First, the 911 operator wanted my name, my address and the type of emergency. I tried to remain as calm as possible while giving her the information she needed (although I probably deafened her when I screamed at the first small explosion). She transferred me to the fire department, who wanted all the same information. My heart was pounding. My hands were shaking. While on the phone, I was watching the fire engulf more and more of my vehicle and praying the fire department would reach us before the flames reached the gas tank.
I finally got off the phone with the fire department who assured me they were on their way. We live less than a mile from the fire department, so I expected to hear sirens right away. I didn't. In fact, I waited in a panic for what seemed like an eternity. The fire had completely consumed the cab of the truck and was quickly making its way to the bed. . . and the gas tank.
"Come on," I pleaded over and over again to no one in particular. "What is taking so long? I could have walked to the fire department by now. Don't they know this is an emergency?" Finally, I heard the familiar wail of sirens as they grew closer. I can't explain the relief that flooded my soul just knowing that the professionals had arrived at the scene.
My conversation to thin air reminds me of conversations I've had with God. You know, when life gets ugly, and I've sent up my heavenly 911 call. After making the call, I wait for what seems like an eternity and often find myself making similar comments. "Come on, God. I'm waiting. You said for us to bring our burdens to You, so I have, but things are not looking any better. Can you please hurry this up? Can't you see this is an emergency?" And I wait in fear and desperation for the Professional to arrive on the scene and make everything okay.
Isn't it funny how easy it is to forget that THE Professional is always on the scene? He's already there in the midst of the chaos. He's there by our sides through the entire ordeal. He knows exactly what's going on, and He knows exactly how severe He can allow the storm to get before doing permanent damage. He has a very impressive resume. If you don't believe me, flip through the pages of your Bible. This Professional is the One who can part seas, calms seas and even walk on seas. He can provide food, shelter and life. There has not yet been, nor will there ever be, a situation He could not handle or an enemy He could not defeat. And He's here for us all the time, 24/7.
The problem is we're often too blinded by the rain in our eyes and the lightning flashes to recognize the Haven within our reach. We know He's there somewhere, but when He doesn't answer our pleas to calm the storm, we assume He can't hear us over the sound of the thunder and wind. The truth is that He hears us just fine, but sometimes it's not His will to calm the storm, but rather to calm us during the storm. I like the way Max Lucado puts it in his book, A Gentle Thunder: "Though you hear nothing, He is speaking. Though you see nothing, he is acting. With God there are no accidents. Every incident is intended to bring us closer to him."
No, with God, there are no accidents. And you know what? There are no emergencies either. Sure, it may seem like one to me, but I'm not holding the universe in the palm of my hand. He is!
And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. - II Corinthians 12:9