A sudden need for major surgery sent my life spiraling. Who would take care of my kids? What would I do for money with six weeks off work? I had no family I could turn to, and my husband had been gone for three years. I was used to handling crisis on my own. But I had never had major surgery and the thought of it caused my stress level to shoot off the Richter scale.
Now the night before surgery had arrived. Wearing a mask of assurance that all was well, I deposited my three children at three different homes, where they would stay until I was released from the hospital.
It was a lonely night. My efforts to keep my imagination under control were ineffective. What would happen to the kids if I died? The long night slowly crept toward the time to go to the hospital. I drove through the darkness, wondering how I was going to make it.
I was greeted with a no-nonsense lady who just wanted the facts. My identification bracelet was attached to my wrist, my clothes and belongings removed from my possession and my new lodging was a two-bed room … with the other bed empty. I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. Did I want company or not?
My feet dangled from the bed and my open-air gown caused a draft in the back. I waited for the procedure to begin. A nurse stuck a thermometer in my mouth and placed her fingers on my pulse. Some notes were written on my chart … and then she placed a different thermometer in my mouth.
My temperature was elevated. The doctor arrived to explain the surgery would have to be postponed for 24 hours until my temperature came down. I might be coming down with something that could complicate the operation.
24 hours? I couldn’t wait in this room by myself for 24 hours. “God, please don’t do this to me. I’ve already got enough going on.” He didn’t respond.
I paced the floor. I stared out the window … and paced some more. I glanced at the night stand where I had placed my Bible. Would reading that help? Could I find the words I needed for this moment? It had worked before. I climbed in bed and reached for it.
Not sure where to start, I read the 23rd Psalm. There were some pretty good words in there. He promised to restore my soul. I sure needed that. I didn’t care too much about the valley of the shadow of death. Was I going to die? Maybe I needed to find something else.
I flipped to the back of the Bible to the concordance. What did it have to say about worry? Apparently nothing, since that word wasn’t listed. How about fear? Yes, that word was there with several verses to look up.
And so began my odyssey. I scrounged in my purse and found some paper and a pen. One verse led to another. Soon I was deep in Bible study … and my fear level dropped. It was obvious God cared about me and my situation. Hadn’t I known that all along?
Then I discovered Matthew 6:25-34. Words like “do not be anxious for your life….” and “which of you by being anxious can add a single cubit to his life’s span?” told me that God knew exactly how I was feeling. Those verses ended with “Therefore, do not be anxious for tomorrow….”
It was as if God had spoken them directly to me.
My spirit lifted as I continued my search. The word anxious was in the concordance, so I had a whole new list of scriptures to look up. Before I knew it, hours had flown by. It was an amazing time. I would read a little and then talk to God a little. He felt so very close.
The day was gone. A nurse came in with a sleeping pill for me. I rejected it. I had something much better than a pill. God was in that room and He would help me sleep.
God knew exactly what I needed and He arranged for me to have it … 24 hours with Him. I slept soundly, resting on His promises.
I was not surprised when my temperature was normal the next morning. My illness had been in my spirit, not my body. The Healer had known what medicine I needed … and dispensed it.
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