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Does God Drive An Ambulance?

I heard a message many years ago that I have never forgotten, because the speaker asked a question that I’ve never heard a good answer for. I didn’t have the answer either and it really bothered and disturbed me. The question was, “What do you do when you feel like God doesn’t show up in your worst possible moments?

It’s easy to want to ignore or look the other way when it comes to the topic of grief and suffering. We want to busy ourselves with anything else other than sitting too long with our grief, because we don’t know what to do with it. We have so many questions with not many answers.

I listened to a message this week that profoundly affected me. Matt Chandler finally answered the question (above) I haven’t been able to put words to. I couldn’t quite nail down an answer. As a writer, that’s hard to admit. But in this case, it’s just better to use the words of someone with a lot of wisdom, and who I believe was given these words by the Holy Spirit. Below is a short clip of of the answer….

Click on the image below to watch the 2 minute clip. It will start at the correct spot, and you can stop viewing at 32:10 - although I would encourage you to view the whole message when you have a chance.

(Matt Chandler - Passion conference 2015)

 

“God does not drive an ambulance. He does not show up after and try to put the pieces back together. God wounds us like a surgeon. God is trying to tell us... I am at work in the mess. It’s not that there won’t be one; it’s that I will be with you in it. I have not abandoned you. I’m not showing up late. I am with you. I am for you. Look to the Cross.”
- Matt Chandler

This message is so packed with things to talk about, but I only chose one.

“God doesn’t drive an ambulance. He wounds us like a surgeon.”

These are the words I couldn’t find. These are the words that are a salve to so many wounded hearts, including my own.
These words make it bearable to read verses like Job 5:18...

For he wounds, but he binds up; he shatters, but his hands heal. - Job 5:18

The definition of a surgeon (Merriam-Webster): a physician who performs operations that involve cutting into someone’s body in order to repair or remove damaged or diseased parts.

Interesting, right? Thank you, Lord, for the truth you bring when you know we are finally ready to hear it.

God wounds us to heal us. And he is not a God that cannot relate to our pain. All we have to do is look at the Cross to understand this.

I’m reading an amazing book called “Hope Heals” by Katherine and Jay Wolf. At age twenty-six, Katherine suffered a massive brain-stem stroke that changed everything. A quote from Jay Wolf…

“Amid the swirling fears of the unknown and the losses stacked higher than the victories, a question kept bubbling to the surface of my mind: Will you trust Me still? And I decided that no matter what lay ahead for us, we could not let anything obscure our view of the God who inexplicably gave us everything, even in the taking away. The God who gave us our deepest desires, not like a genie would, but like a loving Father who offers what we would want if we knew everything He knew. The God who ultimately gave us the one thing we needed more than anything else in the world...Himself.”(1)

Do we trust that God doesn’t drive an ambulance and show up too late, after the event occurs?

Do we trust him as our Surgeon?

Do we trust his sovereign reign and wisdom?

These questions are so difficult, but worth the freedom and healing you will experience as you look at them with your Father who loves you.

Father, today we are choosing to trust your sovereign rule and reign. We choose to trust the wounds that pass through your loving and all-knowing hands. You do not abandon us. You are for us. You are redeeming and revealing and reconciling...you are at work in our mess. You are the ultimate Surgeon. May we be able to praise you and bring you glory, even in our grief and pain. May we hang onto you until the healing comes, and always. Amen.

Source:
(1) - Hope Heals by Katherine and Jay Wolf. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2016. Pg. 187-188.

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If you are an imperfect wife, mom, daughter, or friend, struggling to stay focused on God in the craziness and find joy in the heartache, then we have something in common. I am a recovering perfectionist and daughter of the King, slowly learning to fully trust the One who sees me just as I am, and is already pleased. I’m so glad you are here.

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