“I love the Lord for hearing me, for listening to my prayers.
Yes, he paid attention to me, so I will always call to him whenever I need help.” ~ Psalm 116:1-2
MIRACLE FOR CHIP
By Alison Davis Wiber
A little over a month ago my husband started developing symptoms that suggested his heart problems were resurfacing. He was becoming increasingly short of breath and dizzy and having chest pains.
At first we thought it could be his lungs because his last visit to the Cardiologist had shown his heart function was stable, if not improved a bit.
So we made an appointment with the pulmonary doctor but they didn’t find anything in his lungs that could be contributing to his symptoms. They changed his asthma medicines to see if that would help but there was little improvement. His symptoms not only didn’t improve, they grew steadily worse.
Chip was born into a family history of heart problems. His mom, dad and aunt all died of heart attacks. He has survived two heart attacks, two open heart surgeries that included a seven-way bypass and a two-way bypass. He has been near death many times.
Chip died on the table once and was brought back by an angel of the Lord–it wasn’t his time.
During Chip’s last close encounter with death, God assured him on two separate but amazing occasions that he would be healed and given fifteen more years of life just like God healed King Hezekiah in 2 Kings 20:6. And just as God promised, Chip came through the dark valley of the shadow of death alive! My husband never wavered in his faith in God to keep His “Hezekiah promise”- at least, not until these new frightening symptoms appeared.
Around the same time that Chip’s serious heart symptoms began to resurface, my sister Suzy encouraged me to join Twitter. She said that she had amazing Christian followers who were very strong in their faith and encouraging; she was sure that not only would I be inspired by them, but I could bless God by encouraging others as well!
The idea that I could be encouraged as well as be a blessing to others and to God by encouraging others really appealed to me!
So I joined Twitter and my sister had her friends friend me.
Immediately I was blessed by their love, faith, and joy, and by their wisdom from God! My faith was really being uplifted by their encouraging blogs, inspiring tweets, and prayers that were just amazing. Their messages of hope extended to all and from all over the world: people who love, praise and seek God; people who pray for people they don’t even know! People were praying for the Church, the country and everything else!
Interacting with the new friends I met on Twitter was really helping me because I’d become so downcast by my ever constant personal and spiritual struggles.
My Lord Jesus, had somehow become overshadowed by these struggles and it didn’t help that most of the Church sermons, bible studies and facebook posts I was being exposed to seemed to be constantly focused around doctrine, false teachers, the ills of this world, and sin.
All of these are very important subjects but I needed Jesus! I needed to see His power still at work in the midst of these weighty issues. I needed my Savior– my Hope and my Strength!
Jesus knew my need! Ever faithful, He provided it ~through Twitter, of all things! –Only God!
My sister’s posts and blogs were always exactly what I know God wanted me to hear and see! I would get daily scripture tweets from Rev. Ray Collins and ALWAYS the scripture he would send was somehow a word straight from God. I would study it and God was speaking! I was being brought out of my slumber so to speak…or at least out of the valley.
While God was encouraging and lifting me through my newfound twitter friends, Chip was getting worse. Everyone was worried about him.
Our little home study group that meets at our house every Friday all rallied around to help and pray. They were a tremendous blessing.
God had just formed this little group spontaneously about 3 months earlier. We were never so cohesive though as when Chip started going downhill. His illness really brought us together and established us as family.
It became more difficult for Chip to do even simple things. Workouts that only weeks earlier he could accomplish without incident were becoming impossible. On several occasions he had to stop because he couldn’t catch his breath. One time he was certain he was having a heart attack because the chest pains, shortness of breath and dizziness were unbearable. Soon he stopped working out altogether.
I was having to help more and more because he could no longer do even simple things like filling the gas cans for the riding lawn mower. He just couldn’t lift the full cans and carry them from the truck to the garage or even take the trash out. It was heartbreaking.
Finally he called his cardiologist and made an appointment. I was so relieved!
At the initial appointment, the Doctor said his symptoms all pointed to heart failure. They took some blood and a chest X-ray. Then they put him on a med to slow his heart beat down and nitro 3 times daily. He had been dreading that. We were to return in a week. It was a very long week and the second visit could not come fast enough. None of the meds were helping.
Chip had gotten so bad by this point he would spend half the day in bed. I couldn’t for the life of me understand. While praying God had spoken clearly to me that this trial was for Chip’s “edification.” There were times I was really strong with that knowledge, but then I would see him struggle just to get down the hall and it would break my heart and I’d worry.
Like Peter the apostle, who, as long as he kept his eyes on Jesus he could walk on water by faith, but when he looked around at the wind and waves his faith grew weak and he’d sink. My faith grew weak as long as I kept looking at Chip’s symptoms.
