Ok, God, I’m Listening

Prayer with a friend stopped short when I received a call from the school secretary saying, “Justin was in an accident during gym class.”

Racing for the soccer ball in a one-on-one game against time, my eleven-year old collided heads with another boy.

Arriving at the nurse’s office, my son lay flopped on her bench with an icepack to the back of his head, eyes glazed.

The doctor said he suffered a concussion.  A CT scan showed a fracture to his temporal bone, the part of his skull behind the ear.

My pastor’s words rang in my spirit, dangling with a question mark: “When we go through trials, we need to ask God what He wants to teach us.”

Ok, God, I’m listening…

I distilled my trial into two basic, albeit challenging, lessons on trust and thankfulness.

Justin’s injury caused hearing loss in his right ear.  It could have been worse; but what if his hearing didn’t return to normal?

I reminded myself:  Thankfulness is an act of obedience, an active by-product of trust.  Knowing God is in charge gives us a big bouquet of reasons to rejoice.

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28

After I trusted God in one area, he stretched my trust in another.

Two weeks after Justin’s accident, while I was away at a writer’s conference,  I woke up one morning unable to move my right arm!  It had been sore before conference, but now it screamed!

Ok, God, I’m listening…

Trust and thankfulness.

But. it’s. hard. to. trust. when. you’re. in. the. dark.

Everyone asked, “what’s wrong?”  Oh ~ if only I knew!

A year and a half earlier, I had mysteriously injured my rotary cuff.  I’ll never forget it because it happened the same week, “A Friend in the Storm” released.  Again I was miles away from home; and again it hit my right shoulder.  I’d been healed when someone prayed for me before.  Hadn’t I?  What was going on?  In the middle of a conference I looked forward to all year, I felt scared, helpless, confused.

Ok, God, I’m Listening…

Shining her usual heart of gold, my agent directed me to a doctor, a pain specialist, who just “happened” to be at the conference.

With my arm in a sling, everyone rallied around me.  My roommates even helped me get dressed!  Through every obstacle, God provided the help I needed.

In the midst of my disappointed, I marveled at how God brought good from evil.  I experienced the Body of Christ at its best.  And how nice of me to give people a chance to show love, right?

When I got home, the doctor informed me that I have calcium deposits in the tendons of my rotary cuff.  The story’s not over, but in the meantime, God gave me some pretty decent opportunities to talk to people at the Mayo Clinic about God.

Yes, trials strike at every turn; but the Lord uses each of them to sculpt us from head to toe (shoulder to arm), into the striking image of His Son.

“Abba, Father,” he cried, out, “everything is possible for you. Please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.” Mark 14:36

Heavenly Father, I thank you my shoulder is doing much better so I can share…

Thank you for friends who shoulder each other’s loads through love and prayer.  No one’s exempt from pain, but you’re faithful to strengthen us, provide for us, give us a myriad of reasons to rejoice.

No matter what happens, may trust and thankfulness grace our spirits today.  May we set up smooth stones of remembrance, celebrating with confidence, your loving expressions in our lives.  In Jesus’ name.

Now speak, sweet Savior.  Your servants are listening…

“And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect. So we will not be afraid on the day of judgment, but we can face him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world. Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear.” 1 John 4:17-18

I’d love to hear your thoughts and favorite Scriptures in the comment section.  Thanks!   Also, the coupon code for the buy one, get one FREE copy of “A Friend in the Storm” is now the word: thankful.  I’ll be drawing a name from your comments below so someone will also win a FREE gift book!  


  1. Thank you for sharing the trials you’ve walked through as you sought God and then let him lead you. I’m glad you were able to share your faith and talk about God’s power to those who were caring for you, too. Your friends prayed, you listened to God, and followed and trusted Him. It’s always uplifting to hear how God brought others through their storms. Cheryl, thanks for sharing how God used your life for His glory. And, I’m glad your son is doing well and your shoulder is better. I like Isaiah 43: 1-7. It gives me comfort.

    • Joan, I love Isaiah 43. “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
      and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you…. ”
      Great verse. Thanks!

  2. Cheryl, I’m so glad the doctor has pinpointed the problem with your shoulder. May you be healed totally and completely!


  3. “I have loved you with an everlasting love.” I am not sure where this is in the Bible, but it tells me there is nothing God can’t love me through. For a year I have earnestly tried to go back to work in clinical research and get off the disability from FMS/CFS. Lots of doors have been closed; but I know if He wants me to work full-time again, I have to trust and be thankful He will open the right door for the best job for me.

    Our hope in Him is eternal,
    Dr. Linda B. Greer

  4. Pauline Melvin Logan |

    Hello, Cheryl,
    Thank you for sharing your testimony of ways that God watched over you and your son during your recent physical challenges. I have had several “mild” concussions, and know first-hand that some head injury effects can linger. A concussion can cause changes in personality, such as sudden anger; fatigue; nausea; and cognitive changes. If your son suffers ongoing effects of the concussion, I recommend that you search for a brain injury support group in your area. The Brain Injury Association of America also has many helpful resources (www.biausa.org). I will lift your son up in prayer that God will restore him completely.

    Thanks for your article “Honoring the Writer’s Call.” You’re an inspiring and motivational writer!

  5. Their a lot of life’s questions we may have in our hearts about why things are the way they are why do horrible things happen to innocent people why are kids killed woman raped and all of these horrible acts but we must realize that God is just as mad or hurt by these things as you are actually 100 times more because he is our creator and because he is are creator it hurts him to see things happened! Then we may say isn’t God all powerful cant he stop and help people God helps people all of the time only if you knew how much god does for us he wakes us up everyday by his power and Grace so we have to remember that and as far as those horrible things that happen in our world we have to understand people have free will and with that these things are made possible. Should God strike every person down who sins? Because nobody is perfect! It is man who makes these decisions it was because of one man sin enter into the world. And because of sin it has created a wedge between God and man now the only way to get back to him is through Jesus Christ! Faith is the only thing that can save us! Faith and a life devoted to God gives you protection from those things. The key is asking God to help you. I have a friend that was involved in a horrible car accident car flipped a lot of times looking like sure death but she prayed and ask God to save them and she said she saw a huge white light and next thing you know they were ok u she Faith activated Gods power! All Im saying is we may not understand everything in this world but we must understand that its not for us to figure out just accept Jesus and live for God! Romans 10:9 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

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