By: Angie Gambill
A few years ago, when I changed my lifelong prayer of “Help me, Lord,” to “Teach me, Lord,” I had no idea of the roller coaster ride we had embarked upon. But teach me, He has.
On Father’s Day of this year, my husband sustained a major injury when he was thrown from one of our horses down the hillside. What we first thought was a dislocated and possibly broken elbow quickly escalated into something much more serious. A shattered elbow that required a complete replacement joint, a broken shoulder that had to be secured to a plate with screws, as well as muscles and tendons stripped the entire length of his arm have changed our lives forever. Four months later he is still in multiple physical therapy sessions every week.
He was forced to retire from his job that he considered an extension of his ministry, that of delivering Christian books to stores throughout the tri-cities, western North Carolina and southwestern Virginia. Mounting bills and loss of income can be a daunting combination.
But the good news far outweighs the bad. It always does for God’s children. We have learned, albeit the hard way, that we never have a burden placed upon us without God placing His everlasting arms underneath us.
My father told me once that God doesn’t make blessings rain from heaven; He moves in the hearts of His children. Our amazing community, church, family and friends have proven to us the authenticity of that statement. We have lacked for nothing this summer – financially, physically or spiritually.
The staggering medical bills that began with $38,000 for the med flight to Johnson City have all been paid in full.
Fund-raisers that were so well attended that we ran out of food; singing groups volunteering benefit concerts; delicious meals cooked and delivered to our home; cash pressed into our hands by old schoolmates, family and friends; checks in the mail from businesses and friends; grocery money faithfully every week for months from family members that wouldn’t let us steal their blessing by refusing; neighbors and family keeping our garden and yard work done; our adult children and their spouses who stepped in from the beginning to help shoulder the burden; the countless inquiries of his progress; the abundance of prayers on our behalf – the list and the blessings are never-ending. We are undeserving but truly grateful.
What I choose to call a “side blessing” has come in an unexpected form. When the door closed for my husband for delivering inspirational reading materials, another one opened. He is thoroughly enjoying substitute teaching in the local schools. He loves kids so much and they love him right back. Every time he comes home bubbling over about one kid or another that he has met that day. The devil’s intent was to harm, but he missed the target. God has such an awesome way of turning everything to good for His children.
I have started this column numerous times since mid-June. Each time the Lord stayed my hand. I don’t claim to know why He released me to share it now. Perhaps it’s because my husband’s 62nd birthday and his official retirement is Sunday. What better opportunity to thank our wonderful community and send all my love to my awesome husband, Gary Gambill.
When we stand on The Word, the devil is powerless against it!
“…ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day…” -Genesis 50:20 KJV