Sometimes, God throws a bungee cord at you…

Two weekends ago, my friend Ashley (ok, she’s a little more than a friend…it just isn’t official yet) took a road trip back to where I grew up to watch the Pittsburgh Steeler game, go to a concert (Toby Keith and Trace Adkins), and to visit family and friends. It had the makings to be a fun and relaxing weekend and it was, but the first night was a little stressful and chaotic.

Before we left Altoona to go to Belle Vernon (where I grew up), I received a text from my best friend Billy asking me to pray for him because he was having severe stomach pains. Some background info: He had to get a colonoscopy that morning and something went wrong that didn’t show up until later in the day. Because of this complication, he was having intense pains in his stomach, he had a high fever, and he could barely walk (due to the stomach pain). It was so bad that he couldn’t even stay to watch the Steeler game; and he is a die-hard fan like me! That’s how I knew it was serious! Billy’s fiancé (whose name is Ashley) got off of work, rushed to his house and took him back to the ER (at the same hospital she works at). I did get to pray with and for him before he left, and I was very thankful for that.

While we were waiting on the results, we hung out at his house and watched the first half of the game. When we found out that he was going to need an emergency surgery, we rushed out the door and attempted to get to the hospital as fast as we could. We were making decent time and it looked like we were going to make it there in time to see him and pray with him before his surgery!

I was driving my truck and Ashley and Rob (Billy’s cousin/my friend) were with me while Becky (Billy’s sister) and JORDAN (her boyfriend…who asked me to put his name in all capitals) were in another vehicle. For some reason (which I later realized why) I decided to pass them. No more than three seconds after I passed them, I heard this loud clunking noise that sounded like someone was beating the crap out of my truck with a baseball bat! I immediately pulled off of the road and got out to see what happened while JORDAN and Becky kept on going to the hospital. When I got to the side of the truck that the ruckus was coming from, I found a bungee cord sticking out of my tire…a stinking bungee cord! How does that happen? My tire was flat and the other end of the bungee cord was missing in action. I soon found out what happened to that though. As Rob and I were changing my tire (which was an interesting experience), Ashley noticed that my rear, right taillight cover and taillight were completely shattered. Apparently the other end of the bungee swung back and busted my taillight. All I could do was laugh, because again, it was a bungee cord…how could I get mad at that?

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Anyway, we got the tire changed and finally made it to the hospital about a half an hour after Billy went into surgery. JORDAN and Becky made it to the hospital in time to see him before he went in. When we got there, we saw that there were eight people (family, friends, pastor) there waiting for the results of his surgery. It was encouraging to see them all there. We spent some time praying, talking, and laughing while we waited. While Billy’s pastor was praying, I was thinking and asking God why the bungee cord incident happened. Then God helped me to realize that my passing of JORDAN and Becky and getting the flat tire prevented Becky’s car from getting the flat tire and not being able to get to the hospital in time. Then I realized that Billy needed his sister (who is a nurse) by his side before surgery to help calm him down, pray with him, and let him know that everything was going to be ok! He needed his sister there and God knew that, so He orchestrated my running over of the bungee cord and the events that followed! It’s funny/awesome how God works at times!

Billy’s surgery lasted over four hours and he is currently recovering successfully! He has forty-four staples in his stomach and is not allowed to go back to work for four weeks! Thank you to those of you who saw my updates on twitter and the church prayer chain and were praying for him. God answered those prayers! Please continue to pray for a safe and successful recovery with no complications!

This story happened on September 11 and I am just now finding the time to write about it. I think God wanted me to write about this today, as opposed to last week, because I needed to be reminded of how God is in control of every situation. No matter how bad things seem, no matter how worried we get, no matter what we think will happen, God KNOWS what will happen and has everything under control!

Thanks for reading!

–          paulg

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