May God grant you His grace and His peace!!
Have you ever experienced the grace and peace that eliminates all fears? I did and I’d like to share it with you. Many years ago I took the first step out of a life of fear into the security of God’s world when I received Christ as my own personal Savior. It started a journey of adventure that increased my trust in Him day by day. But the hardest times were the trials for faith.
I had been in and out of hospitals for surgeries before, and this one was no different – a routine surgery that should have been a simple procedure… but it wasn’t. For 8 years I had been trusting Christ in hard times of unemployment and changes, but this was a faith building experience. My children were teens and pretty well on their own. My church provided the family support needed during what I thought would be a short stay. I was on leave from my employer and for the first time everything was finished. I wondered why at the time, grateful I could give all my attention to resting in the Lord.
The surgery went well, but a couple of days into recovery I developed some serious staph infection. At the end of 5 days I was so full of tubes I couldn’t walk and the pain was unbearable. I remember a lot of concerned people praying as I was taken to pre-op again. I was left alone for a some time since it was a holiday and the it was hard to find a surgical team on duty. During that lonely wait, I experienced a sense of great peace (No, they had not given me a sedative yet). I remembered scripture and hymns as I was alone for over an hour and enjoying the presence of God. I believed I was about to be ushered into His kingdom. My cares and worries were finished and I wanted to go home to be with the Lord Jesus… It was the greatest sense of peace I have ever experienced. A “Resting in the arms of Jesus” sense.
The surgical team had arrived and it was about 8pm at night when they put me out. Pastor Paul, the assistant pastor of my church, was watching over the kids and had been told about the anticipated outcome. The surgeon was to contact him as soon as the emergency surgery was completed. He was anticipating the worst from what the medical team reported.
I remember being in a brightly lit area and gradually waking up and thinking there is no pain any more. This is great! Then I noticed everyone wearing white, but some of them had face masks… wait a minute I’m not in heaven!!! Where am I? Voices talking and saying she can’t possibly be waking up. Her fever is gone!! I was in recovery and feeling fantastic. The nursing staff seemed terribly puzzled and took me back to my room. I actually moved into the bed on my own strength and was talking a mile a minute about all God had done. It was 2am… I couldn’t settle down so I called Pastor Paul.
The phone was deadly quiet when he asked “who is this calling?” I said, “It’s me, Nancy, I feel great. I thought I was dead and in heaven but looks like I am back again”.
From the other end of the phone, Pastor Paul was yelling “Hallelujah, Praise the Lord”! He was so excited it took 5 minutes before he could talk again. Later he explained why he was so shocked and ecstatic at the same time. After the surgery, I was apparently not doing well and the report called in to him was that they didn’t expect me to live through the night. Both pastors were on call to come to the hospital in the morning as they didn’t expect me to make it through 24 hours.
Now I was experiencing God’s grace. He not only stayed with me giving me peace and comfort, but in His providence he extended my life. I have to admit I was very disappointed not to be in heaven, but I was so grateful to be pain free for the first time in a year that I can truly say it was a truly miraculous event and I experienced the Grace and Peace of God during that incredible experience.
The recovery was long but the quiet time with the Lord was one of the best growing times I have had. Many relatives and friends also got to hear about God’s plan of salvation promised from His Word as they inquired about this strange turn of events from the pastors and from us. There are many more trying times and spiritual adventures yet to come. God can provide grace and peace to all. He is the God of miracles.
Ephesians 2:8,9 “ For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast..”(NIV)
For more information please feel free to contact:
Dr. Nancy Shields