Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7, NIV
Yesterday my doctor successfully removed the esophageal stent and confirmed the surrounding tissue has healed as we hoped!!! After a few more days on the soft-food diet, I’ll be able to start eating food I’ve been missing - just in time for Amy’s birthday dinner this coming Monday! Grilled scallops and steaks!! Yesterday's procedure had one hiccup. The nurse prepping me could not start the IV. My veins seem to have taken the day off. A team of nurses huddled around me, all leaning in looking for a vein. There’s one!!! No, it blew. It ran away. We’ll get it. I laid still on the gurney, while two nurses took turns needle digging in my arms. I prayed. Jesus, please help them for they know not what they are doing. :) I prayed God would make my veins show up. Arise! Lord, you know what I need.
Finally, after four attempts, they surrendered and called the vascular team, who had special equipment and experience for "difficult sticks" like me.
As time elapsed, I worried I might miss my spot in the clinic's lineup. I’d been down this road before. It could take hours for the vas team to arrive. As I lay waiting, I watched the nurses and doctors zipping by, patients on gurneys, a couple talking and laughing in the hall, and one sitting at a desk texting.
I tried to sing in my head a song about not worrying ("I'll Give Thanks" by Housefires) but couldn’t remember all the words. I recalled favorite Bible verses and reflected on them. I prayed a breath prayer over and over, "Lord Jesus Come. Have mercy on me."
After a long wait - an hour or two - the vascular specialist arrived pushing her special equipment and wearing special black scrubs. She smiled and introduced herself. “Hi, I'm Bethlehem…"
“That’s a great name, and amazing” I commented. “I’ve been praying for Jesus to come, and He sent Bethlehem! This seems like divine providence. You are the person I need. God sent you.”
We both appreciated the coincidence, or better “Godincidence.” We chatted pleasantly, as she did her work. A few moments later, the line was in, and she was out. I thanked and blessed her as she left to help the next patient. I started humming the hymn, "O Little Town of Bethlehem."
God hears and answers our prayers. There are times when it doesn’t seem like it. But there are many times like this when God answers our prayers and makes it clear he does. Sometimes God’s answers to our prayers come with an exclamation point, a special sign of his favor, or his signature, if you will. God may even show off.
I hope you and I will keep praying, asking God for what we need and what others need. Don't worry or be anxious. Instead, pray. If you need a hand, try using the 5 Finger Prayer image/illustration to help guide you. I thank you for your prayers for me and can testify God has answered them. He has given me countless signs. I am forever grateful to you and to God.
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For more than a year I have been writing daily devotionals for Cancer Companions’ soon to be released “Daily Reflections from Inside the Cancer Journey, a collection of 365 Daily devotionals.” I am one of 13 authors who wrote devotionals for this resource. A sample booklet has been create that includes one devotional from each author. I have 12 copies I'd like to give away. If you’d like one, let me know, provide your mailing address, and I'll send your one. You can also find these devotionals and more information here.