Half a foot doesn't seem like very much, does it? Normally when you consider six inches, you think, "What's the big deal?" But half a foot doesn't always mean just six inches, sometimes it means much more.

Several days ago, our little 4 year old great niece was involved in an accident with a riding lawn mower. She ended up underneath it and was severely injured. Her right leg was severed and she was mutilated up to the hip. The loss of blood was tremendous, but the EMTs stopped the blood loss and they used Care Flight to get her to a hospital.

We sat with her family during the seven hours of surgery and wondered with great apprehension what the surgical staff would say whenever they came through the door. We knew the injury was serious and very much life threatening. All of the terrible possibilities went through each of our minds as we waited.

After those long seven hours, the doctor came out and told us they had not only saved her life, but they had also reassembled and reattached the badly shredded leg — every bone had been broken repeatedly. Despite all their work, he said that she was missing about half of her foot. They just couldn't put that back together again.

At that time, half a foot really did not seem like too big of a thing. Her life was saved. Tears of joy were shed. If they can control the infection she will have her leg and part of her foot. Under the circumstances, we were rejoicing at the skill of the doctors and the mercy of God.

Of course, we would rather not have had this horrible accident happen at all! We know that the road to recovery is going to be long and hard for this small child and her family. We know that the loss of that half of her foot will be a difficult adjustment and a life-long reminder of that terrible night. It does, however, put new perspective on the verse, "Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!" (Philippians 4:4) When the long night's wait in the hospital started, no one felt they had anything about which to rejoice. Afterwards, we were all rejoicing about "just a half a foot."

What is your half a foot?
In what has God unexpectedly blessed you in the middle of crisis?
What tragedy did God turn into an unexpected joy?

We would rather not have had this horrible accident happen at all!
My prayer is that our young great niece recover fully and regain use of her leg. My prayer is for her family to recover as well. I also have another prayer. I pray that you may find many reasons to rejoice in God's presence and His unexpected blessings in your life, especially during difficult times and times of crisis.

But as for me, I will sing about your power. I will shout with joy each morning because of your unfailing love. For you have been my refuge, a place of safety in the day of distress. (Psalm 59:16)