“We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish,” they answered.
“Bring them here to Me,” He said. And He directed the people to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, He gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then He gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. The number of those who ate was about five thousand men, besides women and children. Matthew 14:13-21
The day before my surgical procedure, I reached out for prayer. I didn’t want to make a big deal out of it or draw unnecessary attention to myself, but the Lord led me in humility and wisdom to ask for prayer. While my family doctor had told me that he believed the lump to be an unharmful “fatty cyst”, the subsequent notification of the necessity to have it removed for pathology testing and the “what ifs” in my mind needed to be covered in prayer.
In our family and home, no name calling is tolerated. And any derivative of the adjective “fat” toward anyone anywhere is not permitted. Suddenly, my prayer request was that the lump would indeed be a fatty cyst. “Fatty” had suddenly become a desired description and a reassuring word.
My dear friend Lucille gently reminded me of my own recent words that His goodness and love are following me. Surely, He was also going before me.
The surgeon’s first opening for the procedure was the same day as our cherubs’ first day of school. The scheduling secretary asked me “How is 11 AM?” Perfect! Thank you, Lord! I was so thankful that I could still take the children to school on the first day and be back in car line to pick them up at the end of the day. Jim, as he always does on the first day of school, joined me in taking the children in. He then worked from home before and after the procedure so he could be with me. My heart wells up with thanks for Jim. He truly is a man of honor.
We arrived at the surgical center and awaited my turn. I was feeling very calm until we were called into the room and the surgical tools were in plain view. My stomach started to get queasy, and I gently mentioned to the Lord it would be great to have this procedure completed quickly and be out of there in 20 minutes.
The surgeon introduced himself to us and got right to business. After receiving a shot to numb my left thigh, he made the incision. Trying to distract myself from what was going on in my leg, I encouraged conversation as I stared at the ceiling and held Jim’s hand. The doctor was very interested to learn from me that Jim works for Dow Jones/The Wall Street Journal. While sculpting through my left thigh, doc happily chatted with Jim financial markets and print publishing.
I didn’t feel anything, except for one very sharp cut, which Jim said was when he was removing part of the growth. Having told the surgeon I wanted to see the “specimen” before he sent it off to the lab, he graciously lined up several pieces on the tray for my viewing. (too much information?) If it was inside of me and coming out, I wanted to see it!
The surgeon worked efficiently and had a calming bed-side manner. As he stitched up the small incision, he spoke words that I feel certain were from the Lord. He said, “In all my years, I have only ever seen three or four growths that were malignant. Yours Sharon? I have seen 5,000 of these. You are one of the 5,000. We will send it to the lab to be sure, but I feel confident this is just a fatty cyst.”
I looked at Jim and my jaw dropped as if to say, “Did you hear that? I am one of the 5,000.” I am one of the 5,000! This was one “large crowd” in which I was happy to be!
Jesus showed me His amazing compassion.
Jesus called me to Himself and invited me to sit down on the grass so He could nourish me and take care of me.
I was fed by the Bread of Life and was satisfied. Just like the 5,000. Thank you, Lord. I was even rejoicing for being a “fatty” (ah-hem….momentarily, that is).
As Jim escorted me back to our car, I looked at my watch. We were in and out of the procedure in 20 minutes. Thank you, Lord.
As I shared via e-mail with one of my sweet praying friends how the procedure went and how I was so happy to be among the multitude of 5,000, this is what she wrote back to me:
Oh Sharon I am so glad. It is funny you used the words “happy to be in the multitude”. When I was praying for you, this was on my heart and I prayed this way for you…. The Lord put on my heart how in the gospels He always had compassion for THE MULTITUDE and healed whoever was brought to Him. So when I prayed I asked Him to heal you like how He always healed the multitudes. He never sent one away without being healed then. I reminded Him of that and asked Him to heal you and let there be no cancer there. So, it is funny you used those words. Amen! The Lord is so compassionate and gracious to us. Praise His name!!!
Isn’t that just like God? The Lord put on my friend’s heart to pray that He would heal me like He healed the MULTITUDE. I believe the Lord also had the surgeon speak the words he did so I knew for sure that the Lord was there. I am so completely humbled and beyond grateful for His compassion and care.
As I think of those struggling with serious medical conditions, I am moved to pray more fervently for them. I am stirred with a greater compassion for them. My offering of thanks is more time on my knees praying for those needing the healing touch of the Great Physician. He is faithful.