But then I would remember God’s Hezekiah promise to my husband and the word of God which says: “It is impossible for God to lie…” (Hebrews 6:18)
Both Chip and I know that God doesn’t break His promises, yet he kept wondering if maybe God took some time off for bad behavior! …or he would say God didn’t say he would be completely healthy all those years, he didn’t promise that he wouldn’t decline!
For the most part, Chip handled it well but was trying to come to terms with the whole thing, especially that he might have to live this way and was trying to wrap his brain around it.
Somehow, I was mostly confident and had a sense of peace. Especially because of the tweets! They were always right on time with encouraging words and scriptures that I just knew God put before me to help see me through this trial.
Chip’s second visit to the doctor didn’t go so well. He ruled out heart failure, Chip had none of the signs…which was excellent news but his medical team now feared the worst: a blockage. If Chip did indeed have a blockage his options were few! Because of the two previous bypasses a third bypass would be extremely risky….he would have less than 50 percent chance of survival & because his arteries are so narrow it may not be possible to clear it at all. His only other option at that point would be a heart transplant.
After warning him of the worst they sent him home telling him to basically do nothing. This was Thursday, a heart catheter was scheduled for the following Tuesday. This would be Chip’s 23rd heart catheter.
During the time between the appointment and the procedure my sister asked all the twitter prayer warriors she knew to pray for Chip. Our little group prayed over him. They got their churches to pray, and Suzy got her mother in law and her own church to pray. She even called the 700 club!!!! Chip’s kids and their churches were praying! Mom was praying.
God really mobilized an incredible prayer effort! As tweets would come in I would read them to Chip and they would bless him so much. People he didn’t know praying for him really humbled him. All that my sister did in his behalf really humbled him!
People were praying for me too and I could feel it. Not only that, God was speaking and giving me peace~ so much so that the night before the heart catheter procedure, I confessed to Chip that I didn’t think they were going to find a blockage!
I couldn’t tell him how I knew or why I thought that but I was almost certain. He of course was incredulous and rightly so because not having a blockage was little consolation! What was causing all his heart symptoms then, and how could he get better with a mystery sickness? He thought I was in complete denial!
We got to the hospital early but they took him right in. Then began a long wait. An emergency was flown in so they had to do that first, Chip would be 2nd after that. They didn’t come get him until sometime after was 1:00 pm. It was a long nerve wracking half a day! I was so apprehensive. I just didn’t know what was going to happen if they said no blockage. And I didn’t know what would happen if they said there was one.
But all of the Twitter Prayer Warriors kept sending their prayer tweets and I kept reading them to Chip and this really helped! My friend Natalie called and prayed on the speaker phone so he could hear.
Finally the hospital staff came and got Chip. I texted everyone to pray. The procedure took about an hour. When at last they wheeled him out…he was awake but half conscious….he said they didn’t find anything!
His heart was even a little BETTER than the last heart cath as far as heart function!! God had performed A MIRACLE!
His arteries remain very narrow but there was nothing they could do about that! His symptoms were NOT from a blockage!!
Chip looked bewildered if not frightened. I felt so relieved! I knew it! The Holy Spirit had assured me there would be no blockage and that Chip was going to be okay.
Chip slept the meds off and I read all the tweets. This one Rev. Pat sent out– I can’t even tell you how many tweets requesting for Chip not to have a blockage! I lost count at 80 but there were so many, many more!
And each of those tweets had the maximum amount of people in them so it had to be up in the thousands. I was blown away by that man’s faithfulness to do that. It really, really blessed me.
The next day, Chip woke up and- —bam—miraculously, Chips symptoms were better!
By mid-day he was no longer dizzy! The shortness of breath was easing dramatically and there was no chest pain. He tried to do a little to test it and sure enough it proved true. He just couldn’t believe it!
I showed him how many people God had praying; I scrolled through every prayer! He was floored!! He now had to admit a few things.
First of all he may have very well just been the recipient of yet another miracle but this time without medical assistance. He had to admit that God did not lift his symptoms until all medical avenues were exhausted leaving no room for doubt. He also had to admit that his faith wavered -and because of it he was really humbled by it all.
And was he ever grateful to God and feeling so blessed by His healing, and by Suzy, and by everyone who prayed.
Two days after the heart cath, in the afternoon, I almost cried as Chip left to go workout!! Two days earlier he couldn’t walk 20 feet and now he was healed and restored! Bless and Praise God! I will thank the Lord forever for hearing and answering our prayers!
Guest Blogger Alison Davis Wiber is one of Suzanne Davis Harden’s four amazing sisters. Alison is a Bible College graduate who loves to study God’s word. She lives with her husband Chip and white lab, RG 3, who she says, is “a handful.” 🙂