Hospital Visit

Heather after surgery

Heather after the surgery!

When the military men and women who are part of our family get sick or go to the hospital Yvonne and I go to the hospital to support them, sit with them, and to try to bring some comfort. But most importantly we anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord according to the Bible in James 5:14-15. We believe God hears us and answers prayer offered in faith!

"Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him [or her] up. If he has sinned, he [or she] will be forgiven."

Heather Weber is a young soldier (musician) stationed in Wiesbaden, Germany, one of our "daughters." In August 2007 her mother sent us an email asking us to pray for Heather because she had been diagnosed with possible ovarian cancer. They told her in Germany that the survival rate for that type of cancer is only five years. Heather is only 26 years old and just got married in January. And everyone knows what is involved when someone has cancer: the chemotherapy, radiation treatments, etc.

The Army medevaced Heather to Walter Reed Army Medical Center with the possibility of removing "at least" one ovary.

She met with the doctors on the Monday after she flew in, and was scheduled for surgery on Wednesday. The doctors here said there was still a 10% possibility of cancer.

Yvonne and I drove up on Tuesday to anoint Heather with oil and pray for her according to James 5:14-15. We wanted to be a support for Heather and her mother who was with her. The traffic got really bad going through DC so we didn't get to the hospital until 5:30pm, discovered we had forgotten to bring Ginny's cell phone number with us, and then found out they had already left the hospital for the evening and were already back at their hotel.

We finally got together with Heather and her mom Wednesday morning at 0800. We anointed Heather with oil and prayed for her and her mom. Then we sat and visited until 1100. We all went into the surgical prep room and stayed with Heather until they wheeled her into the operating room at 11:30. A tag on her medical jacket said she was going to have one ovary removed. The surgery was supposed to last for 2½ hours.

Since Ginny (Heather's mother), Yvonne and I hadn't eaten breakfast we all went down to the Dunkin Donuts in the hospital and got breakfast sandwiches. We finished eating and then went back up to the surgical waiting room. It was about 1240. As we got to the waiting room Heather's surgeon was coming out. I called to him and asked if he was looking for us. He turned around and said he was.

What we thought would be a "periodic" update turned out to be a report on the surgery itself. It was over (it only lasted 1 hour) and Heather came through it wonderfully! They were able to remove the demoid tumor, which was about the size of a baseball, from her ovary and it appeared to be benign. It was well contained and they were able to remove it without taking out any of the ovary. They sent the tumor off to be tested, but the surgeon said there was only a 1% chance that it would be cancerous. I said, "Thank you Jesus!" The person with the surgeon looked at me and smiled.

the family in the hospital

Yvonne, John, Ginny, and Heather

A couple of hours later Heather came out of the recovery room, and they put her in her own room. We went to in see her and visited with a very weak but happy young lady.

Not everyone may agree, but I really believe this was a miracle! I believe Jesus took what could just as easily have been far worse (exactly what the doctors in Germany feared), and reduced it to a benign, relatively easily removed demoid tumor. In my book, the Lord Jesus gets all of the credit and the glory for this outcome! I believe this was Jesus showing His love to Heather and her mother. Hallelujah!

I talked with Heather about how people might look at this. I think it's possible for two distinctly different perspectives to emerge. One is natural, the other is spiritual.

From a natural perspective, it could be said that the doctors in Germany were simply wrong in their diagnosis and were being pessimistic. That there was nothing really wrong except for the demoid tumor. The whole thing was no big deal.

From a spiritual perspective, and this explanation is just as plausible, the problem in Heather's body could have been every bit as severe as the doctors originally predicted (or worse). But, because people prayed and asked the Lord to intervene on Heather's behalf, and to show His love for her and her mother, He healed her and reduced whatever the problem originally was to only the demoid tumor, and helped the medical staff remove it with a minimal incision and no complications.

Which perspective is chosen to explain what Heather has been through is a matter of faith, and a matter of choice. In the end, the results may "appear" to be the same, however, we will never know what the results actually would have been if Ginny had not requested prayer, if no one had prayed, and if Jesus had not intervened.

In this "intellectual," "scientific," "rationalistic," and "naturalistic" age, I think we explain away a lot of what the Lord does for us. As a result, we too often fail to see His hand at work in our daily lives. We fail to see his daily, active, love for us. And, we fail to thank Him from truly thankful hearts because we "really" have nothing be thankful for.

I choose to believe that Jesus intervened and healed Heather; He performed a miracle in her body to show her how much He loves her. I suggested to Heather that how she looked at and explained her experience to others, was ultimately her choice. The first way would simply "explain" it and that would be the end of it. The second way would be a statement of faith, and give the credit for the outcome to Jesus, and perhaps help other people see His love too.

She smiled, and said she liked the second explanation better.

It's all about FAITH !

We can choose to put our faith in doctors and the medical community or we can choose to put our faith in Jesus Christ. I am not suggesting it has to be one OR the other. But often we choose to explain things that could be just as real either way, from only a medical perspective when it could be just as easily explained as God performing a miracle!

Let me ask you..."Where will you put your faith?"