Darlene's story: Memo to God: Thanks for the sign

By Darlene Warren

BIG SANDY, Texas--A few weeks ago Church of God members followed daily, via the Internet and other media, a dramatic medical miracle involving one of our own. God brought Hope Lindholm back from death's door--not immediately, but over the course of several trying weeks during which life-threatening complications of her already rare condition seemed to manifest themselves daily.

What was a dangerous situation to begin with quickly turned much worse than anyone could have expected. (See the article about the Lindholm family in the Jan. 31 issue of The Journal.)

Hope is home now with her family and recovering well. What do you think about that? Does it still give you goose bumps when you think about God's great power?

God intervened to save her from almost certain death not once but multiple times during her trial.

My trust in God has definitely been strengthened. No, I don't think God suddenly woke up and now that we've got His attention we're all going to have our prayers answered. What I do think is we've all been given a sign, and we like signs, don't we? Instead of God waking up, I think we woke up.

No easy way out

Some may say God saved Hope because she was a young mother with three small children and a newborn baby and that He healed her because she was so desperately loved and needed by her family.

I feel that's true.

Some say God healed Hope to prove to her His power and glory.

That's fine, but she had no idea at the time she needed His intervention in her life.

The sign we received tells me God still hears our prayers and continues to grant mercy to those of His choosing, for His purposes. In most cases, we don't have a clue why God works things out the way He does.

He didn't take Hope by the hand and whisper in her ear, "Take up thy bed and walk." That would have been the easy way. Instead, during this terrible ordeal the Lindholm family spent weeks hearing bad news on top of bad news.

I remember that, during Hope's hospitalization, every morning my first thought of the day was "I hope she made it through the night; I hope there will be good news today."

It was as though every day God took Hope to the brink of death in order to show us how many ways He could and would draw her back. I think He wanted to get our attention. He did.

Hard to imagine

I can only imagine the terror and dread Hope's husband, Tim, faced throughout this ordeal. Even with friends and family surrounding you, there's no substitute for a loved one who is incapacitated. That's the one you share your life's joys and sorrows with, and suddenly they're unable to help you with the greatest trial of all.

I can only imagine how this experience affected the Lindholm children. I can only imagine how Hope's parents and brothers and sisters felt as they watched their loved one's fading chance of survival. Thank God I can only imagine.

Why does God work the way He does? Did God save Hope because thousands of people around the world were praying for her?

I feel that's true. I also feel that we are not able to arm-wrestle God, that He will not be held hostage by our prayers. He can heal with the prayer of only one believer. He can even heal without a single prayer at all.

What is interesting is that perhaps it wasn't just for the Lindholms' benefit that Hope was healed. Because so many people were praying for God's mercy, because He had our attention, maybe that's why complication after complication emerged in this particular situation. Maybe He was testing us, not her. Remember, she was oblivious to her situation.

Thank you

I'd like to publicly express my appreciation to the Lindholm family for being the conduit through which God worked His miracle and gave us all renewed strength and faith that God can and will hear the prayers of thousands of those who turn to Him in supplication. And, yes, He hears even the lonely cry of a single believer.

I'm sure they would rather have not been utilized in this way, but what a glorious ending to an horrific tale. Maybe God knew from the beginning that this was the family He could use to strengthen His people.

This issue of The Journal includes many photos and several other graphics, besides the Connections advertising section. Don't forget to subscribe to the print version of The Journal to read all the news and features previewed here.

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