Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear.
(Isaiah 65:24, NIV)
In the mid-1980s, while taking an obstetrics-gynecology call at a large HMO in northern California, I had an unforgettable experience. After delivering a patient, I discovered she had multiple lacerations extending the full length of the vagina that were bleeding profusely.
It was about 1:30 a.m., and I started suturing with a will. The patient was bleeding so heavily that I could hardly see what I was doing. I adjusted the light, got an assistant to suction, and continued to suture as fast as I could. By now I was feeling faint from the long hours, the hot light just behind my back, and the fear that things were getting out of control.
We started giving blood and cross-matched for more. At times, I would pack a large sponge into her vagina to stop the flood while I caught my breath. This was the woman’s second child. What would I tell her husband? A hysterectomy wouldn’t stop this deluge. I started wishing I had chosen another profession!
About five minutes before 2:00 a.m., I heard the words in my mind, “Have the nurse call your wife to pray for you.” Not wanting the staff to think I was “losing it,” I prayed in my mind for help and kept on working. At 2:00 a.m. I heard the same command again. This time I obeyed. I also had the nurse call in some extra help. It happened to be Robert Rusche, LLUSM class of 1973-B. We finally got the bleeding stopped around 3:00 a.m. The patient had lost about ten units of blood but went on to make a full recovery.
When my wife was awakened at 2:00 a.m., she immediately called her friend Peggy for more prayer. Peggy and her husband were in a prayer group with us. When my wife called, Peggy was wide awake. “I’m already praying for Gary,” she said. “The Lord told me to get up and pray for him, even though I was sure he was getting more sleep than I was.”
I was astounded at this news when I got home the next morning. The next time I saw Peggy, I asked her when she had started praying. “Oh, about 1:30,” she said. When did she quit? “About 3:00.” I was blown away! I had really heard from God. So had Peggy. If I hadn’t obeyed the prompting, I would have missed out on a wonderful blessing. Truly, the Scripture is clear: “Before they call, I will answer; while they are still speaking, I will hear.”
– Gary watts, LLUSM class of 1976-A