“Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9)
As I waited for my lung biopsy, the doctor entered my cubical, leaned his shoulder on the wall, and introduced himself. His next statement stunned me.
“We’ve got a complication.”
I furrowed my brow. How could we have a complication? I just draped myself in a hospital gown and climbed onto the gurney. They hadn’t done anything yet to complicate.
“The pet scan you had yesterday,” he continued, “showed fluid on your right lung. It has hidden the spot I’m supposed to biopsy, which means we’ll do two procedures today. First, we’ll tap the fluid from your lung, then we’ll do the biopsy as planned.”
Well, knock me over with a feather. Seriously, talk about a plot twist.
Gene asked the next obvious question, “Where’d the fluid come from?”
The doctor said, “The tumor is growing rapidly, demanding the blood vessels feeding it to grow rapidly as well. Blood vessels in adults aren’t supposed to grow. So when they do, they develop leaks through which the fluids, not the blood, in the vessels drain.”
This is serious, I thought.
As though he read my mind, the doctor confirmed my thoughts, “This is very serious. We need your cooperation. When I say stop breathing, I need you to stop. Do not take a deep breath or exhale. Simply stop breathing.”
He explained more of the complications that could arise if I did the wrong thing, which made more nervous. I felt like I was going to take a major exam that I hadn’t studied for. I was sure to fail. So for the next 30 minutes or so, I practiced.
Breathe. Stop. Breathe. Stop. Breathe. Stop.
My stomach twisted into knots. I prayed, “Lord, if I ever needed your peace, I need it now.”
The nurse came for me. Gene kissed me and walked in the opposite direction. Double doors open. Ceiling lights glittered. More double doors open. And I prayed.
We finally reached our destination. I scooted from the gurney to the CT scan table. They positioned me then rolled me into the machine for a preliminary scan. They marked the spot to go in.
I prayed and found myself so relaxed that I almost fell asleep before the gave me the sedative. It was a mild one to relax me. They wanted me awake for both procedures. I only felt a cold sensation when they rubbed a numbing agent on my side and pressure when they inserted the needle. I was so relaxed the doctor never asked me to stop breathing.
God was definitely with me through those procedures that day, as I put into practice Joshua’s command to his army: “Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9).
The Lord’s faithfulness never ceases to amaze me.
How about you? How has God answered your prayer for peace?
See you in a twinkling,
Brenda K. Hendricks