It’s in His hands
Been thinking a lot lately about God’s provision in my life. The times I prayed and He answered and the times I didn’t know to pray and He still answered. I’m trusting Him now for some things; and it can get discouraging to pray and not get the answer right away. That’s when I need to “encourage myself in the Lord.” I thought I would write about a couple of (to me) miracles God did in my life and one He did in someone else’s, both as an encouragement to me and maybe to those reading this as well.
The first “miracle” is rather well known among the congregation of the church I attend. My late husband’s sister was in need of roof repair; there was a rather large leak in the ceiling of my nephew’s bedroom, a leak in fact, that was dangerously close to an exposed light bulb. She couldn’t afford to get a new roof and I had no money to help her with it either. Bob had passed by then, as well and we had no other help. Every time it rained, she prayed that it wouldn’t cave in or start an electrical fire in that ceiling lamp. One night she says she cried out to God and He gave her peace about it. The very next day, as she pulled into her driveway after work, she saw roof tiles scattered all about her front yard. Her first thought was that the roof had finally given way. She got out of her car somewhat in shock, to see a couple of men come around from the backyard. One asked her if she was the homeowner to which she said yes. He explained to her, rather apologetically, that there had been a mistake; they’d had a roofing job to do and had pulled half of her roof down before finding out they were at the wrong house! As that bit of news sunk in, he further explained that since it was their fault, they would replace what they had torn down at their expense! And of course, the side of the roof they had torn down was exactly the side she had needed replacing. This story has gone far and wide across Facebook and in other churches in our area. This wasn’t just a “miracle” for her, it was one for all of us—-God provides—He definitely does!
Years before that; Bob and I lived in a trailer park on Rte 340 in Crimora. It was one of the nicer trailer parks in the area and we enjoyed having our own place after years of living in the upstairs apartment of his parent’s house on Staten Island. But there came a time when we wanted to try and buy a house. One of the perks of living in VA was the lower prices for housing than in NY. Bob had a good job driving for a beverage distributor and I was a cashier at our local Kmart. We found a real estate agent and started looking at houses. In the midst of this, my husband’s job cut his pay by a lot. We were disappointed and decided to forego the house hunt figuring we could no longer afford one. Right before that had happened, Nancy-our real estate agent, had told us of a small house in Crimora; and we had plans to look at it. But then he got the pay cut and we never followed through. A couple of months went by and little by little, Bob started getting some of his salary back. It wasn’t as good as it had been but it was enough for us to think we might be able to start house hunting again. We decided to see if that house in Crimora was still available and Nancy informed us that the owners had never put it on the market but if we were interested in seeing it, they would be open to letting us. We met her there and as we were walking around the property, Bob told me he really felt like this was our house. We put a bid in on it and it was accepted. Going through the process of applying for different loans, we found out that between Bob’s and my total income, we were eligible for a first time home owners loan and that we didn’t need any money down. If Bob had never gotten that pay cut to begin with, we would have made too much money and not been able to have gotten that loan! So God allowed us to go through that pay cut and it was for a very good reason. One other thing worth mentioning happened while we were going through the process of buying the house that I reside in today. We needed to furnish our last 3 pay stubs to the mortgage company; Bob found two of his, but couldn’t find the third. We looked everywhere, in all the logical places but to no avail. We had a spare room in the trailer, more of a junk room; we never really went in there for any reason. But while looking for this pay stub, Bob went in there and saw a paper sticking out of a decorative stein he had sitting on a table. He pulled that paper out and it revealed itself to be the missing pay stub. To this day I cannot explain to you how it got there! But I guess God knows.
Five years ago, in the fall of 2010, Bob got a promotion at his job that he never put in for. He was working at the Dollar store down the street from us–a job he had gotten in Oct 2009 after being out of work for a year. His first manager was a really nice guy who Bob respected and worked hard for. Bob had even helped him when the man moved. That manager moved on to a different position within the company and Bob got a new manager in the spring of the following year. Unbeknownst to Bob, when the position of Assistant Manager at the store came up, his former manager put him in for it. And his present manager agreed! So without ever applying for it, Bob got it. He had been working mainly in the stockroom, unloading trucks and stocking product on the sales floor. This new position came with other responsibilities, some he was less pleased with than others; but we welcomed the raise in pay and the benefits that included health care. He would have to wait three months to get the health care but we had no reason to worry about that or so we thought. It was in the fall of 2010, that his back problems started. He had never experienced a back ache or strain in his life but he was experiencing excruciating pain that September. His family doctor put him on Vicoden, which did relieve his discomfort initially. It kept getting worse though and his doctor couldn’t figure out what was wrong. We went to a chiropractor but that didn’t help and seemed to make matters worse. He went to the emergency rooms of both local hospitals but all they did was give him more painkillers and even then, somewhat begrudgingly—one doctor all but accused Bob of being there for the drugs. All the while my husband got worse and worse, until finally, he couldn’t get up off the couch and walk. To go to his last doctors appointment before we finally found out what was going on, my formerly robust and active 47 year old husband was in a wheelchair. But do you know when we finally found out that Bob had a very rare form of blood cancer? We found out after the health insurance became active and because it was not a pre-existing condition, his insurance covered all the treatments and 80% of the hospital bills. Can I say that God did that? Can I tell you that it’s without a shadow of a doubt in my mind that God knew we would need that insurance, so He got Bob a job he never applied for? That He didn’t let a diagnosis come through until we were covered by the insurance? We had lost my sister by then and she had left me some life insurance money which ended up paying the difference between what the insurance put out for his 9 day hospital stay and what was left over. Again—God’s timing is something else. I think about it now and it just amazes me—how if this had all happened when he had been out of work for that year, I don’t know where I would be at the moment.
God does provide. These are some of the bigger ways in which He came through for me; but He comes through for me everyday in small ways too. I don’t always understand what He’s doing; and there are some things I will never understand. But sometimes it takes looking at the big picture to make me see that His hand was always in the situation; working it out in ways only He can!