Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Twenty-One Days

"Then he said unto me, Fear not, Daniel:  for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand...thy words were heard..."  Daniel 10:12

Miracles never cease...not when you are serving the one, true, living God!  It had been a very long 21 days....for Mom and for all of us.  At 83 years old, she had undergone emergency surgery, then spent three weeks in the hospital, and we were all utterly exhausted.  When she came home on the 21st day, it occurred to me that there is something about 21 days...3 weeks, and how it seems to come up in our lives a lot.  My thoughts turned to Daniel and how he was in the battle and fasting for 21 days.  (Daniel 10:2)  On the 21st day, the angel showed up and told him that he had been hindered in getting there sooner, but he made it clear to Daniel that God had heard his prayer the VERY FIRST DAY!!

I believe that this was true in Mom's situation.  I know God heard us on that very first day, when our hearts were broken, and we had prayed so hard for her.  I remember that night in the Emergency Room when the surgeon came in to talk to us.  He was a big, tall guy with a commanding presence.  I was sitting down as he was standing there talking to me telling me they couldn't wait until morning to do the surgery.  I said, "Do you mean you are going to do it TONIGHT?"  He said, "I mean NOW."  I felt so helpless, with him looming above me telling me they were taking Mom away in a few moments; that if they didn't, her intestines could burst at any time. 

As I sat there with tears streaming down my face, the devil reminded me that in 2008 when Mom had her colon removal operation, the surgeon had told me she would NEVER put Mom through another surgery...that she just couldn't withstand another bout of anesthesia, etc.  All of THAT came back to me with such force, and I really thought the end for Mom had come. 

The surgeon stood there and listened as I repeated all the other surgeon had told me three years ago, and when I was finished talking, he said the most amazing thing.  He said, "You're praying, aren't you?".  I stopped and looked up at him, and I said, "Yes".  He said, "WELL, it's all gonna be all right then."  I felt ashamed inside and thought, "Wow!  Where is my faith???"  This renowned surgeon is standing there reminding me that if I pray, everything will be okay.  How he knew I was praying, I do not know...but he knew.  I have a feeling he is a Christian man, and I just imagine he knows the outcome is never in his hands. 

There is a beginning and an end to every trial we go through.  Sometimes, they are 21 days long, sometimes much shorter, and many times longer.  But, Jesus is the Author and the Finisher of our faith....in EVERY trial and situation.  (Hebrews 12:12)  He doesn't check out when we walk into a trial and leave us in the fiery furnace to suffer alone.  He walks into the flames with us, He stays in there the whole time, and He walks us out on the other side....no matter how long it takes. 

Seeing Mom come into her little apartment on that 21st day was a modern-day, divine miracle.  It reinforced my faith in a very profound way, and it reminded me that I serve the same God Daniel served.  God is not a respecter of persons; He doesn't love one person more than He does another.  (Acts 10:34)  The main thing He is looking for in us is faith and persistence like Daniel had to keep praying, even when it seemed that nothing was happening.

Do you have a burden upon your heart?  Does it seem the night will never end?  Have you prayed for a long time, only to feel that your prayers are not being heard?  I want to assure you that God heard your cry...the very first time you prayed and every time after that.  He is always listening.  He never sleeps.  And just because you haven't seen the answer yet, doesn't mean He is not working on your problem. 

God is still the same, and He still answers prayer.  May we never forget that!  Daniel's prayer was heard that very first day, even though he didn't realize it.  He kept praying and fasting and interceding to God for the burden that was upon his heart.  God knows the outcome of every situation in your life, my friend.  You may not see immediate results, but I promise you the answer is on its way.  Keep praying and knocking on Heaven's door.  Who knows, today could be your "21st day!"

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