Wednesday, October 15, 2008

What Is Your Praise?

O My God,
You fairest, greatest, first of all objects,
My heart admires, adores, loves You,
For my little vessel is as full as it can be,
And I would pour out all that fullness before You in ceaseless flow...
I love You above the powers of language to express,
For what You are to Your creatures.
Increase my love, O my God, through time and eternity.
~Excerpt of a prayer of thanksgiving from Valley of Vision~

Each of us experiences seasons of praise, seasons of crying out, seasons of wondering where in the world the Lord has us or is taking us. If we stop each day and examine how many times we complain compared to how many times we are truly thankful, the contrast may be more surprising than expected. Even when we have reason to question, even in the darkest hour of the night, those whom He has called His own will always have reason to be thankful. Sometimes it takes a lightning bolt to remind us of His provision and goodness, and at other times it only requires a mere detail in an otherwise typical day.

Today, my moment of praise was somewhere in between the lightning bolt and the small detail. As many of my dear friends know, I had surgery on my mouth this summer. Even after health insurance covered their portion (insurance for which I am most grateful given my circumstances), the amount I owed was enough to make my stomach turn anytime I happened to glance at the bill - $1100. To some that may not seem like a huge deal, but for a young wife still in school and working to get her husband through school, such an amount left me feeling anxious to say the least. I immediately requested the hospital's application for financial assistance. I knew that it was a long shot since I don't consider myself poverty-stricken by any means, but I also knew that I should explore all of my options (i.e. anything to avoid the credit card, which I wouldn't be able to charge in good conscience). After almost two months of waiting, I received the letter in the mail today informing me of their decision upon reviewing my application. After taking a few deep breaths, I opened the envelope and read those long-awaited words, "We are pleased to inform you..." The balance I owed the hospital went from $1100 to $0. The hospital not only accepted my application for financial assistance, but they covered the entire balance.

Any feelings of anxiety for money over the coming months to pay for the surgery melted away instantly. One piece of paper reminded me of His overwhelming presence, His continual provision, and the peace only He can bring. I am still in awe of the fact that I owe absolutely nothing, and I can only attribute such a blessing to the Lord. I mailed that application knowing full well that the hospital did not have to grant me a penny of assistance, but He provided in this way. And even if the hospital had turned me down, He still provides and He leads us through every season in life.

Now I turn the topic over to any of you who may be reading. What is your praise this week? What was the instance, whether big or seemingly small, in which you were reminded of His goodness in your life? For those whom He calls by name, we never have far to look in order to see His hand at work.


jennypen said...

Phew! That is great, G (I so wanted to use your name, but G works well, too)!

My reminder of His goodness...where to begin?
Those tiny hands that hold my cheeks and bring me in for a kiss, the man in my life who cares so gently for his girls, the lovely ladies I meet with who are in similar family/faith situations, God's reminder of provision in sending plenty of job interviews my way, and the friend who reminds me to reflect on God's lovingkindness to name a few!

Ashley said...

I saw that RF already updated. I was shocked to see a post so soon!

I'm going to try to answer your closing questions in an upcoming post instead of typing it in your comments section.

Amanda said...

I love coming to this blog :)

Eryn Mikel said...

I am gaining weight and so is my sweet little boy! PTL, thanks for the blog Jenn, it's so good to read and I'm so happy to hear about the medical bill, I know that can be stressful.

Stephanie Robertson said...

I had a similar experience with being able to pay for having this baby. We did not have any type of maternity insurance (because we didn't think we could get pregnant... we hadn't for three years of not preventing.) Through God's grace and provision alone all of the doctor visits, the delivery, and all costs associated with the prenatal care and first year of his life are totally paid for.

Funderstorm said...

Where to start? We could have been in a new country with no help to navigate the ins and outs of a new culture, but God provided an old friend who originally couldn't get a visa. At the last minute, the visa was granted. Our friend met us at our new apt. at midnight and helped us settle in with a fruit basket in hand. Our friend has taken me shopping every day for various items to set up house. The help that I've received has helped me keep my peace in the midst of great change. A sweet gift from my Father.