Tuesday, July 16, 2019
“Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.”
I stood in the hospital room of a dear friend and co-worker who had been admitted through the ER with a chronic condition that now appeared incurable. He was on life support and his body was failing fast.
I learned that doctors had given Dennis twelve hours before they would pull the plug on the machines that were keeping him alive. As I stood in his room, I told him goodbye with tears in my eyes. He and his wife had helped Marsha and me raise our children, spending time each week with them while they were growing up, giving us a date night to get away for a couple of hours. Our kids loved going to their home . . . the friendship was still strong between them.
There, in that hospital room, his sweet wife asked me if I’d conduct his funeral. With tears streaming down her cheeks, she clung to the promises of Christ and trusted Him for all that lay ahead. We talked of funeral details; I left with a heavy heart.
But during the night something unusual happened. No one knows how, but Dennis suddenly began to improve. Within hours, he was off life support and asking for something to eat and drink. The next day he was breathing on his own, and a few days later he was back at work—to the astonishment of us all.
The first time I saw him, I kidded that his name ought to be Lazarus—and I’m not planning his funeral anymore. I’m pretty convinced he’ll outlive me!
The best part of this story, however, isn’t that God chose to bring Dennis back to life.
Nurses said that nearing the time to take him off life support, while he was still unconscious, they heard him begin to sing. Though muffled by machinery, they could clearly tell that he was singing the Hallelujah Chorus . . . over and over again.
In the face of death, there was peace.
Unbelievable! What an incredible testimony to his doctors and nurses. What an incredible testimony to the family members. What an incredible testimony to me—his pastor!This is genuine peace—not the kind the world tries to win through wars and revolutions, but what God gives us through His Spirit . . . peace which passes far beyond all understanding.
It’s what King Darius saw on Daniel’s face when he was lifted from the lion’s den. Nebuchadnezzar saw it on the faces of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego when he ordered them out of the fiery furnace. Pilate saw it on the face of Christ while condemning Him to death.
It was the peace of God—and it utterly astonished them all.
Viewing peace and trust on a Christian’s face and hearing the sound of singing from the lips of a believer in the midst of adversity are inexplicable to the world.
Our lives should be a doxology to Christ—a “praise of words” to our Sovereign King. Raise your voice in song today . . . you never know who might be listening.
Prayer Point: The Apostle Paul tells us in Colossians 3:15 to “let the peace of Christ rule in our hearts.” Spend time today focusing on the promises God has given you in His Word, and let His peace rule in your heart again.
Extra Refreshment: Read Psalm 46—a hallelujah chorus written by David during his own adversity.