When I was a little girl, my parents went to great measures to discover and cultivate any talent that I might have. We tried everything. Piano. Softball. Soccer. Ballet. Skateboarding. Singing. My chubby frame and my lack of coordination led them to pursue some non-traditional pastimes for me. One such talent quest was “Speech.” “Speech” was held on Monday afternoons at one of our local elementary schools. A dear, elderly lady, “Miss Ruby” Krider, taught the class. About fifteen to twenty rowdy third and fourth graders would meet each week to explore their theatrical abilities.
I don’t remember a lot about “Speech” class. (I know I loved “Miss Ruby.” Her name was so befitting; she was a jewel!) But I do have a couple of standout memories of the class – one being the many hours I spent on my magic carpet. My parents, along with my classmates’ parents, were paying “Miss Ruby” to coach all of us kids into one day becoming crazy-rich Hollywood actors and actresses. And a huge part of “Miss Ruby’s” curriculum for achieving this goal was her magic carpet exercise.
Each week – at least it seemed like each week – “Miss Ruby” would direct all of us future actresses/actors into a circle, and then, from there, she would guide us onto our imaginary magic carpets. And within our minds of creativity, we would fly over our worlds below. “Miss Ruby” would be dancing among us, gracefully motioning her arms, swaying her upper torso, as we all rode across a cloud-filled sky and peered below at life beneath us.
I loved it! (Won’t you ride along with me? Explore. Release your imagination.) Every now and then, my little carpet would encounter a pocket of turbulence, and oh, how fun it was to grip the sides of my woven rug and bravely ride-out the bumpy winds. As I soared at great heights, I would strain my eyes to see what was going on back home. Beneath my carpet, I could spot my little brother and his neighborhood friends. The best part was that they never knew I was watching them as they played in their “secret” fort. I loved life on “Miss Ruby’s” magic carpet.
I hadn’t thought about a magic carpet until just a few days ago.
Most of this blog’s subscribers likely already know that my father recently had open-heart surgery. This was a huge shock to him, our family, and his physicians. Our family is so grateful that the procedure went perfectly and that he is now back home recovering beautifully. Through it all, God was granting my dad an “uneventful surgery” and recovery. (Uneventful surgery being the terminology his surgeon used.) I’m certainly not a M.D., but I can’t see where anything could have gone any smoother medically for my dad. And trust me, we are humbly grateful to God Almighty, our Jehovah Rapha.
But really, what I want to report within this post pertains more to our experience as a family, particularly to me, than to my dad’s health. I know we witnessed a medical miracle of the LORD as God touched my dad’s physical body, but I also know that the supernatural manifestation of God, Himself, was overwhelmingly evident in other areas.
I know you can relate to this: throughout our lives we speculate experiences that we deem unbearable. These are situations that cause us to project, “If that were to ever happen, I don’t think I’d make it.” You know what I’m talking about. We all do this. We hear of some family going through a crisis or an individual dealing with a catastrophe, and with a fear-filled sense of empathy, we think to ourselves, “I just don’t know how they are making it through.”
I’ve done this for years. I may not process the scenarios entirely, but I’ve often thought that I simply could not make it through certain situations. You know, like … another miscarriage, an abnormal mammogram, loss of a job, death of a grandparent, and a health crisis of a parent. These types of hardships are going to happen, but in many cases, we all tend to doubt our ability to survive (and certainly to thrive) if and when we face such trials. And my friend, my dad’s recent heart surgery has undoubtedly been a part of my dreaded I-Don’t-Think-I’d-Make-It List.
