Several of our dear friends, have not been able to be with their loved ones when they were in the hospital dying or very sick during these months of quarantine. The pain is often unbearable, the grief deep and unyielding. Doesn’t anyone hear the cry of the afflicted family?
Yes, there is someone. Jesus told his followers that “He would send a comforter, the Holy Spirit, to dwell among the children of men.” That Spirit lives in the heart of all believers and is there to teach, comfort, guide, produce fruit (ie, love, joy, peace, gentleness, etc), and seal our eternal salvation.
When Eric was born he had a cleft lip and palate, no hard palate, no soft palate, and his esophagus was not attached to his stomach. Over the next several years many surgeries repaired and restructured his mouth, nose, and palates. His esophagus was stretched and attached to his stomach but the scar tissues and hourglass shaped work done on him, gave way to food or objects getting stuck on the ledge and not continuing its way to the stomach.
knowing God’s Word where we can find hope, courage, and refuge in times of great need
That meant many trips to the hospital for relief and removal of the foreign object in his passageway. Faith has a way of easing and redefining a scary or frightful event, operation, or tragic moment in one’s life. One of the ways is knowing God’s Word where we can find hope, courage, and refuge in times of great need.
I would take Eric to the hospital and together we would enter the front doors, together get him registered, together go to his room and get him into his hospital clothes. Then we waited together or went for X-rays and then get the results and the planned procedure explained to me. I knew there was a place in the hospital where we wouldn’t be able to go together and as he got older I encouraged him with trusting in God.
One particular day as the hospital bed was being rolled toward the operating room, where I knew I couldn’t enter, we talked about how I wouldn’t be allowed into that room but that God was not limited by doors, regulations, or nurses. God himself would go with him and to try not to be afraid. Eric was maybe around five that time and we had been learning about Joshua in the Old Testament.
the faith of a child to trust his parents, the doctors, and God
He proudly proclaimed he wasn’t afraid because of Joshua and he quoted it to me the best he could. “Be strong and of a good courage: be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.” What a wonderful promise from Joshua 1:9 that helped the faith of a little boy. Yes, the faith of a child to trust his parents, the doctors, and God.
I tell you about Eric as an encouragement that even if we cannot be with our loved ones when they are fighting for their health and-or last breath, they aren’t and weren’t alone. The love of God is so deep and so wide and so high that nothing can stand in the way of the Comforter reaching those in need. No doors, no regulations, no nurses or doctors can stop the Spirit of God. They were not alone. May that same Comforter be our source of strength and courage, as it was with Joshua and then with Eric. May we remember that the Lord our God is with us wherever we go. And then one day, for those who lost loved ones these last few months, you’ll be together again.