A few months ago, my daddy almost died suddenly when he was involved in a hit and run while on his motorcycle. The days and weeks that followed his accident left me confused, angry, and sad. It did not take long before I realized I could not endure long days in an ICU room alone and an endless supply of bad news while my dad was in a coma alone. I talked to God often during this time, and I fell to my knees broken more than once a day to tell God just how WEAK my daddy and I were. Both my dad and I needed power and strength that we did not have.
It was as I sat in that quiet, lonely ICU room that I started thinking, “How long does faith stay strong while suffering through hopeless trials? How long would MY faith stay strong?” A few days, a couple of weeks, several months, years, more than a decade? If I am honest with myself, my faith started to shake shortly after the news of my dad. The news just seemed extremely overwhelming and honestly just too much to bare. The fears of my youngest kids never remembering their Pepaw, the possibility that I may have spoken to my dad for the last time, words I should have said, things I should have thanked him for all flooded my mind at once. As I recently walked through those days of helplessly watching my dad suffer and striving to patiently wait for God’s timing and purpose, I discovered that my faith only became stronger but NOT in my power.
Still, day after day it was more bad news. Five broken ribs, a collapsed lung, ruptured spleen, two cracked vertebrae, broken shoulder, multiple burn wounds from road rash, and a dangerous infection that kept growing in his abdomen. Doctors kept cutting out the infection, but it kept coming back. Soon, it had attacked the stomach lining, and my mom and I had several doctors talk to us and tell us that if it grew any more it would attack internal organs. Once an infection is in the organs, there is nothing they can do. On top of all of this, my dad had endured around 12 surgeries in a two-week period at this point, was ‘septic’, and was growing weaker and weaker by the minute. His heart rate was ever so slow; he was on a ventilator and pale as could be. I knew he needed rest between surgeries to recover, and I prayed that God would grant him rest.
Isn’t it crazy how God speaks right into our situations when we are desperate and broken? Recently, I was studying in Matthew when a passage JUMPED out at me. Matthew 9:20-22 tells us,
“Just then, a woman who had suffered from bleeding for 12 years approached from behind and touched the tassel on His robe, for she said to herself, “If I can just TOUCH His robe, I will be made well!” But Jesus turned and SAW her. “Have courage, daughter,” He said. “Your faith has made you well.” And the woman was made well from that moment.”
Just like in my daddy’s situation, this STRONG woman of faith had suffered under the care of countless doctors who saw her as hopeless. She had spent all she had financially and continued to grow worse (Mark 5:26), BUT she had GREAT FAITH! Despite all of the bad news, this woman held to her belief that Jesus could heal her even after 12 years of suffering with bleeding. From the world’s point of view, her case was hopeless! She was quickly fading, and there was nothing anyone could do about it. BUT.. GOD! Only mentioned a few times in scripture, this woman’s name is not told. What is told is her faith! For her faith in Jesus is what defines her. She knew that if she could just touch Jesus’s robe from BEHIND that she would be healed! She believed in His power. But wait, look at verse 22! Jesus turned and SAW her! He saw her heart and KNEW the great faith that she had. Knowing all she had been through, He then speaks right through to her heart, “Have courage, daughter.” With these words, Jesus encourages His daughter!! Her faith made her well, but her faith also gave her an eternity to spend with Jesus. Jesus knew He would see her again and calls her daughter. Gosh, I love that.
Ok, back to my daddy:
In spite of how desperately my dad needed rest that day, that night they decided to do yet another emergency surgery. In my heart, I knew this was the defining moment. All of the doctors thought so and had “prepared” my mom and me. I remember this day like it was yesterday. I remember the awkward silence and the sorrowful faces as the medical team spoke with us. I prayed all the way back to the hospital and I called out to God louder than I had before. I screamed, cried, banged on the steering wheel (bonus points, right?), and begged God for my Dad’s life. I KNEW God could do this despite what the doctors said. SOO many amazing Godly men and women were praying for him. (THANK YOU!!!)
And just then, God reassured me that when I am weak, my God is STRONG! For it is HIS power that is made perfect in my weakness.
And, you will never believe what happened next… His power was made perfect just like the Bible promises! I know this sounds crazy, but the more I fell broken before the Lord throughout this time, the more He reassured me of HIS power and timing. He continued to strengthen me! I felt it. That night, before surgery, my cousin and I prayed for my dad in the hospital chapel. We called out to God, we cried, and we prayed. We knew God was in control. And, do you know what happened?!
God healed my Daddy THAT day!
Sure, it took a few weeks to really be able to tell. But GOD!! HE supplied my daddy with the strength to get through the surgery, AND HE stopped the infection THAT day!! Following that surgery, my dad was able to heal without a constant stream of surgeries to cut out infection! God healed my Dad!! Just like God SAW and healed the woman in Matthew 9 and called her “daughter”. God SAW my dad when all of the doctors labeled him “hopeless”. He gave him strength when he was “too weak to endure surgery,” and called him “SON”.
Our God is alive, and He is MIGHTY! Praise Him from whom ALL blessings flow!
God, thank you that you are ever so faithful! You love us way more than we deserve and are so good to us. May we never forget ALL YOU have done for us. Give us the strength to cling to your perfect power when we are weak. Thank you for seeing us, even in the midst of trials, and calling us child. We love you. Amen.