Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Rock Of Ages Cleft For Me"1 (Lyrics)
Dear friends, join me on a faith journey that will challenge my family to our core and bring us face to face with the reality of how fragile life is. We will encounter a crisis that tests our faith and gives us two choices: rely solely on our own strength or trust in God's strength.
Psalm 46:1-2a – God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear. (NIV)
Our journey begins as I enter the hospital emergency room doors due to a medical crisis, accompanied by my husband and daughter. Please wait with me for a gruelling 23 hours! Witness the sad plight of our homeless, seeking refuge from the ice storm outside. Join me as I count my blessings, for a home and a loving family who never left my side.
Listen, friends, as my name echoes through the room, and feel the adrenaline rush as a nurse leads us through the next doors. Check how quickly my pulse races as the attending doctor assesses my condition and immediately sends for the surgeon. Witness the whirlwind of activity as the medical staff responds to the surgeon's orders and rushes to care for me. Laugh with me as I inwardly wonder where that staff was hiding during the last 23 hours! Sit with my family and me as the surgeon describes the potential worst-case scenarios of this type of abdominal surgery. Relish the Lord's peace that washes over me, erasing any fear that might try to take hold. Be ready to catch my poor hubby, who looks like he might faint after hearing how serious the surgery will be. Now close your eyes as I leave all modesty aside and lie on the operating table like a Thanksgiving turkey about to be carved! Sorry, but I can't resist the imagery. As the anesthetist asks me to count backwards, I can hear myself whisper, "I trust in You, Father."
My beloved friends, when confronted with the prospect of my own mortality, I believed that when I awoke, I would be with my God either in this world or in heaven.
Well, obviously, I didn't wake up in the hereafter. Instead, I found myself in intensive care, complete with a breathing tube, a feeding tube, and other tubes that I choose not to mention. One week in the hospital and two months of daily homecare nursing allowed me time for deep soul-searching.
Dear friends, Scripture warns us that God will test our faith, like He tested many heroes of the Bible. Satan may try to convince us that it is punishment, but it's not! Quite the contrary, it's the ultimate test of faith bestowed upon us by a loving God! Experience the ultimate fulfillment of loving God with all your heart and soul, which is His heart's desire. Unleash your full potential as you embrace grace and draw nearer to Him. Faith is trusting God's purpose without knowing why. A strong and mature faith brings God glory!
Friends, life is unpredictable, so remember that the next faith journey could be yours!
As Oswald Chambers wrote, "Faith never knows where it is being led, but it loves and knows the One Who is leading."
Prayer: O God, our strength, we praise You because You are faithful and trustworthy. We praise You for Your unwavering love that sustains us in times of trouble. May we rely on You as our source of strength whenever we falter in our faith or allow things to weaken our dependence on You. Give us the power to resist Satan's lies and rely solely on Your Word. In Jesus' precious name, we pray. Amen.