I looked at the twelve story building, silhouetted against a grey sky and I shivered.
“Look at that hospital,” I told my wife. “It looks so big and ominous. I hope I’ll never be in that place.”
“Don’t worry about it.” My wife smiled reassuringly. “God is stronger than a mere hospital.”
It started with a slight pain in my stomach. I figured it was due to something I ate and tried to push it away. But the pain didn’t go away and soon became stronger.
“I sure hope this pain is leaving soon,” I murmured. But it didn’t.
Then the fevers came. High fevers that left me soaked with sweat. I prayed for healing, quoted scriptures and ate all the right foods, but the fevers didn’t go away either.
Again I hoped for a change for the better. But it got worse.
Then the doctor came. He shook his head and for awhile said nothing. I looked at him from my sweaty bed with anticipation. I hope he doesn’t send me to the hospital. God, I hate hospitals. I’m…afraid of them.
But the doctor didn’t yield to my unspoken wishes either. He frowned and said, “I’ll call for an ambulance.”
An hour later I was lying on a rough hospital stretcher, waiting to be examined. Hoping and praying.
They never found out what was wrong with me. They thought of an infection caused by birds, or malaria, or appendicitis…anything, but my sickness remained a mystery. Six long weeks I walked through the valley of the shadow of death. And I kept praying and hoping.
Finally the doctors found medicines that worked and slowly I started to regain my health.
Then the day came that I was dismissed from the hospital.
“It’s going to take you a year to recover,” the doctor said with a smile. “Please, take your time.”
He didn’t have to worry. I was too weak and tired to do anything, but when I was brought to my own bedroom, I rejoiced.
“I hope it’s never going to happen again,” I told my wife, and then it suddenly dawned on me…Jesus never left me. I had literally looked death in the face, but even without me consciously realizing it, God had given me so much peace in spite of the darkness. It was strange, but that hospital bed had actually become a place of victory and of worship. The presence of God had been so clear, so tangible and so sweet and in hindsight. In those harrowing months, God had taught me more about His love and His faithfulness then in many years of good health. It seemed no prayers were answered and yet God was closer then he had ever been and He did in fact carry me. I hadn’t realized it while I was going through it, but now, I saw it so clearly.
Through it all, He had taught me. Through it all He had held me and through it all I had learned that Jesus was enough. My greatest fears had come upon me, but they turned out to be no match for the King of Kings.
My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus Christ, my righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand,
All other ground is sinking sand.
(Hymn by by Edward Mote)