I used to love watching those performers on television that could juggle plates. It was like they had 10 pairs of eyes that could dart between each plate, determining which ones were OK, and which ones needed a bit more of a spin.
I imagined God being like that – The Great Magician In The Sky, with all creation dancing to His tune like some great cosmic Pied Piper…
“Come now you who say ‘today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit’; whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. Instead you ought to say ‘If The Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that’. But now you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin”. (James 4:13-17).
Oh, the irony!
In my post of Christmas Eve, I talked about Satan bruising heels. I never thought it would apply to myself as well.
Boxing Day was the day for the big clean-up. We arranged for a big skip-bin to arrive first thing in the morning. The idea was to clean up all the stones in the garden, cut down a few nuisance trees, and clear up a load of rubbish around the property.
I set out, eager as a beaver, shovelling stones and felling trees to my hearts’ content. I thought everything was going to plan (my plan, that is).
About 3 hours into it I dragged some old timber out from around the back of the garage. My aim was to cut it all up and dispose of it in the bin. I can remember thinking ‘Be careful of the nails sticking up from the timber. Don’t stand on them’. Then I promptly did just that. The big nail pierced my sneaker and went into the ball of my foot, and bit like a bee sting. I hobbled around before removing the sneaker. It did not bleed, so I thought that had to be a good thing. I managed to make it inside so that my wife could bathe the wound with antiseptic.
Later my foot began to swell up, which was not a good sign. So a trip to the Emergency Dept at the hospital was in order. After waiting a few hours in line, my name came up. They gave me a tetanus injection, some antibiotics, and sent me on my way.
The next morning the foot had swollen more, so I made a visit to my GP who prescribed some more gruntier drugs.
This was the size of my foot after two days of IV antibiotics.
The pen lines track the growth of the infection
The following day my foot was even worse, so drastic measures were in order. Back to the E.D. I went. After another 6 hour wait I was put on antibiotics by I.V. and then admitted to hospital. The wound was obviously infected, and cellulitis and even septicaemia was now a big threat.
Over the next few days I was promised an MRI scan to reveal whether there were any foreign objects stuck in the foot. But due to the holiday period it was in high demand. It was the quietest New Year’s Eve I had spent in a very long time!
Two days later it was my turn for the scan. The results were not good. There were some foreign objects lodged in the wound that needed to come out before major damage was done, so I was put on the waiting list for surgery.
The problem was that during the public holidays there was only one theatre operating due to short staff. So I had to wait for more urgent cases that took priority over mine. I had to wait until the morning of the 3rd January when the other theatres opened up to have the op.
After recovering I was finally released on Sunday 5 Jan with a sexy custom shoe, enough drugs to start a pharmaceutical company, and a critically thin veneer of patience.
It happens all the time in my life. I make all these fantastic plans – plans that demand my undivided attention and focus. And just when I think everything is running according to my timetable, something comes along and side-swipes everything. And what do I do? I shake my fist at the air and grumble.
But how dare I be so pompous to think that my plans should trump a God who could juggle a million plates with His eyes closed and hands tied behind His back? The One who spoke everything into creation? The one who designed every cell in my body to interact with every other cell in my body?
Then I come to the realisation that my small pathetic world pales into significance when compared to the infinite myriad of galaxies at the Masters’ beck and call – all dancing, weaving, and inter-reacting in accordance to His perfect plan and will.
How am I to comprehend the intricacies of His plan when my world has been turned upside-down – surely my predicament could not be part of the picture?
I feel like Job, who demands that God provide an explanation for the trouble He has caused me (not that anything I have been through even comes close to anything he endured).
God’s angry response being:
“Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth?
Tell Me, if you have understanding.
Who determined its measurements?
Surely you know!
Or who stretched the line upon it?
To what were its foundations fastened?
Or who laid its cornerstone,
When the morning stars sang together,
And all the sons of God shouted for joy? (Job 38:4-8).
Here was I thinking my 8 day stint in hospital was an annoying roadblock – a little diversion from my selfish short-term goal.
Yet here was God in the background, moving and plotting everything and everyone in accordance to His perfect and wonderful plan.
Had it not been so, then:
- I would not have been blessed by my fellow brethren visiting and praying with, and for me
- They in turn would not have been blessed to support an ill brother
- The hospital staff who tended to all my needs would not have had blessed by a job well done
- The large group from my church fellowship, a few neighbours, and extended family, would not have been blessed through turning up at my house and completing the work I started (and lots of other work I hadn’t yet started!)
- My family would not have been blessed to provide meals and refreshments for those workers
- My wife and family would not have been blessed to run around after me during my stay and during my rehabilitation at home
- Other ‘coincidences’ too countless to name
- And I would probably not have been humbled and grateful to a loving God who works everything out for good for those that love Him (Rom 8:28).
Thanks everyone for your prayers and support.