A miracle-working God

Flipping through my journal, found this entry from July 20, '08. Mom was in chemo and had been diagnosed with small-cell lung cancer the month before. We didn't really know what would happen, and, frankly, the prognosis didn't look good. This is what I wrote:

Today, up in the choir loft while we were singing, I had my eyes closed, praying. Sandee was standing beside me. Suddenly I felt her hand pressing into my back and I heard her praying. I had to focus on blocking out what was going on around us, had to not worry how I looked and if anybody noticed and wondered what we were praying about. The truth is, I didn't know. Then she placed her other hand on my stomach and kept praying, crying...

Sandee told me later that God told her to touch my back — right there — and pray. She argued with Him but it was clear — DO IT. She thinks maybe it had to do with my mom. Mom goes in Tuesday for new scans and gets the results Thursday. Maybe God healed her — erased new growth, or progressed the amount of healing from the chemo, or something. Maybe He healed her; maybe He took care of some immediate pain or problem. I don't know. But how sweet of Him to use Sandee — and allow me to be a part of it — since I seem to be having such a hard time really praying right now.

I write this down tonight in the hope that I will someday look back at this and know this was a time of healing. Maybe complete, maybe partial. I don't care. I just want to see evidence of God in here, in this. I want to find hope and moments of rejoicing. I want to glory in the gracious, merciful healing powers of our Lord. I want my mommy to be OK.

A year later, I rejoice in Mom's continued health. God is so good. I'm so thankful that He urges me to write things down so I can look back later and know without a doubt what I was thining, what I prayed, and see the many miracles He brings into my life. They're there; we just don't always notice them.

Don't give up on the brink of a miracle

It never fails. I always pick the wrong line. I get behind the person whose item is missing a price sticker, or their debit card is declined, or the cashier needs a manager to ring in a coupon, or one of the eggs is broken and we have to wait for a stock boy to answer the page and get another carton. Or maybe it’s lunchtime and my cashier needs to count the drawer and cash out. The reasons are different every time, but the end result is the same: I wait there, fuming, as long as I can stand it, watching others fly by me out of the store, and finally I hop over to the other lane. Without fail, the moment after I do so, the problems are resolved. From that point on, the first line moves quickly and everyone sails smoothly through, while I stand at the back of the other line, which now has problems of its own. Then I kick myself for my lack of patience.

Sometimes I find myself giving up to soon in my spiritual life, too. A few months ago, we thought our house was going to sell. It had been on the market for almost two years, and we had an offer. I was sure God had answered my prayers. But then we went to our lowest number, and the buyer was at her highest number, and there was still a big gap in the middle. I was crushed. I couldn’t believe God hadn’t come through for me. I’d been faithful and patient. I’d trusted Him, and believed in His timing. I was devastated when I found out it wasn’t going to happen. I had believed so strongly that He had answered, that there was an end in sight, and then — nada. I was crushed, angry, and depressed.

Turns out, several days later, through a bunch of crazy circumstances, the house deal went through after all. I looked at circumstances and thought God had said no. He didn’t. It just didn’t happen the way I pictured it—in effect, I switched lines too soon. My impatience caused me to lose faith. I failed to remember that God’s ways are above our ways. He sees things we can’t even begin to imagine and achieves results we can’t fathom. So next time I’m about to cut my losses and jump on over to the next thing, I need to remember. No matter how impossible a situation seems, until God clearly tells us no, we need to keep the faith. We need to wait with expectation for the craziest, most innovative, unusual answers. Because if we can stay in the right place, the most amazing things will be waiting when we get to the front of the line.