It was the worst business trip of my life.
It started with a small rash on my leg when I left Bozeman, MT. By the time I got off the plane in Sydney, Australia, I could not put on my shoes and was no longer able to walk (though I did discover that being in a wheelchair will get your through customs in record time!). When I reached my final destination in Melbourne, I found that the rash had completely covered my leg from the knees down and was starting to bleed in places. They took me to the emergency room and after a day of examinations and tests (and hearing concerned mutterings of “Rocky Mountain spotted fever”) they finally came to a diagnosis: Henoch-Schönlein purpura , a disease that usually occurs in children. My case was so severe that I believe a picture of my legs is in a medical journal somewhere in Australia.
And that was the just the beginning.
I was in Australia as part of a multi-million dollar project. My particular piece of the project was the conversion utility to move data from the old system into the new one. I had designed, written, tested, and documented the entire thing — it was my baby, and if it didn’t work, the project wouldn’t go. Sure enough, it didn’t work. I found myself working every day from 9 am until 2 to 4 am the following day trying to determine what was wrong. My two week trip turned into a three week and was threatening to be a four week trip. I was exhausted and stressed and about ready to break down. I figured I was in Australia, so it might just be time to take a walkabout and disappear into the Outback.
Before I did that, though, I turned to my Bible and stumbled upon Psalm 42:
Why are you depressed, O my soul?
Why are you upset?
Wait for God!
For I will again give thanks to my God,
for His saving intervention.
(Psalm 42:5 NET)
It was from these verses I penned the song “His Hand” and the words:
When the hands of darkness try to steal me away,
I’ll praise the power of the Almighty!
And when the seeds of doubt threaten to hide the day,
I will sing forth His Holy name!
God demonstrated His faithfulness to me by plucking me out of despair and giving me a renewed energy the following day. The problem did not immediately go away, but a couple days later I did uncover the problem: a network issue completely unrelated to my code. But more than that, I learned to trust and wait for God even when I cannot see the path ahead.