“Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the LORD that will stand.” Proverbs 19:21 [ESV]
I am a self-admitted planner. It is difficult for me to just “go with the flow”. Even when I am “going with the flow,” I am planning what I will do whenever the “flow” gets to wherever we are going. Digression from the task ahead is difficult for me to allow … but praise the Lord that my planning confronted divine guidance through prayer today.
I was scheduled for surgery and a number of beloved friends and family members said they would be praying that all would go well, that I would be protected from complications, and that healing would be sweet. As usual, there is a great deal of preparation for surgery and we did all that stuff, as directed, including packing the overnight bag, taking the book and Bible along with the Ipad, etc.
“The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps.” Proverbs 16:9 [ESV]
The hospital directions were that I could have nothing to eat or drink after midnight, but a note stated that I should take my morning medications before coming to the hospital with a sip of water. I drink milk with the medicine due to the taste if I use water: so, I took the meds with 2 sips of milk, much less than ¼ cup, and we were off to the hospital.
At the hospital, we were conducted into the surgical wing and I received the beautiful gag-green hospital gown to replace my clothing. Then I was placed under a warming blanket and was getting ready for the IV and monitors, etc. That’s when my plans went awry but God intervened in His providence and answered prayer.
The anesthesiologist came in and asked what meds I had taken. I told him, and he said, “ok”.
Then the nurse came in and went over most of the same questions again and confirmed I had taken the morning meds at home. She then asked when I took them. I responded “my husband poured the milk about 7 and I took them right after that.”
The nurse’s head popped up from her clipboard and she said “Milk?” and that was the beginning of the end of the surgery as planned.
She left the prep room saying that she needed to talk with the anesthesiologist about the milk. I was stunned – all this havoc over 2 sips of milk?
The answer to the prayers for protection and no complications became apparent when the anesthesiologist came in and told me that even a small amount of milk causes acid in the stomach. When you go under the anesthesia, all muscles are relaxed and that includes the muscle that keeps stomach acid in the stomach. So, if you have acid there (like from milk) when laying on the flat surgical table under the anesthesia, you can have reflux of the acid into your lungs without anyone knowing it is happening. [Without getting into the science of it, even I know that this is not something that would be considered a good thing!]
I don’t know if God directed me to take the meds with milk so that surgery could not be done on the day that was planned, but I am confident that He answered prayers in prompting me to mention the milk so that I would be protected from adverse consequences otherwise.
The surgery is now rescheduled and I will not be using milk for my meds.
Praise the Lord that He answered prayer by bringing to mind the milk that I had consumed at just the right time so that unwanted complications could be avoided. God has been in the business of hearing and answering our prayers since the beginning.
Back in Genesis, Isaac prayed for his wife:
“And Isaac prayed to the LORD for his wife, because she was barren. And the LORD granted his prayer, and Rebekah his wife conceived.” Genesis 25:21 [ESV]
Many years later, David said:
“O God, hear my prayer; give ear to the words of my mouth.” Psalm 54:2 [ESV]
“But truly God has listened; he has attended to the voice of my prayer.” Psalm 66:19 [ESV]
Then, in the New Testament, 2,000 years ago, we have the church praying for Peter.
“So Peter was kept in prison, but earnest prayer for him was made to God by the church.” Acts 12:5 [ESV]
As a result of those prayers, God sent angels to the prison and released Peter at night. He went to the house where the church was praying for him and almost did not get in because no one believed that their prayers had been so miraculously answered!
In speaking of prayer to God the Father, the writer of Hebrews 4:16 tells us:
“Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” [ESV]
Beloved, the same God who answered Isaac, and who answered Job, and who answered David, and who heard and answered the church’s prayers for Peter, hears and answers the prayers of His children today when we come boldly to Him through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Think praying is only for old people?
Think praying doesn’t do anything?
Think praying is a boring waste of time?
Father, forgive me when I take lightly the gracious gift of prayer. Forgive me when I fail to recognize the awesome privilege of coming in prayer to the Creator and Sustainer of the Universe. Forgive me when I forget that I can only come to you because of Jesus Christ, my Savior, who covers me with His righteousness and has forgiven me of my sins. Thank you Father for hearing the prayers of your children, even those raised on my behalf. Praise your Holy Name!