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God's Goodness

If you look around, you can find many things that leave you feeling depressed, disappointed or dismayed.  Then an unexpected encounter can change your disposition and fill you with joy and thankfulness.  Such was the case the other day when Gene and I went to lunch.  The air quality Index was 305 and we shouldn't have even been outside, but we had been cooped up and wanted to get out of the house.  We went to one of our favorite places and sat in the bar area.  Surprisingly, it was quite busy and a single lone Latino woman was taking care of all the customers.  Amazingly, she was quite efficient and didn't seem to get rattled as she went from booth to booth and table to table.  We weren't in a hurry and watched sports on the big TV screens while eating our meal.  About 45 minutes later, things settled down and many of the customers had left.  Our server came over to see if we needed anything and I complimented her on how well she handled the stress of so many customers.  She began telling us how God gave her strength to handle things.  She then began telling us an amazing story about how her husband Fernando Melendres-Meza had been struck down with COVID-19 and ended up in the hospital.  He deteriorated quickly and the doctors told Adriana, his wife (our server) that he had less than a 20% chance of surviving if he wasn't intubated.  She agreed and he was put into an induced coma and intubated to help his lungs heal.  The medical staff at Renown didn't expect him to recover, because the survival rate of those intubated was slim.  As a Christian she knew God's intervention was necessary for his recovery so she asked her family, church and friends to earnestly pray for him.  The doctors cautioned her of his prognosis and at one point even told her she may want to consider "pulling the plug" to relieve him of his suffering.  However, she was determined to pray and fast for him while leaving him in God's hands.  


Adriana was facing enormous stress and couldn't fathom living without her best friend, the love of her life.  She wasn't able to work at the restaurant, which meant no income.  What would happen to her and her children?  How could she pay the loan on her husband's truck, the hospital bills, the rent, the utilities or even buy food?  She knew his truck and trailer used for business would most likely be repossessed.  The financial strain weighed heavy on her but she was more concerned with the thought of losing the man she had been married to for eleven years.  Her faith was strong and she prayed more than she had ever prayed then miracles started happening.  Strangers knocked on her door giving her money, the restaurant she worked for gave her a considerable sum, envelopes containing money appeared in her mail and a GO Fund Me account was set up to help defray the costs that were growing exponentially. 


After spending 85 days in the intensive care unit (ICU), he was brought out of his coma and was well enough to be moved.  Doctors, nurses and staff lined the halls as he was transferred to a different ward amid a big fanfare.  KCRA 2 News was there to record and report the event.   His extraordinary survival gave a tremendous boost to the morale of the medical staff who had seen far too many people die from this insidious disease.  Adriana attributed this miracle to God's grace and unceasing prayer by countless dozens of people.  "Praise God.  Miracles happen and my husband is a testimony to God's goodness," she said.  With so many problems in the world, it's inspiring to see how courage, faith and hope intersect in a display of persistent prayer when petitioning God to act.  Sometimes people doubt God is alive and if so, is not active in the world or in our lives.  The message she has for all who will listen is this:  God is alive, God is here, God is full of compassion, God hears our prayers, God will provide and God moves in miraculous ways.  Have faith, pray fervently and expect a miracle.  What a testimony!  I left with much more than I expected.  I came to fill my stomach, but God filled my heart with joy.  Romans 12:15 says, "Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep."  It was a time to rejoice and celebrate God's overflowing goodness!

KCRA news report of Fernando leaving Renown's ICU