Look for life surrounded by death

| August 7, 2011 | 0 Comments


We were in Glenwood Springs, Colorado, Lyn and I were talking to one of the employees at the Glenwood Caverns. He was an engaging engineering student from the University of Colorado at Boulder, who thoroughly enjoyed his summer job as a cave tour guide.

He relished telling the stories connected to the cave, making the tour more interesting and fun, but he especially delighted in fielding questions from young and old alike.

“The most unusual question,” he said, “came from a 7 year-old who asked, ‘How much does the cave weigh?’”

Do you know the answer? He did.

“Zero!” The cave doesn’t weigh anything. The rocks do, but the cave is the hole surrounded by the mountain.

We see the hole, but only because it has rocks around it.

God is like that hole in the mountain. We see him, because of the physical circumstances around us; we see the unseen, in the middle of what we can see. For instance in the middle of medical problems, we see the Healer. In the midst of heartache and despair, we see the Comforter. It takes mountains to see valleys. It takes the darkness, to see His Light.


It was early morning, June 6, 1998; Bryan was in College Station, Texas, attending a conference at Texas A&M University. Not long after awakening he began to feel a strange tightness in his chest and a persistent shortness of breath. But, it wasn’t severe enough to keep him from attending the morning session. After all, he was miles from home and by himself and surely the symptoms would go way; but, they didn’t.

At lunch time Bryan excused himself, climbed into his Suburban and headed home to Fort Worth. He shouldn’t have, but he did.

An hour out he phoned his wife to tell her he was on his way (They had tickets to a George Strait concert that night).

Sandy could hear the apprehension in his voice; “What’s wrong?” she asked.

“Nothing,” he replied at first. (It seems to be a “man-thing” to keep our struggles to ourselves.) But, he finally admitted everything.

Hours later he was home. “When I walked in I told Sandy I was ready for the concert. In a few minutes she asked again and I said, let’s call the doctor.”

It just happened, that Dr. Pugh, Bryan’s cardiologist, was on call. He suggested that Bryan go immediately to the Harris Hospital emergency room.

At first, everything seemed normal, but his tightness persisted and his heart rate was over 110. When he was given nitroglycerin, he crashed. It wasn’t a heart attack, but something was seriously wrong.

Strange how you remember little things in times like that, “My fingernails were quite blue when they moved me to ICU,” Bryan recalls.

When they ran an echocardiogram, Bryan could see his Mitral valve flailing around. One of the techs spoke before thinking, “Wow, look at that valve, it’s barely attached!”

Surgery was scheduled as soon as possible to give Bryan and new Mitral valve.

“I didn’t want to die,” Bryan remembers, “Liz was pregnant and due to have our first grandchild in less than a month. I wanted to be able to hold him.”

That weekend thousands of Believers joined Bryan’s family and friends and prayed for his life. “I remember, laying in that ICU bed, uncertain but finding peace in saying the name of Jesus, repeating it over and over.”

Before the Mitral valve surgery could be performed, he crashed. The docs did a tracheal intubation and installed an aortic balloon pump, but were never able to fully stabilize him before surgery.

While heads were bowed in prayer, God showed up, with magnificent unseen power.

Bryan made it! He got a pacemaker a few days later and became a “miracle patient” as far as the nurses were concerned, but this story is really about prayer surrounding power—God’s power.

Bryan shouldn’t have made it home from College Station, but he did.

He should have died before the surgery, but he didn’t.

With the physical body in need of repair, God stepped up and demonstrated he wasn’t finished with Bryan’s life. At the door of death it was time for life.


Take a second look! Rethink what you see this week. Hidden in each moment is healing power, holy fingerprints.

Slow down, muse a bit, move out of the fast lane, look into the eyes of the people you meet. Don’t panic, take a deep breath and wait for God in the middle of the moment.

There is genuine spiritual living to be experienced, even in the middle of the valley of death. There is fun, holy fun, to be found, in the midst of misery. Live your faith in the middle o fear. It’s time to see the future surrounded by the present.

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Category: Faith Notes

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