There are times when life seems to depend on one thing: for married couples longing to have a child, it's a matter of "positive" or "negative" (actually, for nervous lovers who don't want to have children, it's the same question, only with the opposite reaction); for bar hopefuls, it's "pass" or "fail"; for ardent suitors, it's "yes" or "no". The rest of the world does not seem to exist for the future is determined by the outcome of that single question.
For those of us who have gone through trials like these before, the waiting does not get any easier. In fact, precisely because we've come to recognize the importance of these life-and-death situations, we could even become more prone to anxiety attacks.
A couple of years ago my father had to undergo a quadruple bypass operation. He felt he did not need one but relented in the end due to the insistence of his cardiologist as well as our pleas. Since we did not have a doctor in our family, although we were all professionals, we could not concretely ensure the success of his operation; neither could we speed up the process of healing. We surrendered to those who knew how to take care of him better, and then we waited. It was not an easy thing to do. Our prayers were answered soon afterwards and he was able to go back to work in less than a month's time after his surgery. It was one of the most trying times for us but the Lord saw us through.
Recently my father said that his doctor wanted him to have an ultrasound test to check his liver. He was again brushing the matter aside, and I found myself slowly getting anxious as the day of his checkup approached, fearing a sense of deja vu. When his cardiologist finally saw the ultrasound report, he said that as he suspected, Papa's liver was merely affected by the medication he was taking, however, he saw that Papa had gallstones. He recommended a specialist to look into it further.
I could not take the suspense any longer. I offered to drive Papa to the specialist this morning so I would know the verdict immediately. I asked for prayers from friends, finding that I had reduced the situation into one question - surgery or no surgery? It was all in God's hands.
After checking Papa's medical records, interviewing him, and looking for symptoms which were not there (thankfully), the doctor said that there was no need for surgery and that Papa should just watch his diet. I felt relief surging through my body. In that one sentence, in that clear answer from the doctor, there lay a moment worthy of praise and thanksgiving to God. It may have been a small thing, what Papa had, and it may be common for men his age to have gallstones, but I would not take this for granted just because I heard the answer that I wanted.
For I know the difference between a "yes" and a "no", a "go" and a "stop", and a "pass" or a "fail". Though the Lord could spare us from any and all harm wherever He leads us, it is still a cause for rejoicing everytime He saves us from distress, anxiety, and pain!
I thank God for this wonderful news.