Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: JAM (02/09/17)
TITLE: The Accent Incident
By Stanley McMahon
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I was just returning home on what I remember was a fresh Spring morning. The sun was shining and all was good. As usual, my mind was elsewhere. As I picked up the various bits and pieces from the passenger seat, I was already thinking about what I was going to be doing next.
I closed the door and locked it, I failed to notice the fact that as I was walking away, the rest of my body would not collaborate. There was an awful, slow-motion second between me seeing what had happened and the message arriving at my brain. I had closed the door on my fingers.
I immediately refocused. I had to drop what I was holding and in the process, dropped the keys. The keys had not fallen far from me. Fortunately, I was able to bend down, pick them up and fit them into the lock. This is an operation that requires some dexterity and concentration when your fingers are jammed in a door. I somehow managed to open the door and dared to look at the damage. My fingers were intact, but still experiencing an incredible amount of pain.
I grabbed the items off the ground and bundled myself into the house. The door was open. Phew! I dropped everything and ran up to my wife, holding my hand and yelling in pain. Alarmed, she asked me what had happened and I blurted out the reason for my outburst.
My head started to spin and she said, ‘Don’t faint!’ I galvanised myself and focused on not fainting. I sat down, my fingers throbbing. I stopped panicking and decided no lasting damage had been done. The pain subsided and I ran them under water.
That’s a bit like life. When we are sometimes least expecting it, we can be subjected to extremely painful moments. These can be attributed to accidents, failing health, the sudden death of a loved one, loss of financial security, a broken relationship and so on. Major life events can be all-consuming, just like my fingers were at that time. They can leave us panicked and fearful and scrambling to create a plan to deal with the consequences.
In the Bible, Job’s story begins with a catalogue of personal disasters, one coming on the heels of the other. He loses his property, his livestock and even his children. He is eventually subjected to horrendously painful, physical suffering, and then he has four less than cheerful friends, heaping condemnation upon his misery. Yet at the end of the book, He is lifted up and restored by his Redeemer. His plan was simple. No matter what happened, he would trust in his God. His faith was rewarded because his God was faithful.
Our sufferings may be as fleeting as my jammed fingers, or as devastating as Job’s calamities. What matters is not the severity or longevity of our tragedies, but our reaction to the One who holds us throughout. ‘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. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Saviour.’ (Isaiah 43:1-3)
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