I found myself sliding sort of diagonally down the middle of the highway. I knew if I allowed my car to go completely sideways it would likely roll. I was headed for a ditch and a couple of cars. One was coming toward me and one coming from behind.
There were a lot of things that went through my mind. The tightness of the seat belt across my tummy made me fear undoing the surgery or opening my wounds more significantly. I could hear my father's voice saying, "Steer into the skid! Cars don't lose control, drivers do!" And mostly, I feared hurting someone and being saved from the brink of death to be killed in a freak accident. Then, as if I was a stunt driver with mad skills, my car slid its way to a stop, avoiding all the obstacles; cars, buses, people, ditches, poles, and came to rest at a 45 degree angle to the road and at the very edge of a ditch. Everyone stopped, I backed up, getting back onto the right side of the road. I drove slowly, trying my brakes a few times and when nothing happened I decided my house was closer than the Toyota dealership and I continued home.
I drove home telling myself, "God has done it once again. He has saved you." I was only about 5 miles from home and drove the distance carefully. I decided I couldn't think about it, but it wouldn't go away. I am not good with emotions. I am undone by the recent events. How do you respond to God sparing your life? I didn't feel a moment's angst while everyone around me worked so hard to save me. No, the only thing I wanted was to be out of physical pain. Death was a suitable way for that to occur. Absent here is present with the Lord. But for what purpose did He spare me? Why has He has his hand on me this way? What do I have to offer the world that He would keep me in his tool chest?
I can't begin to answer these questions. I am getting teary and emotional just writing this. It's like a flood of gratitude, fear, appreciation, and apprehension all at once. It's a debt I can't repay and I know that... but it's more. It's knowing that my sinful flesh is in full rebellion now and wants desperately to eliminate that tiny little piece of me that knows how helpless and insignificant I really am. It's the fear of finally being broken beyond my ability to will myself into repair. Fear of submission and true humility butting squarely into the terror of not being truly humbled and submitted to God. I am really undone and that is good I think. I don't know. I want to understand it but I don't.
Hebrews 10:31 It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
1 Be gracious to me, O God, according to Thy lovingkindness; according to the greatness of Thy compassion blot out my transgressions.2 Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.3 For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me.4 Against Thee, Thee only, I have sinned, and done what is evil in Thy sight, so that Thou art justified when Thou dost speak, and blameless when Thou dost judge