Most people know me as a “full speed ahead” personality. I’ve even earned the nick-name “Heat Seeking Missle” when assigned to a task or project. It’s not uncommon for me to ask others if they want my involvement because I’m either engaged or disengaged. You don’t want to stir the A-type unnecessarily. Naturally, the slower pace of recovery and treatment goes against my robust nature. I attribute most of my weepy days as chaffing against my inner stirring. This little lamb struggles when “He makes me to lie down in green pastures” (Psalm 23:2).
Detours and closed doors really frustrate me. I don’t like to be thrown off course. Yesterday, at my fourth chemo session I hit a “slow down dangerous curves ahead” sign. First of all, all my blood work looks fantastic. The Dr. can’t believe how healthy and strong my numbers look. However, I am having some symptoms with my digestive track—urgency and frequency. Let’s just say I have to be acutely aware of bathroom placement throughout my day. While doing a physical exam Dr. Ampuero detected something, larger than a walnut, growing outside my colon wall at the site of the anastomosis. This seems to be creating a narrowing of my colon which explains my symptoms. He ordered a CT scan. But I must wait two weeks as the chemo already compromises my vital organs and the contrast die from the scan would be too taxing. So I’m on a two week detour.
Let me tell you about woman who encountered a detour, Debbie Lascelles who was known by her friends as, “the Texas cream puff.” She knew all the current make-up techniques; could style her hair into the perfect “Texas-Do” and could paint her nails to match any outfit. But there were some things Debbie couldn’t do, like change a flat tire. She had adopted this philosophy of life: “Don’t learn to do something you don’t want to end up doing.” For instance, never ask your husband to teach you how to use the lawnmower unless someday you expect to be trimming the grass. I’ve been told Debbie wouldn’t even screw a new license plate onto her car. Instead, she asked an able-bodied maintenance man working on staff with her at the YWAM base in Tyler, Texas to do the job for her.
She was at the top of her class when graduating from nursing school and was voted the most likely to succeed. Everybody knew Debbie was destined for a prosperous career and would probably marry a doctor. But God interrupted her plans by calling her to the mission field, despite all her previous protests. At thirty-five years old, she and three other like-minded Christians joined Voice Of the Martyrs (VOM) on a mission trip to the Sudan. They were to bring much needed supplies: clothes, medicine, and books to a remote village in the middle of the steamy jungle. The team was also asked to teach their native brothers how to win their enemies to Jesus.
It was a sweltering hot day as they loaded the supply truck. The cream puff was melting. She poured herself into the seat next to another missionary dripping with sweat and fastened her seatbelt for the bumpy ride ahead. They knew that they must travel all day to make their destination before nightfall or they would be lost.
Halfway through the trip a tire blew, and their hearts deflated. The only way to change the tire in that heavy-laden truck was to empty its contents. When the team finally overcame their obstacle, too much time was lost. They’d never reach the village before dark. Disappointed, they decided to turn back.
Rumbling out of the afternoon sky came the sound of airplanes. Their escorts feared the worst, “Those are enemy bombers! Everyone hit the dirt.” Debbie the debutante was now sweaty, dirty, and scared. But to her amazement, the planes roared by without noticing the team or the truck. Like heat-seeking missiles, the bombers remained locked on their target: the very village Debbie had been headed for. The time of detonation? Just before dark. A flat tire had saved their lives.
For Debbie, when God said, “No” His loving hand had placed a roadblock in her path. Has God answered one of your prayers with a deafening, NO? Have you turned back from a desired destination because an obstacle impeded the path? Take time to reflect on the reasons why. Perhaps God was protecting you from a bad decision or attempting to lead you to greener grass. Be sure not to miss supernatural surprises in unexpected places—including the ones you’ve missed.