Hand-Over-Hand Ablation and Other Grace-Points

Gold Brush Stroke

“He enjoys much who is thankful for little. A grateful mind is a great mind.”—Secker

“He enjoys much who is thankful for little. A grateful mind is a great mind.”—Secker Share on X

God’s Grace

Feeling God’s presence in a stressful situation is an incredible gift.

We are told in Scripture He will always be there for us: “I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20). But how often do we tremble in fear or wander in the dark because we do not sense His nearness?

Yet His grace is there for us.

I am a notorious “do-it-myselfer.” When there are trials, I pull up my bootstraps and plow through.

Seeking God’s strength, wisdom, and guidance is generally an afterthought. To be honest, I do okay—until later—when my strength fails or the results fall short of my plan, and I make a mess of myself or the situation.

Only after I fail miserably do I allow myself to walk in His shadow.

Amazingly, though, I must be getting wiser! As God repeatedly pulls me up after my flops, I am beginning to see the wisdom in turning to Him first, before I fail.

grace points

Turning to God, First

Case in point: My second son, Zachary, had a medical procedure scheduled to ablate an extra electrical pathway in his heart (apparently one is enough).

This procedure is quite successful with low risk. However, it involved the heart! I don’t know about you, but when it comes to messing with the heart or brain, I get a little nervous!

This time, though, I brought God on board early, laying my concerns in His lap. Praying for guidance for the physicians’ hands, a great physical outcome, and peace and comfort for all of us.

The Father did not disappoint!

As I sat in the little prayer chapel at the hospital, waiting for word about how the procedure was going and reading my Bible and resting in His arms, an image came to my mind. It was a picture of God’s hand guiding the catheter through Zach’s heart.

I knew instantly that all was well.

The Great Physician was on the job! He was performing hand-over-hand ablation.

Anxiety melted away, and peace settled over my soul and remained with me until we returned home that night.

Now that’s the way to walk through valleys, storms, and deserts—hand in hand with the Maker! No more, “Please, God, clean up the mess I made!”

The way to walk through valleys, storms, and deserts is hand in hand with the Maker: walking in His grace! Share on X

Unfortunately, in my humanness (stubbornness/blindness), I will not long remember this lesson. It will need to be taught to me again … and again.

But for now, I will soak in the gratitude I feel for His presence and in thankfulness for so many other grace-points.


116. God’s hand in Zachary’s procedure.

117. His faithfulness, comfort, and peace throughout the medical intervention.

118. Extended family and friends—so willing to help out and pray.

119. Arriving home from the hospital with positive results!

120. A late fall thunderstorm.

121. The smell of ham roasting in the oven.

122. Godiva dark chocolate mint pearls—yum, yum!

123. A job that allows me to be with my children when they need me.

124. The availability of paid work after a long dry spell.

125. Little noses that are finally drying up—colds are almost gone!

“I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:20

Reflections: Who do you turn to in a stressful situation: God or yourself?

There are so many more reasons for thanksgiving to share, but I’ll wait for another post for those. Check out all of my posts in the One Thousand (or more) Gifts category. Feel free to share a few of your own in a comment, so we can continue to celebrate life!

By His Grace,



  1. Linda Thomas on October 12, 2011 at 7:55 pm

    Wow! “…an image came to my mind. It was a picture of God’s hand guiding the catheter through Zach’s heart.” What a vivid answer to prayer! I believe God’s hand does guide doctors’ hands, but being able to picture God’s hand actually at work — now that’s a heavenly bonus! I’ll think of this next time a doctor works on one of my loved ones. Thanks for your inspiration today.


    • juliesunne on October 12, 2011 at 9:39 pm

      God is so gracious, Linda! The other amazing thing about the image was that it wasn’t a “Wow, that’s God!!!” moment like I would expect. It was a peaceful, serene time where He gently yet profoundly reminded me of His sovereignty and love.

  2. Julie on October 12, 2011 at 8:37 pm

    Psalm 73:28–The nearness of God is my good! Not that He’s ever far away, but how sweet for you to draw close in your own heart to Him today. Thankful for His healing hand in your family.

    • juliesunne on October 12, 2011 at 9:34 pm

      Thanks for your kind words, Julie. I love the wording of the verse you mentioned! Blessings!

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Julie Sunne

Hello, I'm Julie, an imperfect wife and mother of four. Life in this broken world is not always easy. Yet, joy can be found in each day through the grace and mercy of the Lord Jesus Christ.

I find it's easy for our day's blessings to get lost in its happenings. But God's "mercies never end" (Lamentations 3:22) and His "grace is sufficient" (2 Corinthians 12:9).

May the posts and pages on this site offer you a measure of peace and encouragement.

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