I see it on your face. The meager smile. The half-hearted hello. A frowned brow. The heaviness in your walk. No time for humor. You get the idea. The times are tough for all of us. I can tell by the prayer list. “Brother Dan, Please add me to your prayer list.”
The prayer list grows heavy and sometimes I wonder, “what does this praying really mean?” Sure, I know prayers are answered, but sometimes I feel a futility about it, like yesterday while I was praying with two families after their loved ones had coded, one of them to die shortly thereafter. Is it really futile to pray like that? Am I talking to myself. Is this just a game where I am kidding myself that prayers make a difference?
BUT, I stop and think, and remember 4 months ago when, under terrible duress and challenge, I knew without a doubt that GOD HAD ANSWERED A PRAYER and I WEPT. So this is my reminder to myself, God does answer prayer, maybe not in the way we ask, but when he does it is no doubt about Him being the one that answered.
SNOWING IN MICHIGAN
I believe the date was December 23, 2004. I was in my brother-in-law’s house in Canton, Michigan. It had snowed all night. 8 inches of snow surrounded the house. I was getting ready to go to Chelsea Community Hospital to see Janet. This was her third week in the Headache Clinic Hospital.
The night before we received a call. Janet’s dad, 88 years old, had fallen and was in terrific pain and couldn’t move. They were having difficulty getting medical help for him. He could not walk. What made matters worse is that his wife, Georgia, was trying to help and she had earlier in the year had major heart surgery at Centennial Medical Center. (In fact in a years time 3 family members had major surgery here.) We were worried. What to do? But 649 miles away there is not much you can do but pray.
Then, the next morning, on December 23rd, I received a phone call from my daughter Melinda. “Dad, Aunt Suzanne (Janet’s other brother who lives in Nashville’s wife) called and she was hysterical. She said, Eric had been in a terrible wreck on the interstate—remember the ice?—and someone had called on a cell phone and told her she had better come quickly to where the wreck was because he was in such bad shape.”
Do you get the picture? Wife Number 1 in hospital. Father-in-law needing immediate medical attention. Brother-in-law dead. 649 miles away. I could just feel the terrible numbing of saying to Janet in the hospital, good news, your dad is alive. Bad news, Eric is dead.
I immediately began calling hospitals: Centennial, Vanderbilt, Baptist, Southern Hills !! Do you have an ambulance that has gone to get Eric Honeycutt who was involved in a wreck? NO ! NO! NO! NO!
Minutes shaped into partial hours. Every moment a lifetime. The worse fear. Eric Dead!! That would be the worse tragedy that could hit our family for many many reasons that I can’t elaborate on here.
Then Melinda again, Drew – Eric’s son 8 years old – said Centennial was where they were going. His Mom couldn’t talk.
I called ER again !! Kim answered. “Brother Dan, I believe he is here. He’s with Lee. Let me get you into that room.”
The next voice I here is Lee Trevor and in the distant background Eric with groping words saying something almost understandable. “Lee is he alive?” “Bro. Dan, well yes. He is bruised really badly and probably has a concusion, but I believe he is going to be ok.”
Do you have any idea how comforting Lee Trevor’s voice is in a life and death situation? Just the news, “he is going to be ok!” My sister-in-law and I both began weeping and just said THANK YOU LORD FOR ANSWERING PRAYER !!!
So, its praying time again. Time to go over the list once more. And maybe you can help.
1.Pray for the person in the office next to you. Pray that they may have a good day, a day of good news and hope and that their family may be well.
2.Pray for yourself, that God will surround you and protect you and make his presence so clear that you can honestly say, “THANK YOU LORD FOR ANSWERING MY PRAYER.”