I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety. – Psalm 4:8 NIV
Have you ever been overwhelmed with life’s circumstances? When life gets the better of me, I turn to God for help and I know He’s there to comfort me. He did in the wee hours of one morning in May 1998.
On Sunday, my husband, Don, preached two sermons with characteristic enthusiasm – something akin to an aerobic workout. The day before, he’d jogged, planted roses, and prepared his messages – not bad for a 48-year-old man.
But that night, I found Don still up at one o’clock in the morning sitting in the dark. After much probing, he admitted, “I feel pain in my back and up into my jaw.”
“I’m calling 9-1-1,” I said.
Don protested. “I’ll be fine.”
Our daughter, Leah, walked in about that time. After I explained the situation, she marched in to confront her daddy. “Dad! Your dad died from a heart attack at the age of 49. Do you want to take that chance?”
We convinced him to let me drive him to the emergency room, and I prayed all the way. What if he collapses? Oh, Lord, please help me get him to the hospital!
Within a few hours, filled with tests and bad news, I found myself following an ambulance to a nearby city. A specialist waited to do quintuple by-pass surgery on Don. I filled out what seemed to be enough forms to paper my house, made arrangements for our children, and called work, family, and friends. I found out I could stay in the hospital, so I made my ‘reservation’ for a room.
After his visitors left, Don and I prayed, and I went upstairs to my room. Imagine my dismay when the nurse took me to an abandoned wing of the hospital to a room several doors down the hallway, far enough that no one could hear me if I called. It was nearly two o’clock in the morning on Tuesday. I hadn’t slept since Saturday night.
I fell exhausted into bed, but couldn’t sleep. The enormity of the situation hit me, and I began to sob. I’d never felt so alone. It dawned on me – what if Don didn’t make it through this very serious surgery? What would I do without him? God, help me!
As if a warm blanket enveloped me, the Holy Spirit seemed to cover me, and then expanded to fill the room. I felt the presence of the Lord as I’d never experienced before.
Paul told the Philippians, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:6-7 NIV)
That morning, I experienced the peace of God. I presented my request to God, and He gave me strength to go on. He is faithful, and I am never alone. He will be there for all those who call on His name.
And Don came through surgery and is back to his ‘aerobic’ preaching!
Prayer: I praise You, Lord, for Your omnipresence and the peace You bring when I call upon Your Name. Thank You. In Jesus' Name I pray, Amen.