Six months ago, I began recovering from a massive stroke.
The attending physician said my recovery was a miracle, due to the severity of the massive clot he removed from my groin. One physician called my survival “a divine reprieve to a death sentence.” Another said, “Bob, you have experienced a miracle. I fill out death certificates all the time for each of the traumas you have experienced, and you had them all in sequence.” He referred to a month of pneumonia that had turned into “blood-spitting pneumonia,” the stroke, and then the invasive pulmonary embolisms in both lungs.
Things are quiet when your heart, lungs, and hearing stop. I experienced Psalm 23’s valley of death. Reading this psalm is quite different from experiencing the words. Mine was a wonderful, peaceful quiet I didn’t want to come back from. But Jesus had other plans—one of which was for me to testify about what is waiting for each of His sheep. Death is nothing to be afraid of. Jesus has conquered death and has gone to prepare a place for us.
If Jesus takes us through a tragedy—whether divorce, death of a loved one, or medical trauma—isolation is part of the recovery from the tragedy. But we can’t stay there. We must live with a new reality, one which must be survived with a pro-active acceptance. Otherwise, we will live grieving from the point of the tragedy in the past and not the present. Our time of recovery must be spent in the arms of Jesus.
Stepping out in faith with Jesus by coming to His open loving arms is assisted by quoting over and over what He has promised: “Come to me you who are heavy laden and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). When we cry with hopelessness and pain, we feel Him say, “It is alright my son, I cried too.”
If you isolate yourself in the land of suffering, you accept one of the devil’s schemes. Bring your broken heart to Jesus’ loving arms, and you will find the love and confidence you have lost.
(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)
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