I’m a control freak through and through. I live and breathe structure. Flexibility and I haven’t met. And I’m pretty sure if you look up Type A in the dictionary, my name will pop up. As a result of this, I can only think of a few times in my life where I have felt completely out of control. One of those times was two years ago in the summer of 2016.
It was the middle of school holidays, and I was on a mission’s trip down to Durban, which is about a five and a half hour drive south from where I live in Johannesburg, South Africa. We had spent the entire week down in the area, doing a variety of different ministries, and our trip was just about to come to a close. All we had left was one final youth group meeting with some local teens in the area on Friday evening. Looking back, our plan for the evening seemed simple enough: sing a couple of songs, share the gospel, and then go back to the home we were staying in for one last night before making the return drive the following morning. Little did I know when I arrived at the church where we were having the meeting, that I wouldn’t be returning to the home of the missionaries that evening in all. Instead, I would be spending the night in the hospital.
You see, following the meeting, I was involved in a relatively serious accident. The meeting had just finished, and I went out to pack the car with the equipment we had used for the youth evening. I had just shut the boot (that’s trunk, for you Americans) of the van when I heard a scream from higher up the hill we were parked on. I honestly don’t remember if I saw it coming or not, but all of the sudden, I was trapped between two vehicles: our van and a truck that had been parked 3-4 meters (9-12 feet) up the hill. The brake on the truck had failed, and it had come rolling down the hill, crushing me against the van. It’s hard for me to remember everything that happened after that, but I faintly remember a couple of our team members holding the truck so that it wouldn’t roll over me while another team member moved the van out from under me. I immediately fell to the ground, where I was picked up by another couple of team members and thrown into the van. That’s when I saw it. One of my legs had been crushed, and was 6-12 inches shorter than my other leg. Imagine my shock. I don’t think I had ever prayed the way I did all through that night prior to that evening. I was so afraid… afraid I wouldn’t be able to walk or run again… afraid that I would be confined to a wheelchair for the rest of my life.
But God was faithful. He comforted me, and the next morning, I was able to have surgery and begin the 6-8 week recovery process. To this day, I still struggle when I find myself in situations beyond my control. I struggle to trust God, and I have seen myself fail many, many times. And yet, in the midst of my doubt, God was and continues to be faithful, even when I am faithless. No matter how many times I fail Him, He has never failed me. When I am angry at Him because of my circumstances, He continues to love and take care of me. No matter how anxious I become, in the end, He always provides me comfort. He gives me rest. He gives me peace. He is faithful.
“The Lord is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid?” – Psalm 27:1 (NIV)