Have you ever found yourself in a situation in which you could do nothing but trust God? Your measure of control had slipped away and the only recourse left was to pray or to panic? Such is often the struggle of a person who lives with a chronic illness.
I take pride in striving to control my diabetes, an ongoing struggle for thirty-three years. This disease has resulted in visual impairment and kidney failure for me. My wife donated her kidney to me last year. However, some of the transplant medications wreak havoc with my glucose levels, so that my diabetic control is now even more difficult. Occasionally an unexpected factor interrupts my carefully planned routine.
One afternoon while traveling back to my terminal train station where a friend would be waiting to take me home, I noticed that my glucose level was dropping. After popping a piece of candy in my mouth, I checked the time on my Braille watch. Just a few more minutes and I would be there to meet my friend. Even if he was late, I was prepared to purchase something sweet to keep me out of danger.
After the train stopped, I used my white cane to find my way to the waiting area of the station. While there, I finished off the last of my candy. Thirty minutes went by, yet my friend did not show. Eventually I walked into the station to search for a phone. These pay phones were coin-operated, so I deposited thirty-five cents and tried to call my wife. Instead of the usual dial tone, the phone squawked a strange noise and prohibited me from making the call. Like a one-armed
bandit with no jackpot, the phone forever kept my money. Not wanting to risk losing more money, I found a different phone.
Surprisingly I lost another thirty-five cents. My disgust turned to panic—those were the only coins I had! I maneuvered my way to the ticket window, hoping I could get change for a dollar.
The man at the window told me that he was not allowed to give change. I told him that I had lost money in two different phones. “You’ll have to take it up with the phone company,” he replied. I asked if I could use his phone to make a call to my wife. Still he refused. Frantically I told him that if he didn’t help me soon, he would be calling 9-1-1, because I was about to pass out from a diabetic insulin reaction.
Still he refused to assist me.
Walking away shaking and sweating, I knew from experience that I had only a short amount of time before the inevitable occurred. I recognized that prayer was my only option, so I silently cried, “Lord! I don’t know what to do! Help me, please help me!”
A moment later, a woman whom I had never met said to me, “Sir! Would you like this Coke? You look like you could use something cold to drink, and I got this Coke by mistake when I pressed the wrong button at the vending machine.”
My prayer of desperation had reached the heavenly Father. Already knowing my need, He answered my prayer by using a lady who unwittingly pressed the wrong button on a vending machine.
Our God knows what we need even before we ask (Matt. 6:8).
Mike Justice (ThM, 1991) serves as associate pastor at Creekside Bible Fellowship in Rowlett, Texas.