It was déjà vu for me on the morning of February 26, 2023 while my new husband of only 5 months, Tom Leannah, and I were having our usual fellowship breakfast with some friends from our congregation – when, suddenly, while placing his breakfast order, Tom displayed symptoms of a stroke (which I instantly recognized, since I lost my late husband, Bill Welker, to a stroke in May 2021).
Within seconds, our friend Jay, and a couple of other men picked Tom up and carried him out of the restaurant to place him in Jay’s truck, and off we went to the hospital which was only approximately five minutes away. (Tom was in such bad shape, he couldn’t speak or walk.)
Two of the men stayed behind to pray, and within 15 minutes, our whole congregation (via our prayer list) became involved in praying for Tom’s recovery.
At the hospital (where Tom already seemed perfectly “normal” upon our arrival), a CT scan and MRI revealed that he had definitely suffered a stroke, due to a completely blocked right carotid artery filled with plaque, along with a blood clot in his brain – both, or either of which SHOULD have caused him to have some signs of a stroke (i.e, slurred speech or drooping of the left side of his face, etc).
HOWEVER, the only reason Tom seemed to have zero effects was because his brain had “rewired” itself and been sending blood to the right side of his brain all along! (We believers know that only GOD is responsible for that kind of thing! HE is the one who created us and knew us before we were born… –Jeremiah 1:5.)
Psalm 139:13 For you fashioned my inmost being, you knit me together in my mother's womb. 14 I thank you because I am awesomely made, wonderfully; your works are wonders - I know this very well. 15 My bones were not hidden from you when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. 16 Your eyes could see me as an embryo, but in your book all my days were already written; my days had been shaped before any of them existed. (E-Sword)
Tom remained in the hospital for four and a half days before they finally released him on a Thursday. He seemed fine until Friday morning when, upon rising, he had yet ANOTHER STROKE, and was rushed to the hospital once again. (Luckily for me, one of his daughters and her husband happened to ring the doorbell while I was freaking out, and loaded him into my car for me.)
So – there was another CT scan and MRI; and this time, a brain scan, because I had related to the doctors that Tom had been doing some strange “seizure-like” things with his left hand on the way to the hospital. To everyone’s utter surprise, nothing had changed, and the brain scan showed no evidence of seizure dangers.
THE BOTTOM LINE: Tom is just fine now; a little tired but recuperating nicely. Baruch haShem YHWH!
True believers in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and His Divine Messiah KNOW, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that Tom’s situation was a miracle from YAHWEH, freely offered to a man mature in the faith, who obeys His divine Instructions, and clings to His Promises, including the miraculous power of prayer…
The reality of all this is, we live in a fallen world where “bad things happen to good people” – and the bottom line is, sometimes YHWH chooses to allow someone to continue to remain on this earth; while others are taken, for reasons known only to Him. (Please see my article: God, thank You for the storm! - https://www.therefinersfire.org/storm.htm)
It’s YAHWEH’s call and, although our “carnal nature” doesn’t want to lose any loved ones, mature believers (while terrified over possibly losing a loved one) realize and accept the fact that it CAN and DOES happen - even when modern medicine attempts to get into God’s way.
No one knows when their last day on earth might be, and so the BEST thing we could possibly do is to “get ourselves right with God,” so that we may live in Eternity with Him! Why live that holy, set apart life for Him? Because it’s the ONLY way to retain “eternal life!”
Our life here on earth is simply the prelude – an introduction, an overture – on what’s to come, once we are out of these “earth suits.” That is why it is so very important to learn all we can about the Holy One who created us and even saw fit to provide us with a blueprint for moral, holy living!
There is only one alternative, and that is to perish and be eternally separated from Him. (See Matthew 7:23 and 10:27-29; Ezekiel 18:4; 2 Thessalonians 1:9; Revelation 20:11-15; etc.)
Ecclesiastes 9:1 I applied myself to all of this, sifted through it and concluded that the righteous and the wise, along with their deeds, are in God's hands - a person cannot know whether these people and deeds will be rewarded with love or with hatred; all options are open. 2 Anything can happen to anyone; the same thing can happen to the righteous as to the wicked, to the good and clean and to the unclean, to someone who offers a sacrifice and to someone who doesn't offer a sacrifice; it is the same for a good person as for a sinner, for someone who takes an oath rashly as for someone who fears to take an oath.
3 This is another evil among all those done under the sun, that the same events can occur to anyone. Truly, the human mind is full of evil; and as long as people live, folly is in their hearts; after which they go to be with the dead. 4 For as long as a person is linked with the living, there is hope - better to be a living dog than a dead lion! 5 For the living know that they will die, but the dead know nothing; there is no longer any reward for them, because all memory of them is lost. 6 What they loved, what they hated and what they envied all disappeared long ago, and they no longer have a share in anything done under the sun. 7 So go, eat your bread with joy, and drink your wine with a happy heart, for God has already accepted your deeds.
8 Let your clothing always be white, and never fail to perfume your head. 9 Enjoy life with the wife you have loved throughout your meaningless life that he has given you under the sun, all the days of your futility; for that is your allotted portion in life and in your labor that you work at under the sun. 10 Whatever task comes your way to do, do it with all your strength; because in Sh'ol, where you will go, there is neither working nor planning, neither knowledge nor wisdom. 11 Yet another thing I observed under the sun is that races aren't won by the swift or battles by the strong, and that food doesn't go to the wise or wealth to the intelligent or favor to the experts; rather, time and chance rule them all.
12 For people don't know when their time will come any more than fish taken in the fatal net or birds caught in a snare; similarly, people are snared at an unfortunate time, when suddenly it falls on them. 13 Here is something else I have seen as wisdom under the sun, and it seemed important to me: 14 there was a small town with few people in it; and a great king came to attack it; he surrounded it and built massive siege-works against it.
15 Now there was found in it a man who was poor but wise, and by his wisdom he saved the city; yet afterwards, nobody remembered that poor man. 16 So, although I say that wisdom is better than strength, nevertheless the poor man's wisdom is despised; nobody pays attention to what he says. 17 A wise man speaking quietly is more worth heeding than the shouts of a ruler commanding fools. 18 Wisdom is better than weapons of war, but a person who makes a mistake can destroy much good. (CJB)