God is never late, but He has missed some really good opportunities to be early in my life. Have you ever wondered about the timing of God’s answers to your prayers? I have. But God showed me that He knows when to act. Here is my story:
Almost twenty years ago, I took my then four-year-old daughter roller-skating at a crowded, popular roller rink. She didn’t know how to skate, so I held her left hand, and she used her right hand to cling to the bar around the rink. The problem was that you couldn’t go all away around the rink that way. At one end of the rink, there was a roller-coaster type contraption they called the “wave.” The skaters, mostly boys, were going through it so fast that it took my breath away. When they got to the end, they literally “flew” out at a rate of speed that made me dizzy. Sometimes they turned the lights off and you skated to strobe-lights, which only made it more difficult to navigate. If you didn’t go through it, you had no other alternative except to skate around it, putting you in the path of the skaters that were flying out of it.
As we approached it for the first time, I heard in my soul: “Remember Glenda.” Glenda, a childhood friend of mine, broke her arm at the roller rink as all of us watched helplessly. When I heard that, I stopped and changed sides with my daughter, just in case if something happened at the wave, it would be me that got hit and not my daughter. We skated around that way for a couple of minutes and then it happened: a boy coming out of the wave hit me, knocking us both down. If I hadn’t changed sides with my daughter, she would have been hit instead of me. I broke my right arm so badly that they had to call an ambulance to take me to the hospital. I think it was the most pain that I have ever experienced in my whole life.
At the hospital, the doctor told me that it would most likely require surgery to repair. They put a temporary cast on it, and I agreed to see an Orthopedic Surgeon the next day. For purposes of anonymity, I will call him Dr. Jones for this story. Dr. Jones had a reputation for ungodly, arrogant behavior – brilliant- but arrogant. He xrayed my arm the next day and gave me the devastating news – I would never have the use of my right arm again. He put on another cast, and I left with no hope. I was a nurse and a single mother – how could I make it without my right arm?
Months later when the cast came off, he sent me to therapy three times a week. My arm still felt broken, and I could not straighten it. I worked at an orthopedic facility and had therapy there. The therapists told me that when I could hold a gallon of milk with my arm, it would be healed. I couldn’t even hold a small one-pound can of green beans without horrible pain. At the end of each therapy session, one of the therapists would try to straighten my arm out a little more, and I always cried. These therapists were my friends and co-workers, and they hated to see me cry. After a couple of months, the therapists advised me to go back to the doctor because I had made no progress. I went back to see Dr. Jones. He xrayed my arm and told me we had to start all over again, which meant he would have to surgically rebreak my arm, recast it and then go through therapy again.
When I walked to my car, I felt helpless again. I just knew I wouldn’t be able to stand that again. I started driving home, crying, and pleading with God. I had prayed that He would heal my arm from the very beginning, but it didn’t happen. I told him I didn’t think I could go through it all again and begged Him to heal it. I felt a sudden rush of heat and tingling go all through my arm. As if by magic, my arm straightened out perfectly. It seemed so magical that I looked around for fairy dust. Amazed, I watched my arm straighten out with absolutely no pain. When I got home, I ran to my refrigerator and held a gallon of milk with my right arm. My arm was painless and strong. I cried with joy. The next day I went back to see Dr. Jones. I didn’t know what I was going to tell him. As I said, he was arrogant. I thought he would make fun of me if I told him God healed it. All my sources that knew him well told me that he didn’t believe in God.
When he walked into my room, I showed him my arm, which was now perfectly straight.
“What happened?” he asked me in disbelief.
“God healed my arm,” I replied.
He took my arm and moved it around, something he couldn’t do the day before without me crying out in pain.
“Let’s get an xray,” he said.
We did the xray, and I waited in his office for him to come and give me the results. When he entered the room, he had my chart in his hand. He did not say a word, but sat down at his desk and started writing. When he had finished, he handed me my chart to read. This is what he wrote:
He stood up, smiled and offered me his right hand. No more words were necessary.
If God had healed my arm in the beginning, Dr. Jones and my therapy team would not have been able to be a part of this miracle. With God in charge, this miracle affected many people. He is never late.