February 8, 2018
Surrender the Wheel to God
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:7, NASB).
Friend to Friend
My husband, Dan, has battled high blood pressure since we first married over thirty years ago. Hmmm…now that I think about it, there just might be a connection there! Nevertheless, for several years, Dan struggled with an irregular heartbeat, a debilitating condition that drains energy and generally promotes a compelling sense of exhaustion.
Now you need to understand something very important about my husband. Dan Southerland is not accustomed to doing anything short of full speed ahead, so you can imagine his frustration and my concern. Little did I know that the opportunity for fear and worry would escalate to a whole new level when, at 2:30 am on March 15, Dan looked at me and said, “Honey, I think you need to call an ambulance.” I already had.
Sweat was dripping from his body like rain, followed by waves of excruciating chest pain, dizziness and nausea. The ambulance arrived six minutes after I called and began to work on my now semi-unconscious husband. I heard one paramedic say, “I can’t get a blood pressure reading, pulse or vein.” Dan gained consciousness for a few seconds to say, “I love you. Go get Danna.” I knew what he was saying and I was not having it! I climbed up on the bed beside my precious husband and in my kindest, most merciful voice said, “Honey, if you die, I will absolutely kill you! You are not going anywhere! You are staying right here! Do you understand me?” That declaration certainly grabbed the attention of the paramedics whose heads snapped up to see the lunatic wife in action. I then called for reinforcements. “Danna, get in here,” I yelled to our then 20-year-old daughter who was already dressed and standing behind me. If her eyes had not been twice their normal size, I would never have known she was terrified. “What’s up, Dad?” she asked. That’s my girl! The paramedics finally got an IV going and within minutes, Dan was feeling much better.
A quick sidebar: For weeks, I had been telling Dan how much I loved Carrie Underwood’s song, “Jesus Take the Wheel.”
The paramedics lifted Dan onto a stretcher and into the ambulance. Danna said, “Mom, you ride with Dad. I’ll follow you so we will have a car at the hospital.” As I climbed into the passenger side of the ambulance, the radio was on and the first words I heard were “I can’t do this on my own. Jesus, take the wheel.” God’s peace settled around my heart and soul like a familiar friend and I celebrated the love of a God who cares enough about His daughter that He played her favorite song at the precise moment she needed to hear it. You see, when the paramedic climbed into the driver’s seat, he said, “I’m sorry, Mrs. Southerland, but we can’t have the radio on during a call.” I smiled and responded, “I didn’t turn it on. It was on when I got in.” His eyes said it all. “This woman is nuts!” But I knew the presence of God was in that ambulance, with my husband, with me, and with whatever we were facing.
Why do we doubt Him? Why do we worry? Yes, He is Lord of the Universe, but He is also Shepherd of every valley. He is Love. He is Peace.
Over the next nine days, Dan was in the hospital as they ran tests and inserted a defibrillator. God was with me every step of the way, and He will be there for you, my friend. No matter where you are, no matter how hopeless your circumstances may seem, no matter how deep and dark the pit – He is at work in and around you. Just give up and surrender the wheel of your life, trusting Him to make a way where there is no way.
Father, please forgive me when I give in to fear and worry instead of stepping out in faith and believing You. I want to become a woman who trusts You – no matter what. My faith is small, but I now choose to place it in You.
In Jesus’ Name,
Now It’s Your Turn
Scripture tells us that without faith, it is impossible to please God. Matthew 17:20 also tells us that even a tiny amount of faith pleases Him. (Jesus) replied, "I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you."
A mustard seed is tiny, but once planted, it grows into a huge tree. Jesus said a little faith has incredible results. We don't need a lot of faith - just as much as a mustard seed to produce great results. Why? Because our God is an awesome God and our faith depends on Him!
What is the greatest storm in your life today?
What step do you need to take to face that trial with faith instead of fear?
What is keeping you from trusting God and stepping out in faith?
More from the Girlfriends
Are you stressed out - facing financial problems, health issues, or dealing with difficult relationships? God will be your peace. Get Mary’s book, Escaping the Stress Trap, and learn how to transform the promises of the Twenty-third Psalm into easy-to-implement, practical steps that will hand you the keys to stress management.
Originally published Thursday, 08 February 2018.