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It’s a strange relief knowing that 2013 is nearly behind us.

So much has happened over the past year that I can only describe 2013 as an “encouraging” year. It seems like a vague, yet positive word to encapsulate the past twelve calendar months, but it’s the most suitable word from my vocabulary that describes the past year.

Instead of cramming all the major highlights in one blogpost and be done with it – I wish to take the time to reflect upon each milestone separately, as I believe it will help me to see the bigger picture of God’s providence of His love, grace and mercy.

Today, I wish to reflect back on Dad’s health.

For Dad, his ill-health was a relapse of his dodgy coronary arteries. Medically, they were blocked with plaque because of the stents overlapping one another, since he had stents fitted some 8 years ago. Fortunately, his heart is still considered healthy by the some of the best cardiovascular surgeons in the country (in my humble opinion at least), due to his age and cardio exercise in swimming. The penultimate outcome was that Dad needed a life-saving double-bypass. By God’s amazing grace, Dad’s medical expenses were covered by the Company through private health care.

It was sad to see the rapid decline in Dad’s health, even in the run up to his destined appointment to go through his double-bypass surgery. Of all the days in the year, it had to be the very same day on the month of May, which marked his 30th wedding anniversary with my Mum.

Not only was it agonising to see the emotional heartache of your parents live in physical separation. But perhaps the hardest part of the day was when we all waited patiently in the LORD in faith and through intercessory prayer. We were upon on the precious hours needed to see Dad through from start to end by the medical team. There was indeed a natural tendency to ask the LORD to calm us in the testing storms of this life.

Personally, I found it hard to ask the LORD for His will to be done. I knew deep down of the medical risks, and I was inwardly confident of the success rate due to God being on our side. And yet, I found it hard to mutter words and plea with my Heavenly Father for His will to be done. I wanted to honour the LORD in prayer of Dad’s expected surgery.

We are also blessed by our local church, our close network of brothers and sisters in Christ (including those from our lovely cell group), and friends and family who have been interceding in prayer. Even neighbours were sharing thoughts and prayers for Dad, which was an interesting witness of God’s love in action.

Not only by the grace of God that my Dad survived the complexity of a double-bypass surgery, but we were all delighted to learn that the cardiovascular surgeon didn’t cut the leg to form new grafts to create new arteries for the heart. Instead, the grafts came from Dad’s shoulders. Not only was it an answer to prayer, but it would dramatically help Dad’s recovery and help him focus on his continued cardio exercise. My Dad certainly loves his swimming!

Praise be to God for His glory of Dad’s living testimony and successful surgery.

~Richard