When I woke up in the middle of the night with uncontrollable shaking, all clenched up – I was in deep deep distress. My muscles were clenched so tightly I worried about breaking some dental work. I couldn’t talk, couldn’t breath, sweating buckets yet freezing and my heart was racing. Oddly there was no fear just deep distress in my flesh. I knew I was in trouble and so did my wife who was tending to me. As she phoned 911 and prayed over me I also knew we weren’t alone. There was no fear in my spirit. God was with us.
Some would say this couldn’t be – I must have been afraid for my life. Many well-meaning and sympathetic people have said; ‘Oh, you must have been so afraid.’ They don’t understand. King David does. His beautiful psalm declares; “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.” (Psalm 23:4) I know the truth of this Scripture – I’ve walked that walk.
When the ambulance got me to the emergency ward I felt like I couldn’t get enough air. I was panting and my heart was racing. They gave me oxygen and I praised the Lord for it. My blood pressure was bottoming out and they gave me all kinds of intravenous stuff. I praised the Lord for His many blessings including a good medical system. And when they started talking about sending me to Ottawa General in an air ambulance I was perplexed – could the situation be getting more serious. But there was no fear – God was at my side. Jesus was there; the Good Shepherd wasn’t going to let the devil’s disease have me.
I lay in the intensive care unit for two days getting the infection in my blood scrubbed out by heavy-duty antibiotics and my leaking vascular system firmed up by other kinds of medications. As the nurses and doctors ministered to my body, the Holy Spirit was ministering directly to my spirit – upholding me by His word; “The spirit of a man will sustain him in sickness, but who can bear a broken spirit?” (Proverbs 18:14) I was held together because the Holy Spirit held my spirit firmly in His love.
No doubt as I live the rest of my life my flesh will be distressed again. Some day my body will die but His word assures me – I won’t ever die; “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16) King David expressed my confidence so beautifully when he wrote: “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; And I will dwell in the house of the Lord Forever.” (Psalm 23:6)
I praise the Lord in good times and I praise the Lord in tough times because He is Lord of them all!