Strictly Personal

Most blogs are personal. They express personal points of view and certain belief systems. Some blogs are diaries and usually specific to a situation or drama. This blog is no different with the exception that I have seldom done the diary-type of post until this one.

For several weeks my wife and I had been planning for her open heart surgery to have a mitral valve repaired. The emphasis for us was repair and not replace. It’s important to understand that my wife has never had a major illness, surgery, or hospital stay of any kind in her full and fairly long life. That fact has been a real blessing for us but now it’s becoming somewhat of a handicap. We have been dependent on books and the testimony of others to help us prepare, build a list of anticipated happenings, and talk about expected emotions. We tried to plan for assistance when needed and looked at ways to prepare our home for her extended recovery period.

One thing we did not necessarily consider – at least I did not necessarily consider, was the power and influence of love and prayer through this whole ordeal. There has only been one other situation in my life where I felt I was totally dependent on prayer as the intervention tool of choice. At that time, it just didn’t seem to pan out the way I had expected. There wasn’t anything prayer could do that waiting and watching wasn’t doing. Would this time be different?

Things indeed seemed different now. There were influences that seemed totally dependent on being bathed in prayer as a means of making a difference. Even though the situation was unknown to us and the potential anxiety quotient enormous, at least in our minds, we found great confidence and assurance in the prayer and support of our family and friends. We accepted the “positive thoughts” along with the “We’ll be praying for you.”  Our ability to rely on our support team of family and friends was significant in that we knew they were lifting their petitions to the father of all creation – the one who could, should he so choose, alter the course of events. We knew that if there was a need we could call any number of people and know that need would be taken care of.  That allowed us so much comfort and assurance.

We are not on the other side of this thing yet. The surgery went great. The valve was repaired and not replaced and my wife’s recovery is progressing nicely. We continue to be thankful for the support of everyone involved. The hospital staff was great, our past and present Bible Study classes have been so supportive and the cards and phone calls have definitely infused us with encouragement and love.

We have no doubt that prayer is, was, and will be instrumental in making this journey one that will help us both grow and understand further the power of God’s love. We have no doubt, without prayer, our situation would be much different. We are so grateful.

Now – you knew there was a “now” coming didn’t you? Over these past few days I’ve often pondered about those who have not seen such encouraging results as we have. Individuals or families who are bathed in prayer yet continue to struggle, go downhill, or face tremendous obstacles in the days ahead. Why is that?  We can talk about God’s will, divine purpose, sovereignty, and the like and that’s all well and good. But practically, for those people experiencing the journey, those terms are seldom comforting. Yet – and this is a big yet – God uses each person’s journey in ways I know nothing about. Often in ways they know nothing about. What might appear as a catastrophe to me is really a blessing in the eyes of other people.

I don’t see the heart, God does. He knows how to encourage and strengthen those who call on his name.  God knows that I often teeter perilously close to the brink. He knows my faith is not yet strong enough to handle what another might view as a “walk in the park.” I’m thankful for that. Consequently this has been a huge learning experience for me; a step on the linear line of faith that puts me one step closer to the goal and I’ll not forget it.  It’s not quite up there with an epiphany but it’s pretty darn close.

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