It feels sometimes that I have been the "deer stuck in the headlights at the end of the tunnel" over the last few years.
We've been at UNC, Chapel Hill, since Sunday afternoon. At moments it feels like I have been here for at least a month. My amazing man, who normally spends his Saturdays finding something to do, just so he doesn't have to sit still, has holed up in this little room with me for 100 hours now. We have played that lovely little game called "hurry up and wait".
As we have waited, we have explored a few avenues of entertainment. The internet is priceless at times like this. I am, as always, beyond pleased to have my Kindle. Andy even explored a little (can't stay cooped up the entire time!) and found a RedBox for us to rent a few movies from.
But over and over we come back to the television - the basic "stuck to the wall and fed with nearly 100 channels" television. And we discovered something highly entertaining.
They have the sci-fi channel, the History channel, ABC, NBC, Disney, even some movie channels. But, if you just keep clicking eventually you get to the hospital channels. The "healthy eating" channel. The "what to do for hip surgery" channel. And of course, Channel 89.
All day long, every day, Channel 89 has an important announcement to make.
"You Are Watching Channel 89"
Fascinating, isn't it? It was hard to turn away, because with all those other stations out there, where was I ever going to find one that simply said "You are watching channel..."
Obviously, I am being sarcastic.
Because watching an announcement just sit upon the screen really isn't fascinating.
But, for some reason, it is there. UNC feels the need to keep that channel open and ready. Right this minute it looks like a waste of energy. A pointless bit of nothing.
But, for some reason, it is there.
And that is point number 1. Hold on to that.
A wonderful friend of the family called me this week while I have been here and shared his heart a little. You see, he and his wife spent a bit of time in the hospital last year. She was fighting breast cancer.
He was telling me the story of the night before her surgery. Many friends had come to gather around and support them. They were praying, and asking for healing. They were giving hugs, and asking how they could help. And he, even after a lifetime as a pastor, was too overwhelmed to know where to start.
But he read the story of Paul and Silas in Acts, when they were placed in irons in a prison cell, just for doing what God asked them to do. They had several choices when they were arrested. 1) Moan and complain and ask God why He would do this when all they had ever done was follow His commands. 2) Pray with trust and faith, asking God to deliver them. He had the power. They simply needed Him to step in and work a miracle.
Did they do either of those?
Nope. They simply sat and praised Him in the jail cell.
They didn't complain. They didn't ask for a miracle. They simply praised, No Matter What.
And God sent a series of events I am pretty sure they wouldn't have imagined to ask for on their own. For the rest of the details you should read Acts 16:25-36
My pastor friend, sitting there the night before his wife's surgery, knew that they needed to just praise, no matter what. And let God take care of the details. Because sometimes even knowing what to ask for is more then we are capable of.
They were blessed. God worked some miracles for them. Most importantly, they were made aware, once again, that He is with us, always.
Right now, Channel 89 is sometimes all that I can see. I have faith in that "light at the end of the tunnel", but it is way too far away to actually see yet. I have no idea what to even ask for, because I cannot imagine what a "good plan" is.
But I will praise always. And trust that my channel 89, that space sitting there empty and pointless, has a purpose. I don't know the plan. And right now I can't even figure out how to pray most of the time. But like Paul and Silas, I have no doubt that God has something planned that is beyond my imagination.
Thank you for caring my friends. I will try to keep you posted. In the meantime, please praise Him with me.