Death beds can be a rudely desperate place.
It’s almost impossible to explain. Disappointment consumes your thoughts… your body, heart, and mind all become very, very still. Time stretches long from minutes to hours to days; your mind that used to race like crazy becomes vacant and quiet… plans stop altogether, and all the colors around you fade to gray. You feel out of place, everywhere. Even though you may be looking around and talking, altogether physically alive and breathing, everything in you feels slow and life-less. It’s not just a skimming emotion of sadness. It’s downright empty.
And in that place, given the very slightest chance, the dimmest ray of hope, you figure out whether or not deep down you have the will to live. Because you certainly have nothing to lose.
James 5: 16-17
Is any one of you sick? (*raises hand)
He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well…
Papa gave me stern instructions to read the bible like a little instruction book to get me through.
I wasn’t excited. I wasn’t strong. I was weak.
But here’s the thing: This was my life. Even if it hadn’t hit me fully yet, the statistics as well as the eyes of my loved ones made it crystal clear that death was not just a possibility, it was most likely.
Every day we make dozens of decisions:
Dress or capris tomorrow? Pay this bill or that one? Chili’s or Mexican? This job or follow my dream? Ethanol or not? Get up at 5am and work out or indulge & sleep in until 7:30 and barely clock in on time?
At every turn, each choice is connected to the next one, and the next, until all of our little choices ultimately determine the very direction of our lives’ destination. But this choice was altogether backwards. This wasn’t about what to wear or where to eat.
It’s not a small thing to be at the crossroads of life and death. You don’t choose lightly. I wanted to live. Awkward, or anything else for that matter, was not going to keep me from it. The destination was set… now I had to make all the little choices connect to get there.
Little choice #1: doing exactly what James 5 said.
While still in the hospital, I called my family in to pray. With faith. And faith was stressed in that moment big time – because according to the words I read, faith was the clincher. There was no room whatsoever for doubt. NONE.
As my family surrounded me and spoke their prayers, I could feel life… I could sense the very faith being spoken aloud in their words doing something deep in me… and the most amazing peace, like a blanket, just came over me… and then, just like that, it was done. In my heart, I surrendered to one thing – Faith. I was all in. And I made the choice to believe with everything in me that God had already answered my prayers for healing.
Now it was simply a matter of seeing the confirmation of it come to pass. But only AFTER getting through this unwelcome journey that was being force fed right into my face, and bulldozing aside my previously scheduled life. A journey indeed… to hell apparently.
And, hopefully, back.