About a week ago my husband had an accident while unloading feed ingredients. The very mention of the words “farm accident” bring feelings of panic & fear to the minds of many and with good reason; farming can be a very dangerous profession. My grandfather died in a farming accident.
John caught his foot in a grain auger. Before he knew what had happened it had sliced off two of his toes. He spent a long weekend in the hospital and is home now, recouperating nicely.
While it may seem odd to pair an accident of this nature with a posting on gratitude; it was, after the initial shock wore off, the first thing I felt. “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him and have been called according to his purpose.” (Ro. 8:28) While we will never know this side of heaven whether this accident was something the Lord afflicted us with to refine us or whether this is something He merely allowed; I can tell you emphatically He wasted no time in working good in our lives out of this situation.
God’s presence was with each of us as we had need. John was calm and peaceful throughout, even when he learned that his toes could not be saved. With God’s help, I was able to remain calm and gave me presence of mind to do what I needed to do. While in their flesh, their first impulse might have been to get in the middle of things, instead the boys turned their attention to caring for their younger sisters. When I mentionned that an ambulance would be coming into the yard soon and to help the girls be calm, Gabe quickly volunteered to put in a movie and draw the curtains so they wouldn’t see the ambulance. I cannot tell you how deeply this touches my mother’s heart.
God’s love was made manifest through His people. Whether it was my parents dropping everything to spend the day with my children or my sister coming by unannounced to care for Samuel in the ER or the countless people who have expressed concern or volunteered to help in some way, we have felt very loved and thankful. How could I forget to mention all the prayers offered on our behalf? John and I do not take them lightly. I am convinced that they are why he has been in as little pain as he has and why his recovery is going as well as it is.
Gratitude for the gift of life. Things could have been much worse. Farm accidents can be dangerous. Augers are especially dangerous. John could have lost his whole foot or even a limb. It could have been his fingers instead of his toes. When three weeks have passed, Lord willing, John will be able to walk and work and resume life as normal. Three weeks after my grandfather’s accident, he was still dead.
Gratitude’s gift of clearer vision. Prior to the accident I was really struggling with a bad attitude. I knew I needed Father to give me a new heart and a new mind (again). This accident took care of that in an instant. I have also had several opportunities to view John’s foot and each time I do, it fills me with deep sadness over the loss but it also makes me look forward to heaven where he will be made whole again. As funny as it may sound, seeing John’s feet is one of the things I’m looking forward to about heaven!
This post would not be complete without expressing my gratitude to Ann V. of Holy Experience for calling my attention to viewing life through the lenses of gratitude. Her challenge over the past year and a half helped to prepare me for this test. Thanks Ann!