Monday, March 18, 2013

"The Vacation from Hades" or "God's Amazing Provisions..."

Last week about this time, we were so excited! We were getting ready to go on a short vacation. Our last child at home was having his high school senior break. It would be the last family outing with children at home. I booked us a few days in Florida at the beach and my wife got a couple of days off from work. We were set and anticipating long relaxing strolls on the beach...

From the get go, things began to unravel. My wife's father got sick on the front end and we spent the couple of days before heading out in the hospital with him and the family. We almost cancelled but he showed signs of improvement and we pressed on. On the day of leaving, as we were getting in the car, I noticed a flat on my son's car. "Oh well", I'll fix it when I get back.

On the way down (we drove halfway the first evening), my wife began feeling poorly. When we stopped for the night in mid-Alabama, she was full blown sick. Nausea, vomiting, etc. She made it through the first night and felt good enough to continue the next day but slept all the way and went straight to bed when we got to our destination.

As we arrived, I noticed the car that I was driving was beginning to have some problems. The engine was skipping some beats. No worries at this point. I needed to care for my ailing wife. By the second day, she was worse (fever and other symptoms not to be mentioned here) and the car was worse. I was getting a bit cross with my teenaged son (whom the vacation was to be for) and eventually, after a second sleepless night, I took my wife to the emergency room. We feared a bacterial infection (maybe picked up from her staying overnight in the hospital with her sick father before we started the vacation).

As I took her to the local hospital, the car began to act up more and more. The doctor's visit turned out to be a good one and it seemed to be that she was dealing with a bad virus and on the downhill side of things. The car got worse but through the advice of a good friend over the phone, he directed me to a local servicing area and I spent the rest of the day (into the evening) having the car repaired and sitting in a small waiting room until it was done. By the time this was all and done, we had one day left of "vacation". :)

I was a bit put out (to say the least). I tried not to show it. I talked to the Lord about my feelings and attitudes. We were all tired. We needed the time off and the rest and refreshment of a vacation. I was looking forward to reading, meditating and spending time with my family and the Lord and then we experienced what I call, "the vacation from Hades."

But during all of these happenings, I was reading and praying through some Psalms and rediscovered the simple Psalm of King David that said...

"God is our refuge and strength, a helper who is always found in times of trouble..." (Psalm 46:1)

There is a lot more to that Psalms, that basic statement, "...a helper who is always found in times of trouble"...jumped out at me.

I really don't have much true trouble in my life. More like minor inconveniences. But they seem big when they happen to me. And the good news is that no matter how big or how small the troubles in life, God can always be found in the midst of them if we will look to Him.

On Saturday, the last day of our time off, everyone was healthy and we enjoyed a full day together. We even got the car repaired (for a fairly good price). As we enjoyed the last day of our vacation from Hades, it turned out that we were able to rejoice at all the good things that God had brought our way and it truly was a great ending to an interesting couple of days.

God is good. His mercies are never ceasing.


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