Last week I related the time in August when I coded while I was in the hospital and not expected to live. God restored me to life through the quick work of two nurses who applied CPR when they discovered me unconscious, and because of the prayers of one miles away who was led of the Lord to pray two hours for me.
But, there is another hospital experience to tell about that reminds us all of a vital spiritual truth.
It was in May, when extremely high sugar levels had made me ill, that I was admitted to the hospital. Part of the time there was during the holiday, so there was great boredom waiting for substituting doctors to inform about pending treatment procedures, and inform, especially, when I might get to go home. It was very discouraging. To make matters worse, family was not permitted inside the hospital confines because of the virus concerns. I became seriously lonely.
There was one morning about which I will never forget. As I began to wake up, I was beset with a feeling of utter hopelessness. Though the feeling was not definitive, it was sure in its experience. But, for whatever reason, I just felt that I had no hope. I had never before felt that I had no hope. I had always thrived with hope. I had always promoted having hope.
Unfortunately, anxiety began to build. An ugly dirty feeling began to take over. My soul hung on the edge of utter frustration. I needed something to stop the progression. So, I involved the Word of God. As I sat on the edge of my bed, I meditated on my favorite passage from the first half of Deuteronomy 33:27. It says, “The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are His everlasting arms…” I kept whispering what it says: God is forever. He is not temporary. He provides a place of comfort and protection. If I fall (and I was falling), He never fails to catch me softly. I have often imaged God as having big, strong, muscular arms for catching purposes.
I reached for the Gideon Bible at hand on the table (Terry had not yet been able to get me my Bible). I opened it to my inspiring, dependable verse of Scripture. That passage has long been a comfort to me, and it once again was a comfort to me. It was not long before I started feeling better. Spiritual life began to re-fill my heart and soul. Thank God for that passage from the Bible. It was a big help to me.
The point to consider is this: there is always a passage of Scripture significant for you. For example, there is are significant passages of Scripture for those experiencing close times in life. Prophet Isaiah wrote (43:1-3), “Fear not…When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you: when you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon you. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One, your Savior.”
In this example, “Savior” refers to one who sets another in a wide place. As Savior, the Lord is a liberator. The main idea has to do with one who delivers another who is in tight circumstances. This is a significant passage of Scripture to consider prayerfully to keep yourself encouraged.
A supplementing verse to keep in mind with the previous is 41:10, which says, “Fear not, for I am with you: be not dismayed, for I am the Lord thy God: I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you: yes, I will uphold you with the right hand of my righteousness.” The contents of that verse may prove to be a significant passage of Scripture for anyone who may be enduring rigorous experiences.
Regardless, prepare beforehand by knowing a passage of Scripture that will be uplifting to you during times that may get you down. It will lift you back up.
Pastor Ron Branch lives in Mason County and is pastor of Hope Baptist Church, Middleport, Ohio. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author.