"I give thanks to you, because you have answered me. You are my savior." Psalm 118:21 (GW)
As I glanced around the hospital waiting room, my thoughts drifted back to three days prior when my brother called from his attorney's office.
"Leah, I have to have surgery right away. My neurologist told me I have a brain tumor, and my surgeon has strongly advised I get my will and finances in order, just in case ..."
The MRI revealed an 8-cm mass silently sitting on top of my brother's brain stem. The possibility of things going wrong had been clearly communicated. The words "paralysis," "blindness" and "vegetative state" invaded our conversation that day.
So there we were - three days later and four long hours into surgery - with at least four more hours to go.
Internally I was a mess, but trying my best to get a grip and keep my emotions in check. As I looked around the waiting room, I noticed no one was crying. No tears. No sorrow.
Instead of seeing doubt and despair, I watched faith in action.
Family and friends praying together, speaking words of hope and encouragement. Sharing stories and reminiscing over all the things they loved about my brother.
In that moment, I realized it was not the time to crumble in fear. It was time to stand firm in faith. To pray like never before. To trust God was with us. To ask for a miracle. And, yes, even to be thankful. Thankful that:
God was sparing my brother's life.
God was providing an excellent neurologist and surgical team.
God was bringing family and friends together for support.
God was comforting us in the midst of a crisis.
As we waited together, we tried not to focus on the worst but to believe God for the best. Although we knew modern medicine had its limitations, we held to the truth that God has no limitations and is certainly able to do immeasurably more. And He certainly did ...
Doctors speculated my brother would be in ICU for at least two or three days. God intervened and he left the ICU a few hours after surgery.
Doctors speculated my brother would be in the hospital for two weeks. God intervened and my brother was released from the hospital just two days after surgery. Two days!
Doctors speculated my brother would need extensive physical therapy. God intervened and my brother hasn't needed any physical therapy.
God not only answered our prayers, but He exceeded our greatest expectations.
Doctors were blown away by my brother's recovery. Although they didn't use words like "miracles" or "the power of prayer," our family certainly did. Over and over again!
I can still remember the first words my brother spoke to me after surgery. Still hooked up to an IV with part of his head shaved and his body swollen, he slowly whispered, "Thank you, God."
Although physically weak, my brother was spiritually strong and in his own way responded like today's key verse: "I give thanks to you, because you have answered me. You are my savior" (Psalm 118:21).
When our family celebrates Thanksgiving this year, we have even more to be thankful for: Our health. Each other. Miracles and answered prayers.
As Thanksgiving approaches, what are you thankful for? What story has God given you to share with others about His faithfulness in your life?
Don't be tempted to keep your miracle hidden. Instead, share your story over and over again, because God deserves the glory that will come from your testimony.
Heavenly Father, Thank You for answering my prayers and performing miracles in my life every day. Just the fact that I woke up this morning and can take a breath is a gift from You. Help me to never take my health and loved ones for granted. Help me to always stand in faith and keep my focus on You when unexpected circumstances arise. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Psalm 9:1b, "I will give thanks to you, LORD, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds." (NIV)
1 Chronicles 16:34, "Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever." (NIV)
If you want to learn to pray more faithfully and fervently in the midst of uncertain circumstances, you'll want to get a copy of Max Lucado's book, Before Amen: The Power of a Simple Prayer
Join Leah DiPascal
on her blog today as she shares 5 Ways To Pray For Healing
REFLECT AND RESPOND:
Are you or someone you love dealing with a health crisis or ongoing health problems? Although you may feel physically weak right now, ask God to strengthen and show you how to become spiritually stronger in Him today.
Write down all the ways your personal health story is revealing God's glory to others. As you pray in faith for healing, also thank God for the parts of your body that are working in perfect order.
© 2015 by Leah DiPascal. All rights reserved.