Today's daily devotion

Gurneys and Gowns

But Thou, O Lord, art a God of compassion, and gracious . . .—Psalm 86:15 (KJV)

“You have fast-spreading cancer. It attacks young males,” the specialist declared. “We need to get right on this.” Weeping, I fell into my wife’s arms.

Two days later, I was in the hospital. “Let me fasten this bracelet on your wrist,” the nurse said. “Then they can wheel you to your room.”

In the wheelchair, I rode to a hospital room filled with indignities. “Undress, put this gown on, leave it open in the back. Drink this, so you’ll be ready for surgery tomorrow. Someone will prep you. This is your bed. Your shots are being prepared.”

“But I haven’t had lunch yet. It’s already 3:30 in the afternoon.”

“You don’t get anything to eat or drink for 36 hours.”

Self-pity set in. So young, so naïve, so 29. “Where is this going, God?” I asked. As a young pastor, I had visited and prayed with many surgery patients, but had never experienced hospitalization myself. Now I was being taught compassion as I had never known it before. “Going through the fire,” they call it. Recovery dragged on. Eventually healing set in.

Today, I cannot pass a hospital without whispering a prayer for the injured and ill, those suffering pain, many languishing with unanswered questions, all holding onto hope. Every shrilling ambulance siren is a call to prayer: “They’re going to need help, Lord.”

I know firsthand, Jesus, your mighty power to save. May they, too.

Adapted from
Strength & Grace Magazine

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