So here I sit, having just waved to my wife & daughter as they backed out of the driveway at 11:15pm. Unfortunately, this wasn’t for a sentimental “Mother/Daughter Bonding Excursion”…this was (and still is) a trip to the ER.
Don’t worry. Everything is going to be fine. We’ve been through this before. You see, in our family, we’ve been blessed with a special friend named The Croup. The Croup doesn’t visit often, but when he does he tends to disrupt plans–sleeping plans primarily. First, he announces his presence with the hallmark Barking Cough. From there he tends to hang around until he’s sure that whichever child he’s visiting wakes up to take notice. Once he has all of our devoted attention, he settles in for The Game. The Game is figuring out how to get rid of him.
The normal routine involves a short, starlit walk in the cool night air. This stroll is immediately followed by a brief respite in the poor man’s sauna (our bathroom with the shower cranked as hot as it will go). From there, if he doesn’t leave, we bring out the technological warfare: The Nebulizer.
Tonight all of this proved rather futile, so that means we had to call in the Professionals. Hence, the aforementioned trip to the ER. Normally, I tend to just sit on the couch and wait on the phone call from my wife to let me know that the prednisone breathing treatment has been administered and all is right with the world. But for some reason, tonight I was struck with a thought as I watched my two ladies drive away.
I realized I was thankful. Not for The Croup–I could do without ever dealing with him again. My thankfulness was in response to a quotation that my grandmother used to say. (To be fair, it might have been my Dad that said it, but for some reason I remember him attributing the comment to his Mom…plus, sayings are usually best when we think they come from grandparents anyway, right?) The quote?
“God is previous.”
Just two hours ago, when my children went to bed, I had no idea that The Croup was on the way. I didn’t even know what was going to happen at the end of tonight’s episode of “Chuck”. But years ago, God put in some boy or girl’s heart the desire to be a doctor when they grew up. He already knew how they would do in school, what college major they would decide on, how they would score on the MCAT, what area of specialization they would be drawn to, what hospitals would offer them a position, which offer they would choose, whether they would thrive in an Emergency Room setting, what shift rotation they would be assigned, whether that shift included Monday nights, and even the fact that they wouldn’t be on break when my wife & daughter showed up tonight.
To chalk all of that up to mere coincidence would be frightening.
To attribute it to an all-knowing God that not only created our entire universe with just His words, but also cares enough to know how many hairs are on the head of a particular little girl in the ER (even the ones that are out of place right now due to some epic Bed-Head), THAT is unbelievably comforting.
Comforting enough to inspire thankfulness in a moment normally reserved for worry.