Those were the words my dear friend used to describe how I felt. She called to see how I was feeling after visiting a series of doctors to no avail. Within one week 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 experienced over the course of a one-year span.
During my second pregnancy, about two weeks prior to my scheduled C-section, my family and I decided to visit the local mall. We casually walked from store to store on what was supposed to be a normal Saturday. But, things took a turn for the worse when my husband’s tongue all of sudden became heavy and his speech became slurred. We rushed to our car; I got behind the wheel with my big belly and drove us straight to the hospital. After a two-day hospital stay, the doctors prescribed my husband medication and sent him 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, faced 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, underwent special medical exams, and had several follow-up appointments.
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 – requiring 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. Our finances experienced one major hit after another.
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 no explanation.
I know there are 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 felt Punch Drunk.
My friend described it best.
According to the urban dictionary, the boxing term is used when a boxer receives so many hits from 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. 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?
Things just didn’t make sense. Confusion and uncertainty permeated our hearts.
I mean, we maintain ourselves pretty healthy.
We give tithes and offerings unto the Lord as the Bible instructs. I can honestly say giving has 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?
Searching for answers, 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, for whatever reason, God allowed Satan to attack Job—Satan threw a few punches so to speak.
One day four messengers visited Job, all bearing bad news—and I mean like really, really, bad news. Devastation came upon his family, his livestock, 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 Job lived an upright life, even Job began to question if he had done anything wrong (Job 7:20). Confusion and uncertainty set in.
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 entitled, “When God Doesn’t Make Sense.” 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 upon the cross he cried out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46). No answer resounded 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 his circumstances but never did he denounce God or his belief in Him.
And, at the end of a horrible season, the bible states, “…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 (J). Upon paying the 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 first 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