You see, the entire experience was filled with circumstances – some very critical; some very trivial – that if you had asked me three months ago if I could have survived, I would have confidently answered with an “Oh no, not me!” Obviously, the reality of my dad having heart disease that required a triple-bypass surgery was one such situation that I would have never trusted myself to live through. And then from that major crisis came an abundance of other scenarios, which were once believed to be unbearable. From the road-trip to the hospital in Nashville (in which my dad was chewing baby aspirin), to awaiting the phone call from the OR as my dad’s operation progressed, to spending the early-morning hours in the ICU with Dad as he was awakening from surgery, to the crucial moments following the removal of tubing that led to my dad’s vital organs … all of it would have once seemed unendurable for me – had I ever stopped to ponder them becoming a reality. And then, to my shame, I can also add to that list of dreadful events my having only two outfits for a multi-day stay at the hospital and my not having a must-have Pacific Suncoast pillow. [Really! What a brat!]
But, my friend, I made it! We made it! Yes, my dad is the result of God’s glorious miracle. With my dad’s health, I am witnessing the undeniable work of God. But at the same time, as I was walking the halls of St. Thomas Hospital, as I was sitting bedside my dad (having gotten only 2 hours of sleep the night before), as I was making a quick return trip to Nashville having raced home to speak at a local church – through it all, through every night, through every day, through every step along the way, I was making it! Time and time again, I would think to myself, “This is what the grace of God looks and feels like.” There was no other explanation for my bearing the unbearable.
I didn’t get home from the hospital, having made it through this ordeal, and then looking back suddenly recognize that God’s grace had sustained us during my dad’s cardiac ordeal. That is not how it was. Instead, as we were living through the actual family milestone, I was completely aware of the grace of God that was ever-so present in our lives. I mentally noted and I even shared with others during our hospital stay that with each passing moment, I sensed the sufficient grace of my Heavenly Father. There was a peace, a strength, an assurance fortifying me from within. The charis of God – His favor, His pleasure, His benefit – was surrounding us and sustaining us at every moment.
After we got back home and we had Dad situated nicely and comfortably in his recliner, I got a call from a friend. We were just catching up on how we’d all made it and how Dad was doing. I gave her all of the details, “kinda” reliving the hospital stay day-by-day, and giving her a quick overview of all Dad had been through. And then the conversation came around to her asking, “Well, how are you?” For the next few seconds I tried to describe what the past week had been like for me. In my heart, I knew exactly what the past few days had been like. There had been this overwhelming, undeniable, sustaining grace of God that had never ceased nor diminished prevailing through every moment. But I could find no words to answer adequately my friend’s question. I simply could not describe the grace of God I had experienced (and was experiencing). My reply became this: “Girl, I can’t explain it. But God’s grace was like a magic carpet.”
There it was! That’s it. For 6 days, I had been on God’s magic carpet of grace! I don’t believe in magic, and I know the Bible instructs us to avoid sorceries and enchantments. But, my friend, that’s the best, most accurate depiction I could offer my caring friend on the phone – and you!
How was I doing? How was I making it? Here’s the answer … Through it all, there was this Divinely magical strength, this surety, beneath me. … And never once, not for a moment, was I not aware of it supernaturally and safely carrying me through – and above – the trying time of my precious daddy’s health crisis. I had been (and I was) soaring upon the magic carpet of God’s grace.
My friend, I must ask. Do you know the Lord? Do you have saving faith in Him? You see, Heaven is a great reward for those who are in Christ, and I desperately want that eternal destiny for you. Eternal life with Jesus is truly a token of God’s grace. But, I also desire for you to experience God’s grace in this life.
The hardships are coming. There could likely be a day for you in the waiting room of the cardiac ICU. There may be other trials in store for you. And, oh my friend, I want you to have the assurance of God’s sufficient, sustaining grace during those difficult days. You are going to need a dependable, all-sufficient magic carpet to carry you through. Dear friend, you are going to need the grace of God. Only with it will you – will I – ever make it through the “If that were to ever happen” moments of life.
If you have questions about receiving Christ as Savior and Lord, Enough Grace Ministries is available to you. Please reach out to us. We would love to share more with you about receiving God’s grace.
“For by grace are you saved through faith, and that not of yourselves. It is a gift of God, not of works, lest any man should boast.”
Our family thanks you for praying for my dad. We appreciate it so very much. He is a miracle!