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Topic: Rest (06/14/04)
TITLE: Beside the Still Waters
By Sylvia Spielman
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When my husband came out of surgery he slept for many hours. The hospital room became a center of hustle and bustle as family members and friends came by to offer their prayer and support. My husband did not yet know of the cancer and that it had already spread throughout his liver. I was in a fog. It was such a surreal experience – as if I was watching myself go through the motions. As the reality of his diagnosis set in I found myself dreading an insurmountable battle ahead of us.
Pat woke the first time and turned his head in my direction. The Holy Spirit had swept through the room and all the visitors suddenly had to leave – some back to work, some to run errands. I look back now and appreciate so much God working it out so Pat and I could be alone at that crucial moment.
He opened his eyes and said, “Hey, Face” (his nickname for me). I touched his forehead and said “Hey, Love.” There was a pause as he struggled to gain awareness. Finally, he looked me in the eye and asked, “Well, what have we got?” I whispered, “We have quite a battle ahead of us.” Again, there was a pause. I saw a tear in the corner of his eye. “The battle’s not ours,” he said, and drifted back into a deep sleep.
That night after all the visitors had gone, I found myself on the hospital floor, face down before my Heavenly Father . . . begging for my husband’s life. I don’t know how long I was there, but I stayed until I felt God’s peace.
Sometime later, I arose feeling the tug of the Holy Spirit. I kept hearing that sweet Inner Voice calling me to read the 23rd Psalm. I found my Bible and went into the bathroom. I read and reread, asking God to reveal his message to me. Finally, through the whispers of my husband’s breathing I heard, “He maketh me to lie down in green pastures. He leadeth me beside the still waters . . . He restoreth my soul.”
The sweetest spirit of calm and peace swept throughout my being. I was assured that indeed this was not our battle, but God was in control – not the doctors, not the medicine and not me. The next fifty-five days were very difficult. There was little sleep and many days in the hospital. However, that sweet peace never left us. We were resting in Jesus.
On January 29, 2001, Pat went home to be with the Lord. He never complained. When others would come to visit, he would insist on praying for them. I had the opportunity to share Christ with a few who were also watching their loved ones struggle with cancer. God gave us the strength to lie in the pasture and beside the still waters, even when such a great cloud hovered over us.
Months after my husband’s home going, I thought of this – “He prepareth a table before me in the presence of my enemies.” Cancer is a formidable enemy, yet God prepared a table of grace, peace and courage. I’m so glad I rested in His arms and that my husband rests now with Him for eternity.