If you have read my blog long enough, you’ve read at least one blog from my favorite blogger – my wife – Natalie Nieves. She’s an incredible writer. I always enjoy her honesty, transparency and fresh take on God’s purposes. So enjoy.
Those were the words my dear friend used to describe how I felt. She had called to see how I was doing after visiting a series of doctors to no avail. Within a one-week span I had experienced sudden swelling, bad bruising, and numbness in the center of my middle finger. After going to the ER, visiting my primary doctor, and seeing four specialists in different fields, no one could explain what was wrong.
This, unfortunately, was just one of the many “punches” our family had experienced over the course of a one-year span.
During my second pregnancy, about two weeks before my scheduled C-section, me and my family were walking through the mall on a regular, casual Saturday, when my husband’s tongue all of sudden became heavy and his speech became slurred. I got behind the wheel with my big belly and rushed us straight to the hospital. After a two-day hospital stay, my husband was placed on medication and sent home.
Two weeks after our mall incident, I gave birth to our second son, Silas, who was just perfect. But, I, on the other hand, had some complications. I had developed a lot of scar tissue from my first C-section, which had to be removed. The removal lasted more than anticipated and I lost more blood than was planned. I was left with stitching on multiple organs, and so weak that I had to be placed on bed rest for three consecutive weeks.
Four days after his birth, our newborn son accidentally fell out of his baby carrier and had to be taken to the hospital for observation.
In the weeks and months to follow, my husband had two more visits to the ER, several follow up appointments with specialists, special lab work and medical exams done.
In the midst of all that, we were in the early stages of a six-month long fight with our health insurance carrier, which denied my husband’s hospital stay and was going to require us to pay 100% for the expense.
My husband’s health improved and the issues with our health insurance carrier were resolved, but then the medical bills started rolling in. It was just one major hit after another on our finances.
During a season where we thought we were going to be saving monies to purchase property of our own, we were spending thousands of dollars on medical bills.
And now, my finger was swelling.
Hundreds of dollars spent on co-pays and exams, and still there was no explanation.
I know there are many other worst things we could have been facing. And, our situations were nothing in comparison to what others face day in and day out. But, we just felt so struck down, squeezed, and stretched.
We were Punch Drunk.
My friend had described it best.
According to the urban dictionary, the boxing term is used when a boxer is hit so many times by his opponent that “his disorientation is described as and similar to being drunk.”1
There’s no breathing room. It’s one hit after another. And, there’s no opportunity for a response or a counter punch.
You’re “punch drunk.” You’re under some type of influence. It’s like you cannot focus. You cannot think soberly. You cannot see clearly. And, you begin to question.
We definitely began to question.
Does God really see? Is God really going to come through? Did I commit some kind of sin that has blocked my access to God?
We were so confused and uncertain about what God was doing. Things just didn’t make sense.
I mean, we maintain ourselves pretty healthy.
We give tithes and offerings unto the Lord the way the Bible instructs. I can honestly say that’s never been a struggle for us.
We love God with all our hearts and we seek to put Him first in our lives.
So then, why were all these things happening? Why all the punches?
During that season, I decided to take a closer look at the life of Job, who the Bible says was “…blameless and upright; he feared God and shunned evil” (Job 1:1). But, the bible states that for whatever reason, God allowed Satan to attack Job—Satan threw a few punches so to speak.
One day Job is visited by four messengers all bearing bad news—and I mean like really, really, bad news. Devastation came upon his family, his livestock, what he had worked so hard for, and even upon his own body.
The bible says, “While he (the messenger) was still speaking, another messenger came…” (Job 1:17).
Job didn’t even have a chance. Bad news came one hit after another.
Though the bible states that Job lived an upright life, even Job began to question if he had done anything wrong (Job 7:20). He was punch drunk. He was confused. He was uncertain of what was taking place.
So much so, that Job felt like his hope had been uprooted like a tree (Job 19:10). He felt like he cried out to God, but God was not answering (Job 30:20).
What do we do when we’re Punch Drunk?
What do you do when you pray and it feels like no answer or reprieve is on the way?
Trust in the One who holds you in the palm of His hands.
Trust in the One who fights for you when you have no more fight left.
Trust in the One who works all things out for the good.
I recently heard a sermon by Pastor Craig Groeschel of Life Church called, “When God Doesn’t Make Sense.” During the sermon, Pastor Craig encouraged listeners to trust in God’s purpose even when life doesn’t make sense. He shared, “We don’t have to understand or like the plan to trust in God’s purpose.”
Pastor Craig described a moment when even Jesus’ prayer was answered by silence—when he was on the cross and cried out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46). There was no answer from heaven while Jesus hung on the cross and died. As Pastor Craig shared, “Just because God is silent doesn’t mean that God is absent. He’s still good. He’s still doing something.”2
In Job’s case, he questioned what he was going through, but never did he denounce God or his belief in Him.
And, at the end of a very horrible season, the bible states that, “…the Lord restored his fortunes and gave him twice as much as he had before” (Job 42:10). “The Lord blessed the latter part of Job’s life more than the former part” (Job 42:12).
In our case, my husband and I sent our final payment for all those hospital bills last month. I guess you can say we ended the year with a bang (:)). At the payment of that final bill, it felt like the word DONE was spoken over our season of punches. It’s finished. It’s over.
At the start of this New Year, I felt the Lord impress this verse on my heart:
“See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland” (Isaiah 43:19).
We’re believing God for that NEW thing this year. And, we’ve already begun to see His provision in just the few weeks of this New Year.
We’re believing that God is going to restore and bless like never before—not because we deserve it, but simply because we are His children.
And, as for a place of our own? When God does it, I’ll be sure to share the news! 🙂
- “Punch Drunk.” http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=punch+drunk
- When God Doesn’t Make Sense. http://www.life.church/watch/when-god-doesnt-make-sense/
A quick update, we are on the verge of putting a bid down for a new home. So keep us in prayer. Would love to hear your thoughts.