I gripped the steering wheel for two hours as I encountered blinding, torrential rain at dusk on that humid August night in N.C.. My hazard lights blinked furiously to alert the other interstate drivers that I could barely see them. After safely arriving at my parents’ home that Monday evening in anticipation for my dad’s open heart surgery on Tuesday, the phone rang around 9:00 p.m. and my dad’s surgeon explained that the surgery for the next morning had been postponed. The monster hail storm had knocked out power to the hospital and they were running on generators.
While I sat on my parents’ back porch on Tuesday, I prayed. A Scripture in Luke touched my heart in Luke 1:35: “And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy – the Son of God.” The Power of the Most High God came over Mary and overshadowed her allowing her to be filled with the holy Son of God!
Just as Mary was trying to understand how it could be that she could have a child, I was trying to make sense of why my dad was having to go through a massive ordeal with having his heart surgery and now the delay of surgery. I decided that whatever God had planned for my father and family, we needed to go into it by asking His Holy Spirit to cover and overshadow my father to allow us to accept His perfect plan. When God is preparing you for the purpose that he has planned, He provides His Presence.
Later that evening, I shared Luke 1:35 with my parents then I prayed. I asked God to come on my dad and overshadow him and the whole process with His Holy Spirit. He had transformed the insides of Mary and I trusted Him to transform the heart of my dad through surgery. On Wednesday morning, the surgery happened and lasted nearly seven hours. As we waited, we trusted God to overshadow and protect my dad.
Sitting in a hospital waiting room with my husband who had driven two hours that morning to be there, my parents’ pastor to Seniors, his wife, and two life long friends, we kept waiting for the call from the operating room that surgery for my dad was over. The operating room had called at 12:45 p.m. stating that the surgery would take a bit longer than expected. We thought it would conclude around 2:30, but it was almost 4:00 p.m. and the open heart quadruple bypass surgery was still happening. Having friends sitting and talking with us gave my mom, my husband and me support and comfort. Just after 4:00, the surgeon shared that the surgery had been successful, although there were some difficulties, but my dad had survived!
We had prayed for God to come and overshadow my dad the night before his surgery. The next 24 hours allowed us to see my dad wake up from the surgery, walk through the Heart Intensive Care Unit with a walker and sit in a chair. Each day, he made more progress, left ICU and a week later, would go home. This life changing surgery will take many months of physical therapy to learn how to move now that his sternum has been opened and wired together, but I believe that my dad and his amazing nurse, my mom, have had and will continue to have a supernatural overshadowing by God. I am praying that whatever the challenge, the Holy Spirit of God will overshadow and help them both.
On Thursday of that week, the day after my dad’s surgery, I travelled back home by a two hour road trip, conducted my daughter’s planned birthday party and went back to work on Friday then the first day of school happened the next Monday. I knew God hovered close throughout the whirlwind of events. I appreciated all of the prayers of our friends which God heard and granted. I also couldn’t have been ready to host a party at my home without the wonderful support of my mother and father in law and my daughters!
On Saturday evening, I returned to the hospital two hours from my home and chose to spend the night in my dad’s hospital room so that my mom could rest at home with my family who had also come for a visit. Laying on the hard hospital recliner, I sensed that my dad’s recovery would be a way for God to reveal His covering on my father. I slept very little but knew God was preparing me to trust Him even in the details. My prayer shifted for God to help my dad in every single detail of his recovery.
God promises that we can experience His Presence as we dwell in His shelter and abide in His shadow. As Mary was overshadowed by the power of God to allow His purpose to be produced, Mary was prepared and protected. In our lives, we can pray for Him to overshadow us and our families as we embark on new challenges. It may not be open heart surgery, but believe me, there will be something to cause an uneasiness and questions. When disruption arrives on your doorstep, invite the Presence of the Most High God to come on you and overshadow you. Count on Him, my friend, to come and cover you like only He can do.
His power will produce His purpose for you as you are prepared and protected.
I have also been inspired by Psalm 91:1 (ESV) to build on my understanding of God’s Covering: “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.” The King James version says “secret place” instead of “shelter”. I have learned that the original Hebrew word for “secret place” means a cover, covering or protection while “shadow” in this Scripture means shade, overshadowing, hovering. I love how as Believers in Jesus we can live in His covering and be overshadowed by Him. It is my hope that we can all ask the Most High God to cover us and shade us from the frenzy around us, whatever it may be. There will be disruptions to alter our plans, but our God is great and mighty, a shade and a cover for us.
I learned about the original Hebrew from Psalm 91:1 from this site: