It was one year ago that a young man whom I’ve known since his childhood was diagnosed with a debilitating disease, causing full-body paralysis. One day he had trouble walking. The next day he could not move his legs at all! Next there was paralysis in his arms. His speech and breathing were affected.
He still has a tracheotomy and a ventilator to assist his breathing, also a feeding tube. He’s hospitalized in another city, but yesterday I drove the distance to visit him. Despite the ventilator and the trach, he is now beginning to talk and the paralysis in his extremities is lessening! He is markedly improved!
He was happy to see me. I remember the talks we had about the Lord when he was a teenager. He was open then, but not enough to make a commitment. Yesterday was different. He had questions and wanted prayer. I told him that a crisis does not leave us where it finds us. Some people may distance themselves from God and become bitter and full of self-pity. Others choose to draw closer to God and gain strength and peace. Charles was choosing the latter.
He asked me how best to handle his fear and anxiety. I read to him from Philippians 4 and explained the importance of giving thanks even in our difficulties. This shows God that we trust Him. Trusting God is what the Christian life is all about. When we pray with thanksgiving, then God provides us with a supernatural kind of peace that protects our minds and our hearts. It’s important to protect our minds so we don’t become fearful, fretful, nervous and have sleepless nights. Likewise, God’s special peace also protects our hearts so we don’t begin to love that which is not good for us.
Charles hung on every word. He wanted to have the assurance of salvation and I helped him pray. He said he’s had no local visitors and no clergy has ever visited him. Before I left, I called a friend who lives in the same city. He offered to visit him and would also arrange with his church to have their visitation pastor see Charles regularly.
One of the last things Charles asked of me before I left, “Kathleen, when I return home can I come to your Bible study?”
- Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7
- In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents. Luke 15:10
- [Have you had the privilege of sharing Christ with one so needy? So receptive? I came away with great joy. Did you? To reply, click on the TITLE of this story, scroll to bottom of page to "Leave a Reply."]
- SONG: Jesus Heals the Paralytic – Click here to listen: