Christmas night, a bug hit my husband. We’d had a gazillion people in our house that day. We prayed no one else would get it, but a couple of days later my son, who had left our house to travel to a remote area, became ill. Much sicker than my husband had been. He was three hours away from us and miles from medical help. What if he became dehydrated? I could feel myself starting to hit the mom panic button, but then God brought a story from my own life to mind.
For many years, I participated in Lay Witness Missions. A coordinator would select a team from a group of volunteers across the southeast and we’d gather at a church for a weekend to share our faith through testimony. I participated in dozens of these across the years and saw God do amazing things. We’d stay in the homes of church folks, people we’d never met until that weekend.
My daughter was just a baby, but I’d agreed to participate in a large mission about two hours from home. I was still nursing, but I thought it was doable.
I provided music and sang on that Friday night as usual, but after I reached the home of my hostess Betty, I started feeling a little strange. In fact, really strange.
After we went to bed, a virus descended on me like a mortar shell. Over the next few hours, I lost so much fluid between nursing and the virus, by the wee hours of the morning, I only had strength to crawl to the bathroom. A short time after that, I didn’t have strength to even crawl. I knew I was dehydrated, but I was staying on the opposite end of a very large house from my hostess. No way to summon help before widespread cell phone use. I knew my baby could become dehydrated, too. I prayed she wouldn’t get it. And I prayed for help.
“Lord, please wake up Betty. Please let her know I’m sick.”
In a few moments, I heard a cat’s loud meowing and Betty asking of the cat, “What’s wrong with you?”
I had a glimpse of her as she let the feline out the back door. I whispered, “Betty, I’m so sick.”
She came in my room, and I told her what had happened. She said, “That cat has never gotten me up at night before. I guess God had her wake me up.”
Ice chips helped rehydrate me, and this woman I’d never met before became one of the best nurses I’d ever had. Team members came over to pray. By that evening at 7, I was back on the piano bench singing.
My team coordinator came to me and said, “As sick as you were this morning, you know it's a miracle you’re here tonight.”
I knew that, for sure.
So as I remembered this story and thought about my son’s situation, I knew whether we’re across the house or across the world, God knows and sees any distress we’re in. And as we face a new year, it’s good to know God is able to send help, even if sometimes, he has to use a cat as a messenger.
“In all their distress he too was distressed, and the angel of his presence saved them. In his love and mercy he redeemed them; he lifted them up and carried them all the days of old” (Isaiah 63:9).