It has been a month since I had my up close and personal encounter with lightning. These last 4 weeks have been filled new experiences. Some of those were mentioned in Donna’s update a couple of weeks ago. Others have been harder to articulate. About a week after the strike I was able to write the following to my church family.
Most of my thinking has been somewhat productive. Some of my thoughts, however, have been pretty dark. I have been reminded of Bunyan’s Faint-heart, Mistrust and Guilt, who, if once they get in a man, know how to lay low both Mr. Great-Grace as well as Mr. Little-Faith. They have become familiar enemies the last few days.
I am not angry at God. I am not disappointed with Him. Nor do I think He had nothing to do with this. The events of early Tuesday morning are so unusual that it is impossible not to see the sovereign hand of God at work orchestrating every event.
As I have told many people since that night, my first conscious thought was, “God has done this.” I don’t think it is enough simply to say that He allowed it. I believe He orchestrated it. As I also wrote to the church,
The same God who sent the bolt of lightning through my body is the One who sent His Son to cross. I have no reason to doubt His mercy and grace.
Those thoughts have been increasingly confirmed to me over the ensuing days. By His grace I was able to attend our church’s morning worship services this past Sunday and able to address, albeit very briefly, both English and Spanish congregations. It was very encouraging for me to be there and to fellowship and worship with brothers and sisters to whom I am united in the bonds of grace.
I reminded our church that God is good in all His ways. He was good in sparing my life. And He would have been good in taking it. Psalm 119:71 and 75 are my testimony. It is good for me that I have been afflicted, and I do know that God has done this in faithfulness.
There are many more lessons that the Lord is teaching me–and reteaching me. So much of the Christian life is not learning new things but learning fundamental things in new ways.
Doctors have given me reason to anticipate continuing progress in recuperation. I am seeing daily improvements. There are still some difficulties with which I must contend, and, I have been encouraged to be patient with these. Hopefully, they will diminish with time.
I am so very grateful for all of the prayers and expressions of love and encouragements that have come my way. Many who I know primarily or even exclusively through blogging have encouraged me with notes and comments. I am deeply appreciative and reminded of the wonder of being in the family of the living God.
Please continue to pray as the Lord brings me to mind. I am planning to preach this week for the first time since the strike. Fortunately, I have a great apostolic example of preaching “in weakness, in fear, and in much trembling” (1 Cor. 2:3).
In the future, I hope to be able to write more specifically about lessons learned through this experience. If I am enabled to do so, I will post such thoughts here.