After a Stroke Strikes
Posted in Fear/Anxiety
Scripture: “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you and help you.” – Isaiah 41:10
Sometimes catastrophe strikes the least likely victims. I learned that the hard way: without warning symptoms my wife, Debbie, was struck by a massive stroke. A perfect picture of health, her hemorrhagic aneurysm struck like a bolt of lightning, and it struck fear into the depths of my soul. The emergency room grew as dark as a hearse. Her surgeons warned that the chances of her survival were slim. As she neared the edge of eternity, I needed God like I needed air.
Frozen in paralyzing fear in the darkness of the hospital’s waiting room, a stranger pushed a card into my shaking hands on which he had scribbled: “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you and help you – Isaiah 41:10.” This was spiritual medicine. When all appeared lost, I found renewed faith. I recalled that “the sovereign Lord is our strength” (Heb. 3:19) and that God had promised that he would sustain, carry, and rescue us in our times of terrifying troubles (Isa. 46:4). I cried to the Lord, knowing he would provide comfort (Ps. 18:6). Jesus pledged, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matt. 11:28). I came, and he provided relief. Faith in God opened the gates to an escape from insufferable fear.
To be honest, I never for a moment felt that we were deserving of God’s intervention, although I knew that everything was within God’s power (Ps. 55:4-23). Debbie survived! Her surgeons pronounced her survival a miracle. Not only that, she emerged from her near-death reborn and restored – stronger and supremely serene, radiating calm and inner peace. God’s light drove away the deepest dark of night.
Overwhelmed with relief and gratitude, I connected the dots and saw how, “Out of weakness we are made strong” (Heb. 11:34). The Holy Spirit had carried Debbie from death’s door, allowed her to witness the Father’s glory, and enlivened her soul. God’s unbounded loving mercy shined brightly. Our Savior is always with us, for us, and in us – so far beyond any boundaries that I began to realize that there is really only one dot, to which everyone and everything is inextricably connected.
Prayer: Dear Lord Jesus, our Savior, in times of fiery trial, help us to call on the Holy Spirit to carry us out of darkness, by heeding your words to “believe in the light, that [we] may become sons of light” (John 12:35-36).
Submitted by Dr. Charles W. and Debra J. Kegley