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Saturday, March 2, 2013

Miracles Still Happen!

As a young child I entertained some incredulous ideas: chocolate milk comes from brown cows; crippled people are contagious; swallowing a watermelon seed will grow a watermelon in my tummy. Children believe the unbelievable!

That’s why I enjoy teaching kids’ Sunday school. They enthusiastically believe Jesus’ supernatural works:  feeding 5,000 folks with two fish and five loaves; raising the dead to life; healing lepers; turning water into fine wine! Our faith increases as we marvel at Jesus’ unusual, illogical, extraordinary works.

Several months ago my child-like faith was challenged, again, to reach beyond the printed pages of the Bible. My husband’s acute symptoms of a blocked primary artery invited lots of fearful “what ifs” which rumbled my faith.

My precious neighbor responded to my alarm. She settled on the couch next to me and prayed empowered, faith-filled prayers.  They helped me refocus on our Good Shepherd. He is John’s Shield, his Healer, and my Helper.

My trust was sometimes shaken when I’d awaken during the night and focus on John’s breathing. All my thoughts converged on his impending heart catheterization procedure and his nitroglycerin tablets. The doctor advised John to carry his meds at all times should he suffer severe heart pain, which is the harbinger of a heart attack, and need to pop a pill!

One night the Lord directed me to Psalm 44:3. “It was not by their sword that they won the land, nor did their arm bring them victory; it was your right hand, your arm, and the light of your face, for you loved them.”  I understood Him to say, the doctor’s wisdom and strategy will not bring John victory. Instead, it will be My strength and My favor. 

A week later, we entered Kansas City Veteran’s hospital, expecting John to receive either a stent or a bypass. A stent is a little metallic cage that pushes and holds open the blocked artery to restore normal blood flow. 

But, God’s plan differed. He was about to reveal His invisible, extraordinary, unusual, illogical work!       

Three hours after John’s heart cath, I was allowed in the recovery room. Dr. Lamb introduced himself and then shared a startling report. “John, you are an anomaly … “an abnormal, exception”. One of your arteries is completely blocked. We couldn’t even push a stent through it … The good news is the other arteries in your heart are strong and healthy and have developed collateral blood vessels. The collaterals bypassed the blocked artery and restored your blood flow. There’s absolutely no risk of a heart attack.” (John’s developing collaterals had caused tightness in his chest because they had difficulty supplying enough blood to his heart when he exercised.)

The day after John was released from the hospital, we walked a slow mile.  After one week, we were walking briskly again, two-three miles daily.

The quality of my child-like faith depends on how well I know my Good Shepherd and trust Him. God shows His goodness and loving-kindness in ways that exceed my expectations.  Jesus said, “The things which are impossible with men are possible with God” (Luke 18:27). John’s “supernatural bypass” has surely improved the quality and quantity of my faith!

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