Michelle “Micki” Glenn was a 41-year-old radiologist from Florida. She and her husband, Mike – an orthopedic doctor, took a scuba diving trip to the Caribbean. They were part of a group planning to photograph sharks off the coast of the tiny island of French Cay.
While snorkeling, Micki was attacked by a large shark. The shark seized her under the right armpit. It bit off a large chunk of flesh from her back, armpit, and right arm. Unfortunately, the shark also severed an artery. Before Micki realized it, she was engulfed in a sea of blood. Other members of the party assisted her back into the boat. One glance at the horrific wound convinced her husband that Micki would not make it. They were seven and a half hours from the hospital in Miami. He knew that Micki would not survive more than a minute.
Here’s where the story turns miraculous. Among the party were Randy Samberson, a vascular surgeon, and Libba Shaw, a nurse in an intensive care unit. Both of them had brought along their medical equipment, just in case someone needed medical attention. Randy specialized in fixing the very thing that would have killed Micki – severed blood vessels. Randy, Libba, and Mike were able to clamp off or repair all of the severed arteries and stop the bleeding. Micki would endure many surgeries and a long, painful recovery. But she would live.
What were the chances of having a vascular surgeon and an intensive care nurse so close at hand – out in the middle of the ocean? Very slim, I suspect. But God, foreseeing a coming calamity, arranged for the right people to be present to help.
Of course, someone might argue, “God would have done better to prevent the shark attack altogether.” And what parent doesn’t do that very thing – try to shield their child from all injury and harm. But children have to grow out of their fearlessness. They must learn about the dangers that surround them. It’s essential to their own survival.
Adults must come to grips with their own vulnerability and mortality if they are to survive and grow in their awareness of God. Otherwise, they will ignore the God who constantly watches over them. They will become lost in the illusion of their own invincibility. So, it’s essential that God allows injury, sickness, and pain to afflict us. Those things awaken us to our need for Him.
But when God allows the calamity to come, He also ensures that help is nearby. I’ve come across many stories like Micki’s – stories of amazing coincidences, where doctors and medical personnel have been close at hand during a crisis. All of us can attest to those times when we were broken in spirit. When God sent someone to come along to comfort and encourage us.
And here is the main issue. It’s very likely that God has sent you to a place which is not of your choosing. You’ve ended up with an undesirable assignment. You’ve gotten stuck with the second, third, or fourth-best job, rather than the one you hoped for. Maybe you’re in a position which will do little to enhance your career. Butremember, you may be there for someone else’s benefit.
You may be the help which God is sending to a person who’ll be in desperate need of a friend and spiritual guide. God has placed you in that situation ahead of time, to be close at hand to the person in crisis.
Acts chapter 27 contains the story of a shipwreck. A disaster that should have claimed all 276 of its passengers and crew. But by some strange coincidence one of those 276 men was an apostle. He was the apostle Paul. He was not on board for his own good, but for the good of the 275.
And through all the journey Paul sought to be a help. Since he had suffered shipwreck himself many times, he offered his advice to the captain and centurion as the winter weather approached. They rejected his advice. But instead of sulking over it, Paul prayed earnestly for the safety and salvation of everyone aboard. And finally his opportunity to help came. After the storm had battered them for two straight weeks, the passengers and crew abandoned all hope of survival. It was then that Paul stood up to encourage and inspire his fellow passengers and to tell them of God’s love. Every man aboard that doomed ship survived – because God sent an apostle to be with them in a crisis.
You may be that apostle, that vascular surgeon, or that encourager. He has send you for the sake of others. Do not fail in God’s mission for you.
Dear Father in heaven, help me to realize that I am in my present situation to be a blessing, rather than to be exclusively blessed. I am here on Your mission, rather than my own. Please empower me, O God, and make me equal to the task with which You’ve honored me. Amen.
Information from: http://sharkattacksurvivors.com/2014/shark-attack-survivor-michelle-micki-glenn.html