“Let all that I am praise the Lord; may I never forget the good things he does for me. He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases.”

Psalm 103:2-3

This weekend, my family had our first health scare. Friday morning, my dad had a major stroke, caused by a previously unknown hole in his heart. My mom quickly called our family doctor and 911 before waking my sister and I up.

“Madison, wake up. Your dad’s having a stroke.”

I walked into my parents’ bedroom after letting our doctor into the house, and saw my invincible father lying half-paralyzed on the bed. I was too in shock to cry, and the weight of my dad’s near-death experience is just beginning to sink in. To comfort myself and my sister, I started praying for my dad’s healing and peace for our family. That morning was so chaotic that I don’t remember whether I or the doctor suggested prayer. What I do know is that shortly afterwards, my dad was able to speak again and became more responsive than he had been before the prayer. Later, I learned that my dad’s pulse had dropped dangerously low, and had stabilized during our prayer. Our doctor claims there’s no medical reason why this should have happened, which is incredible because that means God gets all the glory for my dad’s healing.

Not only did God begin to heal my dad within seconds of prayer, He also parted traffic like the Red Sea for the ambulance in the middle of rush hour traffic. Annie and I made it to the hospital in record time, and I don’t remember hitting my brakes once on the highway, despite the fact that it was 8 am on a Friday morning. God’s hand was on my family from the moment we woke up that morning. Our doctor was at the house 3 minutes after my mom called him, the ambulance was at our house 15 minutes after my mom called them, and my dad was administered blood clot medication within 2 hours of his stroke. Had we been an hour later, the medication would have been nullified or detrimental, as it has to enter the body within 3 hours of initial symptoms. Had my dad been asleep when the stroke hit, he may not have been able to wake my mom up before his pulse dropped. There’s no medical explanation for my dad sitting in his recliner a week after the stroke, fully able and present. All praise and credit goes directly to God, the God who heals and resides over all things. Nothing is outside of His dominion, and nothing is too big or small for Him.

Psalm 103:2 serves as a reminder to never forget the good things God has done in our lives. God brought my dad back from near-death, and has used His people to stock our fridge and pantry. Yet somehow, last night I laid in bed and worried about my financial situation. Tim and I have missed out on work this month due to various engagements and crises, meaning our weekly paychecks have been slim or nonexistent. I allowed myself to fret over purchases I’ve made, money I don’t have, and the meek savings account that Tim and I will have to rely on in seven months. God healed my dad within two hours of his stroke, so how can I doubt his miraculous power in other aspects of my life? How can I worry over my fiancé and I’s financial situation when God promises in Luke 12 that He will give us everything we need if we seek His face above all else? I’ve been praying for God to make a way for my student loans to be paid off for 2 years now, and He hasn’t stopped answering my prayers. He just hasn’t answered my prayers in the timing I’d like.

“Look at the lilies and how they grow, they don’t work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. And if God cares so wonderfully for flowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?”

Luke 12:27-28

Maybe you haven’t experienced recent medical healing, or even emotional healing. Maybe you’re applying to colleges, recently got laid off, or doggy paddling through student debt, like myself. Whatever your worry or struggle, let my story stand as a testament to this truth: God cares for you, and He hasn’t abandoned you. Whether his answer to your prayers are immediate or not, He hears you and has you. He won’t abandon His plan for your life in the middle of crisis. Even in chaos, fear, and worry, God’s hand is on you.

Never forget that.

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