I want to relate two true stories that speak volumes about my topic today. Most of us know that things happen for a reason – all events around us happen for a reason, one way or the other. For reasons that we, humans, sometimes cannot fathom and that the knowledge is only with God. But somehow, sometimes, the reason or reasons behind an event surfaces by itself, which then makes us feel how lucky we are and what a blessing that bad incident was.
It was in 1987 and I was at my study table in my room at the University dorm in Singapore. It was about 11 pm and I was feeling tired and sleepy but I didn’t want to sleep yet so I decided to finish up reading at my bed instead. So I took the thick book I was reading and a highlighter and proceeded towards my bed. I jumped onto my bouncy bed and was about to plunge my heavy body on the propped up pillow when the highlighter I was holding dropped out of my hand onto the floor. I cursed (luckily my room mate was out) and stood up to pick up the highlighter.
Once I got it, I sat on the bed again and turned around to fluff up my propped up pillow. To my surprise I saw a big needle jutting out of the pillow. I pulled it out carefully and placed it on the bedside table. Then I stopped to ponder for a while. I said to myself, ‘Wow! If the highlighter had not fallen, I would have plunged my body onto the pillow and the needle would have poked through my skin really hard. It might even go straight into the flesh and poke through any vital organs in my body. The thought made me shudder and suddenly I realized that the highlighter had saved me from an intense pain and a disaster (considering the worst scenario). Suddenly I felt ashamed for cursing when the highlighter fell. Who or what was I cursing? The highlighter? Myself? God? I felt guilty and then said sorry to God plus a word of thanks, for making the pen drop out of my hand and saving me.
The other story involved my husband. He went out of our apartment at about 9.00 pm and walked towards the elevator which was quite a distant away (our apartment was right at the end of the corridor. Seconds later, he called me on my mobile and asked me to search for a bunch of 2 small keys which he thought he had put in his pants pocket. While he was on hold on the phone, I searched our room for the keys. Suddenly the lights went out and the phone went dead. (Blackout is very, very common in Egypt, especially in the area I was staying then – at least once a day). I panicked, thinking that he was in the lift, as he would be trapped in it for the next 45 minutes to 1 hour (the normal daily blackout duration).
I told my 16-year old son to quickly run out and see if his father is really trapped in the lift. As my son was going out, my husband came in and asked me if I found the keys. I said no and I said to him, “Thank god, I thought you were in the lift.” We continued searching for the bunch of keys but couldn’t find it. Then he checked his pants pockets again but couldn’t find it. I asked if he checked his shirt pocket and he said he doesn’t put keys in his shirt pocket. But when he felt his shirt pocket, we heard the jingling sound of keys. He went on to say, “I never put keys in my shirt pocket”. He said he was cussing himself for forgetting the keys while in the lift and when he couldn’t find them he went out and called me. That was when the electricity went out.
Looking back, I said to him, “That’s really a miracle. If you had not unconsciously put the keys in your shirt pocket, you would have been trapped in the lift. He said,”Yah, you’re right,” and murmured words of thanks to God. He obviously felt guilty for swearing. Obviously, it is a test by God. God does things which we think is a disaster and something bad, but in actual fact there is a blessing to that incident.
Accidents, disasters, afflictions, adversities are all tests from God. We should not be overly furious over such things. Don’t curse God or anybody. Sometimes that’s what we do. When somebody in the family spilled that bottle of juice, or broke our favorite vase, damaged the expensive couch, or trampled the beautiful flowerbed, we tend to fly into rage. We shouldn’t. We will be adding salt to the wound. Wait a while and relax. There must be some wisdom to whatever happens. God foresees everything. Trust in Him. Say ‘Thank you God’ and all good things will come to pass.
Have a nice weekend.