As we celebrate what we know we are grateful for this Thanksgiving, consider how you may have more than what your eyes see, to give thanks about. This year, I learned how to be grateful for what I do see and for what I can’t see. It has expanded my gratitude.
Last week, I was very conscious in my praying for God’s protection. It was only four weeks since my fractured tailbone occurred, and I had a previously scheduled conference in North Carolina. I was worried how the flight and two hour drive would affect my healing. I was concerned about finding my way and all the little things that come with travel. Developing a blood clot did not cross my mind.
I spent the week praising God for His goodness to me. At a crowded car rental full of unhappy customers, my decision to take the car with the broken radio got me on the road sooner than the rest of them. The directions provided by a former resident suggested the quickest and most beautiful drive to the glorious Appalachian Mountains. It took me a minute to thank God for the perfect parking place in the over-crowded lot because I was thanking Him for generously getting me there in time to attend the first session of the conference. When I checked into my room, the attendant was surprised that I was right in the building, which was the closest to all the events and which allowed for the least amount of walking on hills (something I was to avoid). It’s always a delight to meet kind women willing to take in a stranger who is by herself at a conference. All the speakers and workshops were so helpful to me and the ministry God has called me to do.
The morning I was to make the trip back, I had several things on my mind. I noticed that someone had parked behind me, and I was worried that I would not be able to get out of my parking space since I had to leave a little early. I brought all my little concerns to God in prayer, and one after another He graciously and patiently reminded me that He always has my back! My word that morning was "lift up your hands in praise to God," which I literally did when I went out to my car and saw that the person behind me had moved already! I breathed in the cool morning air and couldn’t wait to attend the first session and join with women in praising God through song. I definitely lifted my hands in praise.
I drove back to the airport triumphantly and even got there in time to catch an earlier flight. What a blessed time! My mind was reeling with the busy weekend ahead and eager to get on with my life and responsibilities. My calf had been bothering me all three days; and my ankle and calf were swollen, but I often swell when traveling. I mentioned it at my physical therapy session I had made at 8 a.m. the next morning so that I could attend a luncheon with my husband. From there I would go home to make desserts for a Peru dinner the next night. I wanted advice on how to get the swelling down. She examined it and said that I should ask my doctor to take a look. I quickly got an appointment and asked if I could schedule the x-ray after the luncheon, apologizing to my husband that we were missing some of the lecture.
Little did I know how much I was in the protective and loving arms of my Jehovah—Nissi, my protector. At 3:30 p.m. on Friday, it was discovered that I had a deep vein blood clot. I had developed it on Tuesday, walked, exercised, flown on airplanes, driven myself across the mountains, and on and on. From that moment on I was prescribed bed rest, crutches to get to the restroom, and shots to administer at home. All I can say is that I have discovered the mercy and kindness of God in a greater way than I could have imagined. I’m glad I was able to see His grace to me. It makes me wonder how much unseen grace is going on out there that is never noticed on earth!
Paul tell us in 1 Thessalonians 5:18, "Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus." I’m thankful He reminded me that I can even give Him thanks for what I cannot see.