The phone rings at 5 AM. It’s my brother-in-law. I look vaguely around my office over the garage where I have been sleeping due to the family reunion and try to figure out why he is telephoning me from the house. Only he isn’t in the house. He’s in a town 45 minutes away. He’s telling me my husband has had a heart attack and they just sent him by helicopter to the Cities. “By the time you get there, he should be coming out of the procedure.”
His voice is getting hard to hear. There must be something wrong with the phone. Except then I feel the berber carpet on my cheek and hear a recording saying, “If you would like to make a call, please hang up and dial again.” Evidently fainting when you get bad news is not just something out of Victorian novels.
I wake my daughter, who looks as uncomprehending as I must have looked just before my cheek hit the carpet. An overnight bag stands packed, ready to go in anticipation of a cousin’s funeral. Whatever is in it will surely do for the hospital. We head for Minneapolis, two hours away.
I have a notebook where I collect Bible passages related to the attributes of God, which I use as a guide for prayer. Several hours later when I finally have time to sit down and open my notebook, that day’s verses are about the Unchanging One. “God’s character and his purpose to reconcile the world to himself do not change,” my notes remind me. “The God who revealed himself in the Old Testament and became flesh in the New Testament is the same God who acts in my life and in the world of the twenty-first century.”
The same God who ruled my life on Saturday, enjoying the beach with family, holds me in his hand on Sunday in a hospital room where I feel like someone just pushed the pause button on the rest of my life and is threatening to switch the channel to something I don’t want to deal with. God doesn’t change.
God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: `I AM has sent me to you.' " (Exodus 3:14)
God is not a man, that he should lie,
nor a son of man, that he should change his mind.
Does he speak and then not act?
Does he promise and not fulfill? (Numbers 23:19)
But the plans of the LORD stand firm forever,
the purposes of his heart through all generations. (Psalm 33:11)
In the beginning you laid the foundations of the earth,
and the heavens are the work of your hands.
They will perish, but you remain;
they will all wear out like a garment.
Like clothing you will change them
and they will be discarded.
But you remain the same,
and your years will never end. (Psalm 102:25-27)
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. (Hebrews 13:8)
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. (James 1:17)
Every good and perfect gift…even this moment in the hospital with my husband alive and recovering.
LeAnne Hardy has lived in six countries on four continents. Her books come out of her cross-cultural experiences and her passion to use story to convey spiritual truths in a form that will permeate lives.
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