Thursday, August 20, 2015

Heart stopping

There is something heart-stopping about arriving home and seeing an ambulance up the street at the home of your dear friends. My stomach lurched as I pulled up to my house last night and I cried out, “Oh no, Lord, please let them be okay.”

As I drove the car into the garage I prayed. I prayed as I walked into the house. I was still praying as I reached for the phone and called their house. My heart was pounding, and it was hard to catch my breath as I waited. Suddenly he answered the phone and said, “I knew you’d call. You’re praying for us, aren’t you?”

With tears rolling down my face, I said, “Yes, I’m praying.” He then told me what was wrong and that his wife was on the way to the ER. I told him I’d be praying throughout the night, and if he needed me to call and I’d head to the hospital. His voice broke as he said, “We knew you’d say that, and we won’t hesitate to call you.”

These two fine people are the first friends my late husband and I made when we moved here. Over the past 10 years we’ve celebrated anniversaries together, we’ve laughed, joked, cried, had serious discussions and then had silly ones as well. We’ve shared concerns for family and friends, and we’ve prayed together for those same dear ones. They stood by us through Mac’s heart valve replacement, sitting with me for hours in the waiting room, and holding my hand until the doctor finally arrived to say, “Oops, forgot to page you. Your husband did fine and is in recovery.” They stood by us as Mac fought his health battle last year and they stood by me when I returned home—alone.

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble... “Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!”—Psalm 46English Standard Version (ESV)

Now we are down to three, and the bond between us remains as strong as ever. Yet our strongest bond is not of this earth, but found in the love of God, for all of us know Christ as our Savior. We have often talked about how in heaven none of us will have pain, or sorrow—and now we talk about how we’ll all see my beloved husband again.

I’ve learned so much in these last 10 months, with so much still to learn; and I know that God has brought me here for a reason and a purpose. Yet my fervent prayers last night were not just for my friend and her physical needs, but also for her husband—that he would not have to walk the path I’m on. Today we all rejoiced as she was able to return home, and is now on the mend. How thankful we all are for answered prayer. I am grateful to know the God of all comfort and be able to face the future resting in His love.

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.”—2 Corinthians 1:3-5 (NIV)

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