On July 13, 2003, I was diagnosed with Cardiomyopathy. My father had just passed away from emphysema complications exactly two weeks to the day. My illness was not because of his death. I was not well before he died, and he had known it. When tests revealed my ejection fraction was at a low 13% or worse, I was transferred to another hospital where a well-known cardiologist lived and worked. Mom had followed the ambulance there. After just losing her husband two weeks earlier, I felt bad that she had to hear the doctor's words, which were to 'call my children to my bedside' and to 'get things in order.' As bad as things might have looked, I never felt like I was going to die. It was the intention of my doctor to put my name on the list for a heart transplant, but first she would try medication treatment.
A couple days later, I found myself alone in the hospital room. The longer I laid there in silence, alone, the more doubt began to chip away at my faith. I started feeling sorry for my three young children, who would have to grow up without their daddy. Soon, the tears began to roll down my face.
My vision was slightly blurred when suddenly the door to my room opened and in walked a lady with something in her hand. She came up to my bedside, looked down at me and smiled, handed me an envelope and then turned around and left, without ever speaking a word. I wiped the tears from my eyes as I opened the envelope. Inside was a card from my aunt, Donna. At the bottom, below her writing, was a bible verse, followed by the words - "GOD IS ABLE."
I had been feeling sorry for myself and worried that my children would have to grow up without a dad. In my aloneness, I lost track of who it is that holds tomorrow. I was forgetting about God. Those three words lifted me from my despair. As I was lying there thanking God for reminding me of what He can do when the phone rang. The call was from a very dear friend of mine, who just wanted to call to say he loved me and was praying for me. I wanted to tell him about what had just transpired, about the doubt that had started to creep in and about the woman who walked into my room and handed me a card with the words 'God is able,' but before I could say anything, he said,"You serve a big God who is able to heal you." Hahaha, I shouted for joy. Within ten minutes God had sent me the same message TWICE! WOW! The doubt that had consumed me was gone! My faith in God had been restored.
That was 12 years ago and, even though I continue to suffer from heart disease, one thing remains in my mind, God is able. That is my theme. I constantly see it in print. I constantly hear it spoken. A few years ago, I read an exchange on Facebook between two of my cousins in Tennessee. One was telling the other that she would be to her like Aaron and Hur were to Moses when Amalek fought with Israel in Rephidim (Exodus 17:8-13). Moses stood on top of a hill with the rod of God in his hand. When he held up his hand, Israel prevailed. When he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed. Soon, Moses' hands were heavy and he sat down on a rock as Aaron stood on one side of him with Hur on the other side and they held his hands steady until the going down of the sun. Immediately, lyrics began forming in my head.
You are the answer that I seek
When life is hard and times are bleak
You are my Savior
When times are bleak? I wanted to know more about that phrase, so I began an online study which led me to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s 'Eulogy for the Martyred Children' he delivered on Sept. 18, 1963 at the funeral of three innocent girls who were killed by a bomb at the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama three days earlier. (A separate service for a fourth victim was held later). Near the end of his eulogy, Dr. King said this...
"Life is hard, at times as hard as crucible steel. It has its bleak and difficult moments. Like the ever-flowing waters of the river, life has its moments of drought and its moments of flood. Like the ever-changing cycle of the seasons, life has the soothing warmth of its summers and the piercing chill of its winters. And if one will hold on, he will discover that God walks with him and that God is able to lift you from the fatigue of despair to the buoyancy of hope, and transform dark and desolate valleys into sunlit paths of inner peace."
There it was again, "God is able." I am thankful that I have faith enough to know that He is able and that whatever comes my way, I know who holds my hand.
He leadeth me beside still waters
Holding to my hand I know
Whatever path I take God is able
And though the journey that I'm on
Might sometimes be too rough and long
No matter come what may
God is able
He walks with me and He talks with me
And He tells me that I'm his very own
He died for me on Mount Calvary
That by his blood I might be made whole
God is able
Yeah, God is able