I had only been out of the first hospital for a couple of days when I felt as if an Elephant was sitting on my chest as I sat in the easy chair at home.
After the intense pressure subsided, I took my meds and hit the sack. As usual, I read a little nonfiction. The book I read tonight was The Plot Against the President by Lee Smith; and then, as always, I read from my raggedy, marked-up Bible. (These days I find it imperative to know scripture more and more intimately for my own sense of well-being, as well as being well-armed to do spiritual battle throughout the following day.) I thanked God for the day; and although I usually fall asleep with the Bible in my hand, I was convinced I was on my way out and may not make it through the night. In spite of this foreboding, I fell asleep immediately, as usual, knowing I had done all I could to prepare for the inevitable just in case I don’t live to participate in the rapture, by writing letters to my beloved children and sending them out the day before.
(I had been in and out of the hospital for the past three years and had had a triple bypass, a stent, and more recently, a pacemaker put in my chest.)
I awakened at three in the morning and lay there thinking that maybe God had another assignment for me at another hospital, since things were not getting any better; so I got up from bed, packed up my laptop and Bible, and went to the other hospital.
Even though I am constantly ready to meet My Maker, I was also eager to see what He had in store for me in the present.
Sure enough, the very first person I encountered in a different hospital’s “holding pen” was a Jehovah’s Witness; and since I’d done extensive research into the cult, I was prepared for what I knew would ensue.
Through the curtains that separated us, I had heard him speak with the nurse about his ailment, which was exactly what I was dealing with! Although he was a robust senior, he replied to the nursing staff with a sweet, honeyed girly voice, prompted by his “works” mentality, and fooled no one about his religiosity.
At the same time, he had also heard my conversation with a Baptist nurse about our common faith; so, upon our initial face-to-face meeting, I found the self-assured, middle-aged man a little put off by my sudden appearance – almost ignoring me when I went over to meet him.
Then I remembered that the Jehovah’s Witnesses are taught not to have anything to do with what they consider non-believers of the sect. So, right away, the “action” began, and we were doing spiritual battle.
I found the man to be knowledgeable about select scripture. But I knew that he had only been taught the basic rudiments and certain scripture, but that he had no direct relationship with Jesus Christ. (Their faith is one of works, whereas scripture teaches that we are saved by grace and not of works lest any man should boast. Jehovah’s Witnesses take great pride in knowing the chapter and verse of a few verses of scripture learned by rote, and one of the many names ascribed to God – Jehovah – but seem to know little or nothing about a relationship with Jesus Christ.)
We went round and round, and although I didn’t deviate from the necessity of acknowledging Christ Jesus as Savior – I still forgot one essential verse that I lay on men like this: “There is no other name under heaven given among men whereby you must be saved” – the man Christ Jesus. You see, they believe that just knowing God’s name plus works is how you earn salvation.
My first nurse was a Portuguese woman whom I determined was a Christian, or at least a decent person who really cared about people.
After our initial meeting she – without prompting – expressed concern for her two children having to grow up in this climate of fear and Godlessness; and when I asked her about her faith, she affirmed that she worshiped God and was a Catholic who rarely went to church. After I witnessed to her, I gave her the names of the websites where she could read my writings and the writings of others to win her over to Christ. This way she will know what to believe and why.
Now I was beginning to understand why I had been steered here – especially so after my next encounter.
A new nurse made her appearance on the second day, and it proved to be a confirmation that I was where I needed to be. We hit it off after our first meeting; and when she found out about my faith, she opened up to me, sighting that she was afraid about what was happening in our society.
Raised as a Pentecostal, she drifted away in her teen years – like so many others. Now she feels the unction to get back into the faith. (This was another clue as to why I was here, and that was to guide her back into the faith. As we got to know one another, I told her of my favorite verse of scripture, and she told me that it was her favorite as well! “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” was the verse. This opened our conversation further, allowing me to share other scripture with her. The woman and I both felt that our meeting was not an accident, and for her it was an answer to prayer. It was as if I had been placed there at just the right time to answer her questions and prompt her to return to Christ.
Later, after she told me of her concern for her grown children and the state of the country, I shared prophetic verses with her about Christ’s return and how there would be war in the Middle East.
After the operation to put a stent in place, I was placed on another floor where I watched the news the following evening and learned that a top Iranian leader was killed by U.S. forces which could escalate into all-out war.
Now, as I prepare to leave the hospital a male nurse from Haiti is questioning me about the truth of the Bible.
It may be a good idea for Christians to follow the news about the threat of war following the killing of the Iranian General. After all, Jesus said, “When you see all these things begin to happen – look up, for your redemption draws close.”