All the Time

Here is our little Maggie, just over seven months old.

God is at work, all the time. I’ve been thinking about this concept a lot in the last few years, I mention it in my writing and preaching, and more and more it rings true. God is at work, all the time.

The freeing of Egypt from slavery began when the baby Moses was pulled out of the water, but nothing would show for 80 years. The salvation of the world entered history in a stable far from home, but most of the world didn’t notice. A friend of mine told me a story of walking in the woods, and she and her companion came across a perfectly formed cross from two fallen branches. They marveled, and her friend wondered what else they might have missed because they didn’t have eyes to see. God is at work, and most of the time we don’t know it.

This past Sunday, the day after Christmas, marked 48 years since I had heart surgery, a pericardiectomy to remove part of the lining around my heart. I was 18, and had caught a viral infection somehow during the previous summer. I would have been dead by Easter without intervention, I was told later.

I hemorrhaged after the surgery, and most of my blood had to be replaced. Blood wasn’t screened as much as now, and I turned yellow, called “temporary jaundice.” Twenty years later, I learned I had Hepatitis C, which had just been realized. The only treatment was interferon, which had a 25 percent chance of success and would give me flu-like symptoms for several months. Since I felt fine, I declined, year after year as I kept checking my liver enzyme levels. God is at work, all the time.

Nearly 20 years after the diagnosis, new treatments became available, and they had a better than 90 percent success rate. Because I had not participated in the interferon regimen, I qualified…and after a few months I had “no indication of the virus.”

Additionally, I stopped all alcohol intake in 1988 — my sobriety date is February 17 — long before I learned of the hepatitis. This may have saved my life. I don’t know. But I know God is at work, all the time.

I have this picture of our little Maggie because she and her brother Winston ran out the door I opened yesterday and went on an adventure. Frantically we chased them, and many in our neighborhood participated, and I saw them again, on the other side of a busy street. They don’t know about cars and roadways and they ran out in the street as a truck with a trailer pulling lawn equipment was coming down Eagle Ave. I yelled and the driver didn’t see them. Winston cleared the truck and Maggie was lightly touched by a tire. She spun and screamed. She has a laceration requiring stitches but no broken or crushed bones. One second slower and she’d be dead. Three seconds slower and both pups would have died on the road.

Is that God protecting them? I don’t know. But as I kept thinking about it all day, reliving seeing Winston get clear and Maggie spinning after the truck passed by and hearing her scream, as I kept giving thanks she was alive and not seriously hurt…

for the first time I thought about how relieved my long dead parents must have been when their son pulled through that terrible surgery and the aftermath, and lived. My mother told me she promised God that she would dedicate me to His service if I lived, and here I am.

God is at work, all the time.

About Frank Richard Coats

Follower of Jesus, husband and family man, pastor, picker, writer, missioner with the Inspire Movement
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9 Responses to All the Time

  1. Margy says:

    Thank you for this beautiful testimony. Yes God is at work all the time. So glad your fur babies are okay. As they are gifts from our Father and teach us about unconditional love, I do believe God cares about them.

  2. Wanda Bess says:

    Wow !what an awesome testimony and an extraordinary moment of remembering the goodness of our God as we move into 2022. I have great expectation that the God we serve is “ at work making all thing new.”Forgetting the past and embracing the new. Thank God you had a praying mom and that she instilled in you the kind of faith that when your puppies screamed it reached heaven. I thank God for you and your sobriety.
    also thank you for my gift. I have already spent it! Lol

  3. Gwen Lee-Dukes says:

    Thank God for His grace and mercy towards all of our loved ones.

  4. JC Vastine says:

    Amen

  5. Tammy Heinrich says:

    Beautiful

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