I will bless the Lord at all times;
his praise shall continually be in my mouth.
2 My soul makes its boast in the Lord;
let the humble hear and be glad.
3 O magnify the Lord with me,
and let us exalt his name together.
4 I sought the Lord, and he answered me,
and delivered me from all my fears.
5 Look to him, and be radiant;
so your faces shall never be ashamed.
6 This poor soul cried, and was heard by the Lord,
and was saved from every trouble.
7 The angel of the Lord encamps
around those who fear him, and delivers them.
8 O taste and see that the Lord is good;
happy are those who take refuge in him.
9 O fear the Lord, you his holy ones,
for those who fear him have no want.
10 The young lions suffer want and hunger,
but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing. Psalm 34:1-10, NRSV
All of my mother’s girls were there, all five of us. We hugged each other. I know in the back of all our minds was the thought, that all six of us (my brother had returned overseas) had just celebrated my mother’s birthday a month ago. We even had a picture of it with all six of us on the sun-filled churchyard. Now, the five of us with other family and church members were sitting in the hospital family waiting area. My mom was in intensive care. Only two of us could come in the room at one time. She had had a massive stroke. My mom’s brain was swollen. They needed to do something about the swelling. My nephew who is a doctor at John Hopkins in Maryland was in constant contact with the doctors. But still, my mother’s doctors were not optimistic. To be truthful, her main doctor did not think she would live.
When it was finally my turn to see her I was shocked. No matter how many times you see someone hooked up to machines and IVs it is a scary feeling. To see your mother in this way is daunting. But I knew that God was with her. I was sure of it. Didn’t I believe and know that God is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that I could ask or think? (Ephesians 3:21) If I knew that then I knew that God could do more than that doctor imagined or thought. I knew that God was working everything out for my mother’s good because she loved God. (Romans 8:28) I knew that there was no reason to be afraid because the Lord is my light and salvation. (Psalm 27:1) Hadn’t I prayed and told God, Lord you are my refuge and fortress, and it is You that I trust? (Psalm 91:2) Hadn’t I prayed that no evil will befall my mother and that no plague will come near her? (Psalm 91:10) I was sure in my knowledge of God that I told the doctor afterwards that I had prayed that God would guide his hands and give him the wisdom to do what was right for my mom. I told him that God could do far more abundantly than he could think or imagine and that was Whom I was putting my trust. Surprisingly, the doctor thanked me and told me to keep praying for him to be successful. Later that afternoon, my mother’s pastor came to the hospital and prayed with us and for my mother.
All of this happened on that Sunday. I had to go back to school. I knew this was what my mother would want. She was so proud that I was finally going to seminary. (I think she always knew that God had called me to teach, preach and write about God’s love.) Every free moment I had I spent studying and praying. We left Monday evening to go back home. Two of my sisters left with me. The other two sisters lived near my mom so I knew she would be taken care of. They would keep us informed.
Even though I left to go back home, I was blessing the Lord at all times during that week. My family was blessing the Lord. I was thanking the Lord for healing my mom. The Lord’s praises were continually in my mouth. God’s praises were continually in the mouth of my family. We were all so confident and boasting in the goodness of the Lord. When we spoke to each we exalted God’s name. God delivered us from our fears. We believed and knew that God heard our prayers. We knew that the angel of the Lord encamped around our mother. We knew that the Lord is good and we had taken refuge in God. That was our prayers on the day of surgery for our mom, but mostly for the doctor who also knew he needed prayer. We all prayed during the surgery that the doctor would not lack any knowledge so that he would be successful. We left Friday to go back to Charleston. Our mom had made it through the surgery.
 New Revised Standard Version, from biblegateway.com