Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Prayers and Peace

The LORD gives strength to his people;
The LORD blesses his people with peace.
                                Psalm 29:11 NIV
     Two nights ago my husband and I received the phone call that no parent wants to hear. Our son Chris, daughter-in-law Heather and two young granddaughters had just been in an automobile accident. My breathing returned to normal once I heard the words they are okay. Already in our pajamas, my husband slipped into his jeans as I threw on my jacket and grabbed my phone.
     By the time we sat down in the car, we were convinced it was a fender bender and we just needed to give them a ride home. However, a couple of miles later when we rounded the corner and saw the flashing lights of two ambulances, a fire engine and several police vehicles, fear struck my heart. As we drove around the accident in order to pull into the Exxon gas station where the two trucks had come to a stop, we understood the severity of the collision. The entire front end of our son’s one-ton pick-up was demolished. I whispered, “Jesus…”
     As we got out of our car and approached the scene, we were relieved to see Chris standing outside the driver’s side of his truck. After speaking to our son, I called a friend and asked her to spread our request for prayers. My husband kept Chris occupied as I comforted the children while Heather was put on a backboard and carried to the ambulance. Then we gathered belongings from the truck and watched as the girls were also put on backboards and along with Chris were loaded into the waiting ambulances.
     The rest of the night evolved like a scripted scene in a movie. We followed the ambulances to the hospital, made phone calls to our other children and calmed our girls as mom and dad were whisked away to the adult side of the emergency room. There was a flurry of cat scans and x-rays, doctors and nurses and papaw’s silliness as we tried to occupy their minds. But one re-emerging question remained, “When can I see mom and daddy?”
    At some point during those early morning hours, I recognized my heart was at peace. I knew family and friends were praying, and although we did not yet know the extent of injuries, I understood that God remained in control.
     After several long hours, we received test results and the news that everyone was going home. They were banged up and bruised, sore and swollen and had a few cuts and one missing tooth, but no breaks, internal injuries or concussions. I whispered, “Thank you, Father.”
     My husband and I breathed a sigh of relief as we delivered Chris and his family safely home and drove the remaining five minutes to our house. Once inside I realized my exhaustion. Still in my pajamas I climbed into bed and again whispered, “Thank you, Father.”
     After not enough sleep, the phone calls began as concerned family and friends called to make sure that everyone was safe and sound. Face Book was filled with messages of prayers and love and text messages busied my phone.
     Throughout the long night of waiting, Psalm 29:11 came alive for me. The LORD does give strength and peace to His needy children. I was reminded that when I am busy taking care of life’s immediate needs, my Heavenly Father is busy taking care of my needs. I was reminded that when I am weak, He is strong. I was also reminded that Christians need each other.
     As we walked the floors of that hospital emergency room, God strengthened us because of your prayers.  Today, I pray for you that God will strengthen you for your day’s journey and bless you with peace.
© Joyce Powell

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