By Nick Haner - Ends Cycling Crew
There I was laying on the ground, and all I could think was, “That really hurt.” There was no quick jumping to my feet. No immediate bounce back. Not this time. This was one of those crashes where you lay there for a moment, and then even when you get up you know you hurt something pretty good.
As my teammates picked up my bike, my sunglasses that had come flying off my face, and gathered around me to see if I was okay, it was evident that I had hurt my shoulder. The dents in my helmet also confirmed what I knew when I hit the ground: I had hit my head really hard.
Riding in the SAG vehicle for the last seven miles of the day, my shoulder became tighter and more painful. When we arrived at our destination for the night, the wonderful nurse that volunteered to come with us for this bike ride and short term project in Belize cleaned and patched up my road rash. After she looked over my shoulder it was decided that since the closest x-ray machine was 50 miles away - and little could really be done until I got home - the best plan was to put my arm in a sling and take ibuprofen to deal with the pain.
The next question was, “Are you still going to preach tonight?”
The Belize Short Term Project and Bike Ride had actually started about 24 hours before I landed in Belize. My effort to arrive on time had been thwarted by icy weather in upstate New York, and, before I had even boarded my first plane, I had already been told that I wouldn't be making it to Belize until the next day. So, instead of being with the group on the first night of the trip, I found myself alone in a hotel room in Washington, D.C. As it turns out, that was exactly what I needed.
During that night alone I spent some much needed time preparing that very message I was now being asked if I still wanted to share. During that night the message went from a vague idea to one with a crystal clear point. A point that the Lord was making to me that very night as He convicted me of my own attitude during that 24 hour delay.
So there was no doubt in my mind that I was going to share that message.
“Don't give up on God, because He hasn't given up on you.” This is what I told our group that night with
my left arm in a sling, road rash in multiple places, and several large bruises starting to form. No matter what our life circumstances may be at the moment, we can be sure that God hasn't given up on us. If God hasn't given up on us, who are we to give up on Him? We are called to love Him with all our heart, soul, and strength. No matter what. And we can know that no matter what, He is working all things together to our good because we love Him. The message seemed entirely appropriate since this trip that I had been so excited about had not only been delayed (for me) by a whole day, but now I wasn't even going to be able to ride the rest of it or do the things that I had planned on during the "rest" day. Yet, I knew that I couldn't give up on God and what He was doing, because I knew He hadn't given up on me and my purpose for being there.
After coming home I finally got x-rays taken and discovered that I had actually broken my collarbone and have since had surgery to repair it. I've also been dealing with multiple concussion symptoms and have been going through physical therapy for both injuries. Yet, I will still tell you that I'm glad I went to Belize. I got to meet and spend time with the great people that joined us on this project. I was able to hear the stories of some amazing men that are a part of Freedom House (the ministry we were riding for in Belize) and I was able to worship with those men and see them be blessed by the funds the tour had raised for their ministry.
There have been days when I have struggled with the “Why?” of what happened, and I'm sure there will be more. However, I believe that night in D.C. was used by the Lord to prepare me for all of this. I'm doing my best to love the Lord with all my heart, soul, and strength because I know He hasn't given up on me.
He hasn't given up on you either.