What Are the Odds?

The Johnsons picked us up from the airport on Monday and took us on a grand tour of San Francisco. We enjoyed Alcatraz, Nutella crepes at Pier 39, fussy sea lions and of course the Golden Gate Bridge. Nick and Jen were wonderful hosts and rolled out the red carpet for us, spoiling us with wonderful food, lots of laughs and undivided attention. We were thankful that Amy was not having an episode and was able to walk and enjoy the city without pain.

Tuesday after lunch we walked to the Center for Lymphatic and Venous Disorders at Stanford Hospital. We spent two-and-a-half hours with the staff—meeting with assistants, nurses, and doctors including Dr. Rockson, a vascular medicine specialist with a special interest in the care of patients with lymphatic and venous disorders.

To treat her Lipedema, Dr. Rockson recommended that Amy travel to Kansas City weekly for multilayer bandaging. Unlike the blood circulation system which pumps blood around the body using a heart, the lymphatic system uses the massaging effect of the muscles surrounding the lymph vessels and nodes to move the fluid. (If you have never thanked God for your lymphatic system, please take a moment to do so now—it’s incredible!) The bandaging should help with this process.

But the best thing we could do, Dr. Rockson said, was to use a Tactile Medical Flexitouch system, a programmable pneumatic compression device, for at least one hour on one leg daily. These systems cost around $7,000 so last October we asked our health insurance company to help with the cost. Our claim was denied. We appealed to an outside review board and the claim was denied again late last year. Our friends in the Young Life benefit department stepped in to help but it was a closed case. Although medical experts agreed that the Flexitouch is what Amy needed most for her disease, our health insurance would not help with the cost.

That is, until this week when we received a letter from our insurance company stating that the Flexitouch was now suddenly approved. And on Tuesday, literally while we were in the car on our way to the Stanford hospital, the company called to tell us the Flexitouch was ready to be shipped!

Okay, I want to make sure you understand the time-line here: We requested this machine literally nine months ago and were denied multiple times. Please tell me, what are the odds the decision would be reversed (we still do not know how or why) literally minutes before we were to meet with a medical expert who would tell us the best thing we could do is somehow get this exact machine?

As far as I can tell, there are only two options:

OPTION ONE: This is random chance. Approximately 194,461 minutes have passed since we requested this machine—and everything just happened to fall into place at exactly the right time.

OPTION TWO: God’s Word is actually true: “And we are confident that he hears us whenever we ask for anything that pleases him. And since we know he hears us when we make our requests, we also know that he will give us what we ask for.” [1 John 5:14-15]

I obviously believe option two. God answered your prayer. I know some of you literally got down on your knees this week prayed for Amy’s visit to Stanford Medical. And I am confident the great Creator of our Universe literally heard your prayer and answered in a tangible way. I believe God did this so you could know for sure He is listening. I want those of you who prayed for Amy to understand that James wasn’t lying when he wrote “prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” [James 5:16]

I don’t know about you, but I have trouble contemplating how shocking it is that the King of all time and space listened and responded. That is just so cool!

So why hasn’t God healed Amy completely yet? I don’t know. But God did put Philippians 1:12-14 on my mind this morning. Paul, writing from prison wrote: “I want you to know, my dear brothers and sisters, that everything that has happened to me here has helped to spread the Good News. For everyone here, including the whole palace guard, knows that I am in chains because of Christ. And because of my imprisonment, most of the believers here have gained confidence and boldly speak God’s message without fear.” And I was reminded of the fact that had Amy not been sick, you wouldn’t have prayed. Had you not prayed, you wouldn’t have seen the Lord answer your prayer.

My dear friends, thank you for your prayers. And let us keep praying by pisteuo. I, for one, am excited to see what He does next!

Rick Mumford