Joshua 1:9 – Here is what I am commanding you to do. Be strong and brave. Do not be terrified. Do not lose hope. I am the Lord your God. I will be with you everywhere you go. (NIRV)
Timidly, I knocked at the door. I'd been away from the hospital setting for some time, and so it was with a certain amount of apprehension that I prepared my mind for the visit. A nurse quietly opened the door, and I told her the names of the people I wanted to see. Not one, but two of my cousins were in this unit, the neurological Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of a major hospital a few miles from my home. Supposedly, I was coming to bring comfort, but I was wrong; while I spent the next few minutes in the quiet hospital room, comfort came to me.
Sandra had had a serious, six-hour surgery just two days before my visit, but she was alert and happy to see me. "I know God is with me," she said. "When I came to the hospital, God brought a particular verse to my mind, and it was like an assurance that whatever happened, I was going to be okay." There in a dimly-lit cubicle in the ICU, Sandra went on to tell how a friend had given her a gift the night before her surgery, and the first thing she read when she opened the book was the verse God had brought to her mind earlier in the day to assure her of His care and comfort for her. She said, "When I read the words, 'Do not be terrified. Do not lose hope. I am the Lord your God. I will be with you everywhere you go,' I knew God was telling me I'd either wake up here with my family or in heaven beside Jesus and my family who are over there. Either way everything was going to be okay."
My cousin's word confirmed what Scripture tells us in the Psalms.
Psalm 23:4 – Even when I walk through the dark valley of death, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me. (NLT)
Like my cousin Sandra, we who have experienced Christ's forgiveness for our sins and know Him as our personal friend and Saviour, can be assured and comforted in the valleys of life. No matter what our situation, God will keep His promise never to leave us alone.
Prayer: Dear God, today we'd like to pray for our friends and neighbours who are sick. Please be close to them and remind them of Your love and care. Amen.
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