Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Peace Beyond Understanding

In the Bible, God promises that if we bring our needs to God, He will not only meet them - he will provide peace beyond all understanding. And this week has been one of experiencing that peace. Peace that I can't explain - I can only give glory to God for providing.

Last week we found out that my dad had some blockage in his heart. The doctors had been doing a series of tests since he had some chest pains/a possible minor heart attack in December, and finally the results showed a need for surgery. Thankfully they determined there was no heart attack earlier because his muscle was not damaged at all. They initially thought he would only need some stints put in, which is  a little scary, but very common. However, another appointment yesterday showed that serious surgery would be required, and needed to be done immediately. My parents are living in Germany right now and would not be able to make it to the U.S. for this. We all continued to pray.

Yesterday, my dad was admitted to the hospital there to have full open-heart surgery, with a possibility of 5 bypasses needed. And we prayed again.

It was so hard, having them on the other side of the world. But God said - "I've got this..." It was very hard knowing everything was out of my control. And again, God said, "It's in my hands." I began praying even more. And when I wanted to cry and feel worried, I turned to my Bible. These are the words that came to mind...words that I read over and over again and continue to hold in my heart right now.

"Don't worry about anything; instead pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all that He has done. Then you will experience God's peace which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus." -Philippians 4:6-7

Some people think that being a Christian means nothing "hard" or "sad" or "bad" should ever happen in your life. Some people give up when it does. I know, even though it is easier to say sometimes than to believe - that God is the reason I have hope in these situations. Without His presence, I couldn't have made it through teaching my kids at school all day today. I couldn't have waited to hear from my mom who didn't have the ability to communicate from the hospital. I couldn't have felt ok knowing she was waiting alone. But I was able to do all those things...because I had faith that I have a God so big and so omnipresent - He was there and He was here. My mom wasn't alone.

I praise God that my dad did make it through the surgery well. It took almost nine hours, and he had four by-passes. I praise God that He provided the doctors and quality medical care for my dad in Germany with swift timing. And I praise God that the doctors were capable of performing the surgery - because He guided their hands.

I am so humbled by the many people praying for our family from near and far - family, friends...and strangers! Again, God had his hand in the support, encouragement, and comfort of prayer and intercession, and I can't thank everyone enough.

Please continue to pray for my dad as he heals - he will be in the hospital at least 10 days, but will also have a long road ahead after that time. He and my mom will need to decide if they are able to stay in Germany for the full three years also.

Here is one more way God provided comfort to me this week - Yesterday when I opened my desk calendar to the new date, it said this:

"What should we do when anxiety strikes? First and foremost, we must ask God to give us His peace and His truth. Very specifically, we must ask God to deal with the problems that are filling both our conscious and subconscious minds. This is not something we do just once. It is something we may have to do many times throughout the day. We must ask the Lord to help us focus all of our thoughts and energy on the immediate situation at hand." 

"The eyes of the Lord search the whole earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to Him." 2 Chronicles 16:9

I am thankful for a God who is faithful and provides refuge, strength, and hope...in all circumstances.

My dad is off the ventilator and breathing on his own! He said a few sentences to my mom on the phone while she was at home! :) (Tuesday late night our time, early morning their time - 7 hour difference)

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