This happened three years ago, but I don’t think I’ve shared it here. So here goes.
I was visiting with friends in Arkansas. One of our friends, a doctor, was hosting a table at a community resources exhibition. Another friend and I were planning to help her out at the table that day. However, I woke up feeling horrible. I wasn’t sure why. It was August and the heat was sweltering. I had a slight headache, but by the time we arrived at the exhibition center, the pain had intensified. We went inside just long enough to see our doctor friend, and by then I told my friends I had to go home. My head was throbbing and I was starting to feel nauseous and dizzy.
We got back into the car and started the long drive home. I was just trying to maintain myself and couldn’t wait to get out of the rumbling car. My friend asked if we could make a quick stop at the McDonald’s drive-thru to get a dollar burger for her dog at home. Feeling half unconscious, I just grunted that this would be fine.
As we got in line at the drive-thru, my thoughts turned to a time when I was very sick as a child. This didn’t feel all that different. That childhood illness was heat stroke, and I wondered if this might be the same. One thing that had helped so much during that childhood heat stroke was that my mother gave me a coke to drink. I wasn’t raised drinking soda; my mom was very much against it. However, there were some medical circumstances when she thought a coke would be helpful.
My friend had placed her order and paid, and as the car crept forward to the pick-up window, I thought, Wouldn’t a coke be nice right now? It was too late to order, plus I had no money. So I turned to prayer instead. God, You’re my Healer. I need Your help right now. I’m not feeling so good. Please help me. You’re the One who can refresh me.
We got to the pick-up window and my friend reached out to take the hamburger bag. The woman working at the window said, “Hey, would either of you like a large coke?” She reached toward the counter and picked up a huge cup. “I just filled this but we didn’t need it. You can have it. It’s free.”
With tears in my eyes, I rolled my aching head toward the window and nodded. “That’s from God,” I told my friend and the woman at the window. I reached for the coke and then started to drink, sobbing between sips. Then I leaned back in the seat, into the arms of my heavenly Father, and said, “Thank You, Abba.”
The whole way home, I was crying, sipping coke, and praising God. By the time we got to the house, I went in to lie down, already feeling that I had turned a corner, and was on my way to recovery. By dinnertime that night, I was fine.
I still have the empty coke cup. I feel that God reached down from heaven and put it in my hand.