Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see. ~ Hebrews 11:1 NLT
I do not find it ironic that our verse this week is on faith. Last week, my husband cut his left, middle finger off below the nail in a lawn mower accident. Sparing you all the gross details, trust my word that it was ugly. We rushed to the emergency room with tears and fears. My husband is left-handed, and more importantly to him, he is a piano player. He plays for our church each Sunday and this is his passion.
The ER doctor did not give us much hope. He stitched the skin back on. The bone was obliterated, so really, it was just skin. He wrote a prescription for pain medication and sent us on our way with a referral to see a specialist the following Monday. My husband, Pat was devastated. He was in pain both physically and emotionally. Here we are at the beginning of advent and he can’t play piano. He can’t go to work and he can’t really do much of anything.
We went to the specialist and he told us that he wanted to “see how it heals”. He said it was a long shot, but IF the skin stays viable, and IF scar tissue forms inside where the bone used to be to fill in the finger, and IF he doesn’t get any infections, then MAYBE he could keep his finger length. The nail is gone and won’t come back, and it may look a bit funny, but for the purpose of playing the piano, it would work IF all these things fall into place. Did I mention that the finger was actually cut OFF? Below the nail at that first knuckle? Yes, it’s a long shot.
He was dizzy. He was nauseous. He was in pain and he was depressed. However, we prayed. We prayed prayers of thanksgiving mostly. We thanked God for sparing his life, his hand and for allowing him to make it into the house to get me to take him to the ER. All miraculous things to me. He could have passed out in the driveway and I may not have noticed since I was watching a movie with my girls inside. We kept praying prayers of thanksgiving and were faithful in our prayer that he would heal in whatever way God wanted him to heal. We didn’t ask for anything. We were just grateful.
About a week after the first doctor visit, I started noticing some black skin on the wound. This was a sure sign to me that the skin was dying and that surgery to remove part of the finger was most likely sooner than later. I even called the doctor’s office and they confirmed that my thoughts were on track and that was most likely the situation. We were due to see the doctor in 2 more days and they said we could wait until then.
We went for that appointment just yesterday, feeling scared and nervous. We knew God was in control and we accepted that, but anxiety was creeping in. The doctor looked at his finger and told us it was healing beautifully. (WHAT?) He said it looks exactly as he hoped it would. (IS HE LOOKING AT THE SAME FINGER?) He said to keep doing what we are doing and he will see us in a week. (WHAT ABOUT THE BLACK SPOT?) So, I asked him about it and he said it is dying skin, but it is one layer on the surface. From what he can see, there is good, viable tissue underneath and that black skin should shed off just like we shed off skin each day! He made no promises to us that Pat will or will not need surgery in the future, but he told us right now, it is not necessary.
This moment, this situation to me is a miracle. I saw my husband’s finger in two pieces. I know he is missing bone. I see the black skin each time I change his bandages, yet, God is healing him in a way that is practically impossible and against the odds. I can’t even explain it, but I see God working where no one else can possible work.
I have faith in God. I have confidence that he can heal my husband’s hand. I don’t know if he will choose to allow Pat to keep his entire finger or not, but he is doing great things at the moment. He gave us such a gift and lifted my husband’s spirit so much, that Pat went to church last evening and played piano, less one finger, with our pastor. He played until he bled and smiled the entire time. Maybe God is healing his hand completely. Maybe he is boosting his confidence and showing him he doesn’t need that finger to play. Either way, he is building our faith and he is working greater things in my husband.
I hope this story which is real and very much happening as we speak will inspire all of you to look at what you have and pray thanksgiving for it. As small or insignificant as it may seem, God can do miraculous things with what you have. He created you and he can use you for wondrous deeds if you let him. However, it all starts with thanksgiving and faith.