For those of us who believe in divine healing, hospital is not on our list of options. Nevertheless we know that God uses medicine and doctors to keep us in health and we thank him who those who dedicate their lives to minister health and healing through these means.
I was in my forties when I was told I needed to have my gall bladder removed. I was shocked, frightened, somehow feeling abandoned by God.
Then God spoke to me through a dream. Alone in the house, I dreamed someone was at the front door. I opened, but still with the chain on, and was frightened by the dark face of the stranger outside, wanting to enter. I slammed the door in his face. The next morning, as I listened to a gospel song, God explained to me the meaning of my dream. It was he who was wanting to come into my life through this experience but I was refusing to let him in.
Now, more than forty years on, having prayed for ten years for healing for my knee, when I was told that I needed a new hip, I knew I must be open to this too and indeed, the Lord has been with me in this my recent experience of hospital.
First, scripturally, I called for the elders and asked to be anointed with oil for healing. After so much prayer I was filled with peace, confidant that God would either heal supernaturally, or else somehow arrange for a quick place for the necessary operation.
Within a few days I found myself in the theatre, to go under the surgeon’s knife. God had promised never to leave me. I was safe and secure and soon back in the ward.
There are verses in the Bible which speak of operations of God through the spirit, and we know that God does sometimes seem to surgically remove hindrances, to enable us to walk with him.
But even in this operation, performed by a skilful surgeon, God still had new lessons to teach me.
First, I had to trust the surgeon. My life is in God’s hand, and as surely as he had opened the way for me to have the operation, I knew I must trust these doctors and nurses provided by him.
The very next day they had me out of bed, trying to take my first steps. This was my second lesson, to learn to walk. I met some wonderful physiotherapists along this learning curve, as well as being introduced to my zimmer. How thankful I have become for this sturdy support, for I am not as bouncy as I was when, more than eighty years ago I took my very first stumbling steps.
A zimmer for me? I’m as fit as a flea but the years have slipped gently by
First a stick, then a walker are helps on the way ‘till now yes – it’s a zimmer for me
Zimmer – bad leg- good leg- I’m off and maybe it won’t be long
I’ll be fit and busy and healthy again and my life still be filled with song
For he who gives us each new day has promised us strength for each hour
So we’ll fear not the future, but like the eagle abroad, learn to rise up and fly by God’s power.
And with my lessons in walking came a special blessing, for three of us were at the same stage and were able to walk up the corridor as far as the nurses’ station. We arranged to meet there for some fellowship and yes, a cup of tea and found that this was all part of our Father’s plan, to meet fellow pilgrims in the journey of life. That night, unable to sleep, I found words jumbling around in my head and next morning out came another little rhyme. All part of God’s therapy I’m sure.
Lord, I can’t sleep, so why not pray for another?
So here’s a prayer for we three who’ve just gathered together
For we met with our hips and our crutches and pain
And in meeting we shared that we had a great gain
For we each have a Friend in Christ Jesus today
And we know it is He who has led us this way
And we thank God for friendship and joys on the road
So Lord, please bless us and strengthen and lighten each load
We had not expected friendships to be forged in a hospital, but these were indeed divine appointments.
And now, back in my own home, there are still lessons to learn. In need of carers until the necessary six weeks is up, I am overwhelmed by the love and kindness of these wonderful ladies who are dedicated to help us to return to health and strength, yes, so patiently kneeling to wash my feet, as Jesus himself had done to his disciples, and helping me to dress while I am forbidden to bend. But also encouraging me to continue to reach out to do what I can.
‘No pain, no gain!’
This is my latest lesson. Yes, I underwent surgery in order to be free from pain, yet knowing it might be worse before it got better. Maybe it is like that with some of the spiritual surgery we have to undergo. It isn’t easy to give up some of our addictions. Yes, painful at first, and yet how great the reward of being set free.
I am forced to battle the pain to get as far as the front door, as well as the bathroom, but I want my liberty, to be able to walk as far as the lift, to the lounge and eventually to the front door of our complex. Oh, it seems a very long way, so for starters I have to venture beyond my own front door.
I am remembering the lesson God taught me in those days of long ago in New Guinea. I had to climb two mountains to reach home and thought I was already exhausted. Then God asked me, Can you take one step?
Excuse me. I have to go. God is asking me the same question. Yes, I am going to venture outside my front door and yes, I am able to take one step, and one more. Watch this space, or rather, look out for me in church..