April 10, 2019
I Wish I Could’ve Stopped It
He has preserved our lives and kept our feet from slipping. (Psalm 66:9, NIV)
Friend to Friend
Church camp helps young hearts feel held, healed, loved, and seen by an immortal, invisible God. It did for me as a teen and for my children as well. There’s just something special about cabins, games, songs and Christian community under a canopy of trees.
In the summer of 2012, our Smith kids had all gone off to church camp while Brad and I snuck away to a marriage retreat. As we headed into the first session, Brad got a call from the church camp informing us that Preston was being taken to the local urgent care facility. The camp director had announced that it was time to toast smores, and in his excitement to get there quickly from the creek, my son slipped on a wet rock and fell so fast the fall was caught with his jaw, splitting his chin open.
They headed to get x-rays and stitches immediately.
X-rays were taken and stitches were sewn.
Then bad went to worse as we found out Preston’s jaw was broken. Ughh!
Hours later we were back home in the office of a maxillofacial oral surgeon who specializes in repair of this type of injury. More comprehensive x-rays were taken, revealing Preston hadn’t just broken his jaw, but he’d broken it in three places, fractured his skull and was likely concussed.
AND… the doctor wasn’t sure if Preston would ever chew without pain again.
All we could do was pray and wait. And cry. And pray more.
After seven hours of surgery my son was carted to a hospital room unconscious, with his very-swollen-head wrapped like a mummy. Oh, my heart. His jaw was completely reconstructed and wired shut for six weeks. Hundreds of blended meals later, the wires came off and range of motion exercises began, which eventually led to pain-free chewing. (We’re deeply grateful!)
It all turned out well in the end, but as a mama, I wish I could’ve kept Preston’s feet from slipping on that rock at church camp in the first place. It would’ve saved him so much pain. That’s probably why I feel so loved by God when I read a phrase like the one penned in Psalm 66:9: “He has preserved our lives and kept our feet from slipping.”
Praise our God, all peoples,
let the sound of his praise be heard;
9 he has preserved our lives
and kept our feet from slipping.
10 For you, God, tested us;
you refined us like silver.
11 You brought us into prison
and laid burdens on our backs.
12 You let people ride over our heads;
we went through fire and water,
but you brought us to a place of abundance.
Sometimes I lose my balance. Even then God is faithful and compassionate.
Though we all slip at times, it’s comforting to know that the God who made every rocky road and slippery stone cares enough to extend His invisible hand to mine at times and in ways I’ll never know.
The devil wants us to feel wounded and alone.
God wants us to feel the healing warmth of His hand that catches ours in the slipping.
Dear Lord, Your hand is what I need... to hold me when I feel alone and to keep me from slipping on temptations and in the trials. I lose my balance, but You are stable. You are faithful. You are strong. Help me to stand firm in Your love today.
In Jesus’ Name,
Now It’s Your Turn
Read Psalm 66. Note the way the psalmist used the practice of remembering to celebrate God and give Him the praise due His name.
Pause to thank God for some of the ways He’s shown Himself faithful in your life.
More from the Girlfriends
Scripture can be confusing. If you want to read and study the Bible, but don’t know where to start, this is for you!Girlfriends in God cofounderGwen Smith has several online Bible Study optionsthat will guide you on a personal journey with the Lord as you read, record, reflect on and respond to His Word. These studies will help you know what God says about tender topics like forgiveness, healing, fear, depression, relationships and hope. Each study can be done in the comfort of your home and in a timeframe that fits with your personal schedule. Visit www.GwenSmith.net/BibleStudyto learn more.
Originally published Wednesday, 10 April 2019.