Friday night I closed my eyes as I laid awake in bed, and I thanked God for failed batteries and infected hands. It may seem like an unusual prayer, but it was heartfelt nonetheless and my soul was comforted.
Though it was late, my head was full of questions. On short notice I had flown to the capital due to blood labs that had raised some red flags. Further investigation was needed. In just a span of 48 hours things changed very rapidly. I had been at home with my family, and now I found myself alone in a guest room having just received results from a third round of labs.
The short of it is that the latest results have also raised questions and though perhaps some progress has been made, diagnosis still lays behind more tests. More doctors appointments.
So what does all of this have to do with failed batteries and infected hands?
In September our family had loaded up our car to begin the day’s drive up to the capital, primarily to sort some residency paperwork that needed done. As we began or trip, our car began to have problems. Several times I depended on the kindness of strangers to push the car for me while I popped the clutch to start the car. In one small village the battery finally had had enough, and as I slowed for a speed bump, it refused to go any further. The engine stalled and refused to start again.
Thankfully, in that village there was a brand new battery waiting to be put to use… and put to the test. My alternator was fried, and we needed that battery to get us the remaining 150 miles or so. At slow speeds I knew the engine was in danger of stalling as it had been before. Now, you might know that there is a world famous rally race named the Dakar in honor of Senegal’s capital. Actually driving in Dakar on the other hand is quite the opposite of a race. Nearly every one of those 150 miles I wondered how I would make it through the last few miles of stop and go traffic through market streets.
Without incident I made it to our mission guest house. Out of curiosity I tried starting the car one last time after parking it. Nothing. Not a single sound or sign of life.
As you may know, that trip turned out to be longer than planned. After we arrived infection began to ravage my right hand and began to spread up my arm. During that time, God reminded me of how gracious he had been to me on my road trip with that failed car battery. My car could have stalled out hopelessly far from a replacement battery. My car could have failed me on a busy market street, or far from my final destination.
Yet each step of the way, though I encountered problems, God had set the boundaries and only allowed those problems to go so far. Each time, at the edge of the boundary there was grace waiting. There was God showing himself faithful.
The same proved to be true with my hand. Oh there were problems and there was pain, but the fact that I still have two hands is evidence to the grace that was waiting at the boundaries of those problems and pains. God had set the limits, and though all of it was far beyond myself, it was never too much for Him as he held me through it.
Friday night God reminded me of his faithfulness through failed batteries and an infected hand. He reminded me of how it is he who sets the boundaries, and how it is he that provides the grace.
I don’t know the specifics of what lies before me as I await more tests and doctors appointments. I do know however that there is grace sufficient waiting for me there.