This Christmas Eve will mark the two-year anniversary of my massive brain hemorrhage and 36-day hospitalization.
While I am now 100% recovered, it’s a severe understatement to say that things didn’t look good for me in the hours and days that followed my “incident.” My dad, who is himself a medical professional, took one look at my brain scans on his arrival at the hospital and shook his head saying, “he’s not going to make it.”
This dour appraisal seemed to be a common assessment. Most people thought that if I did somehow manage to pull through, I’d be at least partially disabled for the rest of my life. I am told, however, that there was a voice of hope in that rather melancholic hospital room. Over the next few weeks I had some severe ups and downs—most of which I don’t even remember—but through it all, my youngest brother remained confident, continuously reassuring everyone that “God’s got this.”
As it turns out, he was right. I have for well over a year been back to my usual activities, teaching, writing, driving, working out, and doing all of the other things that two years ago it seemed I would never be able to do again. God was in charge of the situation. He always is.
Oftentimes it seems that we look to God as a last resort. When all else has failed, we throw up our arms and say things like, “Well, it’s in God’s hands now.” We forget that everything’s always in God’s hands. We also forget that there’s no better place for it to be.
Now of course not all tragic stories end as happily as mine did. Not even close. We can’t always understand why God allows situations to play out the way they do. I’ve certainly had plenty of my own heartfelt prayers go unanswered over the course of my life, and it’s easy to see how others might grow resentful or discouraged when theirs seem to fall on deaf ears as well.
But while God won’t always direct events the way we’d like them to go, He is always in charge, and He knows far better than we ourselves what we need and what is best for us. It’s a lesson that I’ve been slowly learning and one that has brought significantly more peace to my life. And while I still get frustrated and impatient far too often when things don’t go the way I’d like them to, I’ve learned to ease some of the pressure and lighten some of the darkness of various situations by repeating my little brother’s confident words from my hospital room:
God’s got this.
God’s always got this.