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The Great Healer…

It seems to be a season of prayer and healing recently. In one such case, a friend of ours, who I have known literally since the day I was born, recently moved back to Indianapolis after almost 30 years away living in other parts of the country. She is a Purdue graduate and has really missed the midwest since she departed for Florida and then more recently, the Pacific northwest.

Our friend is single, doesn’t have any children and wanted to re-engage with many of the folks that she knew when she lived locally. Anyway, Janet and I have reacquainted ourselves with her and periodically go to dinner or share time together.

Throughout the years, she has had a number of health issues that have dealt primarily with arthritis and the replacement of a shoulder, hips and work on both knees. Earlier this spring, she found out that it was time to have her partial knee replacement, done twenty years ago, with a new full knee surgery to fully replace her right knee. I can’t imagine all that she has dealt with throughout the years, especially without any sort of significant support group.

So when it turned out that our friend needed another surgery, I offered to drive her to the procedure and deal with whatever issues came up during the day while she was in surgery. We had to arrive before 6:00 a.m. and surgery was scheduled for 9:00 a.m. As is my custom, I prayed for her and the doctors, medical staff and caretakers who would be involved in handling this somewhat delicate procedure before she went back to the operating room.

I ended up returning to the waiting area where I made myself comfortable and began to wait. It turned out to be a bigger deal that we anticipated. But I was impressed with several of the things that they did for me during the day. Karen, their hospitality person, was quick to warm my coffee or to ask me how she could make my stay more comfortable. They showed me how to use the cooling/compression machine that would be a post surgical necessity and attended to every possible need that I could have. I’ve spent quite a significant amount of time in waiting rooms the last year or so and this was impressive.

I was surprised when I still was waiting as midday approached. Then, as the clock struck noon a voice came over the speaker system and asked for everyone to join in a moment of silence and stop what they were doing for a minute. Then, a prayer was offered for all the patients, their families, the medical staff of the facility and anyone else who was within earshot of the announcement. I was very impressed with the sincerity of the prayer and also the actual words of praise and thanksgiving that were offered.

It didn’t take long; maybe a minute or two, but I was very aware of the importance that this daily ritual meant to cover everyone in prayer. Now don’t think that this was a way of trying to get converts, or to force folks into believing in God – it was a window into the underlying fundamentals of the hospital and their devout belief that God is in control.

Prayer is a fundamental part of what they do to intercede on behalf of their patients and their families. Putting the patients first is in their DNA. I very much felt blessed by the entire process of offering prayers. Eventually, I heard that everything went well, although a little longer than they had expected. Our friend was released around dinner time and I was back home by 7:00 p.m. or so… It was a long day to say the least but Janet and I were glad that we could help contribute to make the day as easy as possible on our friend.

Our verse for tonight centers around the awesome healing power of God. The psalmist gives us a short verse to affirm God’s healing power. He tells us, in Psalm 30:2, “Lord my God, I called to You for help, and You healed me.” How comforting is that! My encouragement this evening is that God wants us to be healthy and shares in our sufferings and sorrows. My prayer is that we will all appreciate God’s intercession on our behalf and His divine healing touch. Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…

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