The Friday evening of my accident, I spend quite some time in the ER as I had to wait for the CT-scan to be available on the computer before the doctors could finally make a decision. Eventually I was admitted to the Spinal ward at 2:30 in the morning.

The attending nursing staff of the government hospital transferred me from the ER bed to the bed in the Spinal ward. In doing so, the bed railings hit my spine as they dragged me on the bed sheet from the one bed to the other one, also neglecting to see that this bed was about 15cm lower than the first one. The resulting “fall” onto the bed send a fresh wave of pain and spasm through my back muscles. The thought then occurred that the good work of the professional staff (doctors, etc.), could all be outdone with the poor after care service in the wards? Thankfully the nurse on duty arrived soon after all the basic measurements (blood pressure and temperature) had been taken and she injected some pain stiller which send me off to a restful sleep for the rest of the night – of what was left before they started waking us up at 5:00 again.

I spend the rest of the morning mostly sleeping due to the medication and eventually my head cleared somewhat after lunch. Across my bed another patient (Deon), asked me what happened and we started to talk about the incident. When I asked him if he was in for an operation, his response stunned me to silence for a while. Both his legs were amputated at the hips due to a virus or some illness that started 2 years ago and created blood clots in his legs. Apparently he had spent more time in the hospital over the last year than at home. Looking across the room, another man lost his right arm due to cancer and another man had his right lower leg in studs and braces protruding from various points.

I think it was at this point that I decided not to feel sorry for myself, but to praise God for protecting me from serious damage to my spine. The question that we sometimes like to ask when bad things happen to good people; is “why does it have to happen to me?”, immediately departed and was replaced by another question of : “ Ok, Lord so here I am in the hospital and not very mobile at the moment, but what is Your purpose with me at this moment in time?”

Sometimes we go through life and all of its experiences and we miss the true lesson or purpose that God has intended for us. In Scripture we find the story of Paul and Silas ( Acts 16: 22 – 35) who were thrown in prison because of their preaching the Gospel. They were stripped of their clothes, severely beaten and put in leg irons but they started to praise God and He caused an earthquake which miraculously released Paul and Silas from their bondage. The end result was that the jailer and his whole family accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. They were baptized and in verse 34 we find this beautiful result:

• Act 16:34 He brought them upstairs into his house and set food before them, and he and everyone in his house were thrilled to be believers in God.

Are you still thrilled to be a believer or a child of God? Are you still praising God even when bad things are happening to you? One of our fellow preachers once said during a sermon that Jesus Christ is not the answer against the storms in life – but He is the answer IN the storm.

Maybe I missed the point or the full opportunity with Deon, but we did talk about the goodness of the Lord and that he had accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as his Savior about 4 years ago. The rest of the weekend either Deon or myself was sleeping due to the medication and could not talk a lot.

But I missed something in his life. While Venetia and our children as well as friends visited me at each visiting hour, nobody came to see him. He explained that his sons are at University in Bloemfontein and his wife in Groblersdal and they would visit the Sunday night. But nobody arrived – not even on the Monday. I really wanted to get off the bed and go and pray for him, but when I was finally on my feet (with the brace on), the pain was just too much and I wanted to go home as soon as possible. However, Venetia did pray for him when she visited me over the weekend.

This experience still leaves me with this troubling thought of people lying in hospital beds without any support from family and friends and who even don’t have the luxury of a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ like we have.

Yes, having a personal relationship with our Lord Jesus, is indeed a LUXURY. The Thesaurus explains the word as follows: “Treat; extra; extravagance; bonus; comfort; magnificence and lavishness”.

We are blessed beyond a shadow of a doubt. Enjoy the luxury of His friendship, protection, healing, provision and amazing love and grace. If you do not have the luxury of a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ, comment on this posting and I will return your message in the strictest confidence and love of Jesus Christ.

Next posting will deal with the emotional roller coaster and a warning against a specific drug (medication).

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