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.