Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "O Holy Night"1 (Lyrics)
In November of 2011, I was told that the aortic pig valve in my heart, which had been placed there in 1993, was leaking badly and had to be replaced. Even though it had lasted much longer than I had been told to expect, it still came as a shock to me. I was feeling so well, and I did not have any symptoms like shortness of breath or chest pains. But the echo cardiogram did not lie, and I was afraid. After all, I was 18 years older, and this time, I knew what was coming. From the first time, I knew all about the pain, the agony, and the chance infection that I'd had, and I realized that I had to go through it again. During the months of November and December, I had a series of tests, saw the surgeon, and did the things which needed to be done in preparation.
During that time, we were also preparing for the Christmas season with its related church and Long Term Care Centre activities. While reading the Bible, I noticed again that the people involved in the announcements about the coming of the Messiah and the birth of Christ were all told not to be afraid.
Luke 1:13 – But the angel said to him, "Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your prayer is heard; and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John." (NKJV)
Luke 1:30 – Then the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God." (NKJV)
Luke 2:10 – Then the angel said to [the shepherds], "Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people." (NKJV)
However, the words, "Do not be afraid", spoken so long ago to those particular people, have a much broader meaning: they can be heard and applied by all who believe. Do not be afraid of the future; don't let fear eat away at you. If you are fearing a difficult time, if you are facing a hard time in your life, be assured that whatever happens, the Lord will hold your hand and lead you.
Isaiah 41:13 – For I, the Lord your God, will hold your right hand, saying to you, "Fear not, I will help you." (NKJV)
Thanks be to God for this wonderful assurance.
During the period leading up to the operation, we talked about it to many people at our local church and the churches where I was leading the services, and the people were praying for me. The operation took place on January 6th, 2012, and it went well.
Prayer: Our Father in heaven, there are times in our lives when we fear events that are facing us or that might happen. We thank You for the assurance that whatever happens, You are with us, and we thank You, in Jesus' name. Amen.