Last night I watched an old episode of House in which Dr. Cuddy had to negotiate a deal with an insurance company. She asked for a 12% increase in the amount the company paid.
Throughout the episode, several things went horribly wrong. An employee was caught stealing meds. She was late for the insurance meeting. Her baby was sick and she couldn’t reach the sitter. The day was a disaster. And on top of that, the insurance company refused her offer. Several times.
Dr. Cuddy made several bold moves, with the intention of trying to get the insurance company to agree to her offer. They flat out refused. She interrupted an insurance rep’s lunch to offer an ultimatum which earned her an increase.
But it wasn’t enough.
She told them her hospital wasn’t going to accept their insurance anymore, effective at 3:00 pm.
And the whole hospital was in chaos over it.
For the next two hours, Dr. Cuddy put out fires related to the stealing employee and the insurance company and she was so discouraged by 4:45 that she told people she was going to turn in her letter of resignation.
She turned around….
And ran into the insurance company rep who handed her an envelope and said “congratulations. You got your 12%.”
Sometimes our miracles come when we are at the end of our rope and well past the deadline. Sometimes we have to get to the end of all of our options and then wait a little while longer before that one last detail falls into place.
Don’t give up. Yet. Because sometimes, it takes just a little bit longer than we have. Sometimes, when it feels like it’s a lost cause, that is when Jesus can step forward and move the last piece into place.
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.
It’s the waiting.
The waiting is what hurts our hearts.
We do our part.
We give it everything we have.
And then we wait.
We wait while discouragement settles in and becomes a faithful companion. We wait while every last option floats away and we are left clinging to hope for something that could have been.
And after hope is gone, we wait those two hours that sometimes stretches into two decades and we struggle with discouragement and fear and wondering what our next option will be — and if there will be any next option.
And if hospital dramas are any indication, at that last possible second…. just as we’re about to slam the door on our dreams, something changes. Our vision becomes clear. And we finally find victory.
Don’t get discouraged during the two hour window after all hope is gone. That is where Jesus is. That is where grace lingers and where hope dwells just around the corner.
I was given a thorn in my flesh,
a messenger of Satan, to torment me.
Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me.
But he said to me,
“My grace is sufficient for you,
for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses,
so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
II Corinthians 12:7-9
Give glory and honor to Jesus, even in the two-hour window of hopelessness. Because His grace is enough. His power is unending. And your victory is near.