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Devotionals 2003

Making It Through The Night
September 10, 2003 ē By Ed Wrather

This devotional was written after spending nine days in the hospital in 2003.
My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness, and my mouth shall praise You with joyful lips. When I remember You on my bed, I meditate on You in the night watches. Because You have been my help, therefore in the shadow of Your wings I will rejoice. - Psalm 63:5-7.

My stay in the hospital (In 2003) has severely disrupted the sleep process in my life. I found myself while in the hospital dreading the ending of the day. I dreaded several things about that, including the lack of interaction with others. Many fewer people came into my room at night, and when they did, they stayed for a briefer period of time. The noise from the IV machine seemed louder, and the automatic blood pressure every hour seemed more intrusive. During the night hours, sometimes bad things would happen, and when they did it was magnified by the quietness of everything else. It seemed, it was always at night, when they came to draw blood for the continual tests that were necessary. My wife was asleep beside my bed, and so it would have been somewhat rude to watch TV while she was trying to sleep. Although for the first days, I had no interest in watching television or reading - those things do seem to pass the time away when you are well enough to tolerate them.

Strangely, I found it hard to pray while I was hospitalized. I did run some Bible verses through my mind, but found that difficult as well, possibly because of some of the medications. When the chaplain came Sunday, we prayed for Godís presence, because that was very precious to me. The entire time I was hospitalized, I was aware of Godís presence. He was not speaking to me most of the time, although He did about two days before my release. Maybe I was like Jonah, and He had to get me to a point where I could hear Him. He has been speaking, and giving me all kinds of ideas since I have left the hospital. I shared with our congregation Sunday that I pray every day for inspiration, for ideas for sermons, and devotionals. I have about ten ideas for devotionals, and sermons, which are flowing out of my hospital stay. One thing I do know about all of this, is that out of the bad always comes good, if we love the Lord, and are the called according to His purposes (Romans 8:28).

As with the Psalmist, what took me through the night, was meditating on the presence of the Lord there with me in my room. Even though the praise was not coming through my lips, I was praising Him with my heart the entire time - night and day.

Are you in the midst of your own night that seems to never end, and goes on, and on, and on? The Lord is the One who can sustain you through the night. You have to arrive at the point, where you realize there is nothing you can do, and place it all into the arms of the Lord. There was absolutely nothing for me to do, while I was laying on my bed with wires, and tubes coming out everywhere. But I could be aware of His presence, and His concern. I praised Him with my heart, during those long nights, and that is what you must do as well. Remember the times, of His help and comfort, through your life. Remember, and rejoice, that He loves you so much that His One, and only Son died for you. Remember, that He has not forgotten about you, and that you are still in the shadow of His wings.

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