How to Meditate on the Providence of God
Consult the providences of your life in this point, and I doubt not but you will find the truth of these promises as often confirmed as you have been in trouble. Ask your own hearts, where or when was it that your God forsook you, and left you to sink and perish under your burdens? (pg. 126)
In February of 1985 I was living in Ft. Worth, making preparations to begin studies at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. In order to help make ends meet I was serving in the Texas Army National Guard, in Company A, 2/112th Armor, 49th Armor Division. On February 9th my unit was at Ft. Hood, training in M60 tanks. During this training I was involved in an accident that fractured my first lumbar vertebrae, required me to be medically evacuated from the field via helicopter, caused me to be paralyzed from the waist down for seven days, and required six weeks of hospitalization.
During the first hours of this experience I began to wonder why God had deserted me. I began to question Him, and wondered why this was allowed to happen when I felt that I was in the center of His will. After all, hadn't I made great sacrifices in order to attend seminary? As the hours turned into days, especially those first few when nobody could be certain that I would ever be able to walk again, I began to see that He had business with me that could only be conducted while I lay in that hospital bed. It was during this time that He humbled me, speaking to me about my pride and self-sufficiency. No longer did I think that I was doing Him a favor. Instead I began to see my need for His leadership in all areas of my life.
In the longer term, He used this event in other ways in order to facilitate His purposes for my family and I. Even though I spent almost a year on crutches, and 18 months wearing a back brace, He provided for many of our needs through veteran's disability benefits. Also, the seminary had a requirement that students carry health insurance, something that would have been cost prohibitive on my salary. Since my medical care was provided by my military medical retirement this requirement was waived. In short, He provided for everything that we needed.
As a result of this accident I still experience some pain daily, 23 years later, and have some limited range of motion. Yet this is a small price to pay. In many ways, these are daily reminders of that time, and of the way that God both humbled me and provided for me during seminary. These are things worthy of remembering and meditating upon.