No matter how long you walk with Christ or how thoroughly you study prayer, there are times you need more than your own faith. You need the strength of other believers.
I had one of those dreaded weeks. I faced a fear-filled hospital test--for my husband. The procedure had its risks but the news it could bring was even more scary.
We didn't sleep well during the nights before the ordeal. Sometimes we found ourselves awake at 3 a.m. holding hands and talking. Rest eluded us.
The morning for the procedure arrived and I drove my husband to the hospital. I felt alone as I saw my strong husband flat on his back with very little covered up in one of those hideous hospital gowns. Reality dawned and I felt my resolve crumble. Lord, you are a very present help in time of trouble. Where are you, Lord?
My cell phone started ringing. Good friends--an elder from our church and his wife were in route to the hospital to sit with me. "We are driving through Starbuck's on the way. What would you like?"
My mother-in-law called next. My husband's father left early that morning and drove five hours through a downpour. He was only minutes from the hospital.
The pre-op cubicle started filling up. A little Polish nun showed up and asked if we wanted to pray. There we gathered: a scared wife, my husband flat on his back, an elder from our church and a sweet Polish angel talking to the God of the universe.
My father-in-law arrived just as my husband was being wheeled into the surgical suite. They grabbed hands and both swallowed hard. No matter how old you are, there is no one like your dad at a time like this.
I moved to the waiting room with my Starbuck's skinny vanilla latte. God answered my prayer and showed up. My father-in-law sat on one side of me and my good friends on the other. Texted prayers buzzed my cell phone. I was not alone.
The surgical waiting room phone rang 45 minutes later, right on schedule. The nurse reported the good news that all was well.
I thought of Luke 5 and the story of the paralyzed man who needed to reach Jesus.
Some men came carrying a paralyzed man on a sleeping mat. They tried to push through the crowd to Jesus, but they couldn't reach him. So they went up to the roof, took off some tiles, and lowered the sick man down into the crowd, still on his mat, right in front of Jesus.
My husband and I were like the paralyzed man that morning. We felt overwhelmed by what we faced. Our friends and family showed up and carried us to the feet of Jesus.
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