Lessons from ICU. 15. Two questions
Sometime in March this year, an old friend of mine, messaged me about meeting in India and we were chatting back and forth, and all of a sudden, she asked me a singular question: “Patrick, are you really happy? I mean, really, really happy?” I felt like someone hit my forehead with a ton of bricks. As I pondered more on what I must reply. I realized I was not actually happy. I was energetic, positive and all that. But I was not happy. I was not filled with the joy of the Lord. I really felt bad about that. That despite all the promises of the Lord, I was not filled with the joy of the Lord. And then it dawned upon me that I had not been happy in a long time. Even when I went to sleep, unless I was very tired, I would be spending two or three hours, thinking about many things, sometimes praying, but most of the time, worrying. To be honest, as a Christian, I felt ashamed for not rejoicing in the Lord.
Then I became sick and was admitted to the ICU. The LORD taught me during my stay there. And recently, on this Sunday (27th November, 2016), I was asked the second question.
My daughter was visiting me and we were talking about a lot of things. Suddenly, she asked me, “Are you sad?” I did not even understand what she meant by that. She asked if I was sad about all the things that had happened in my life. Because in last one year, I had received offers from three Universities in USA, but due to financial reasons, could not accept them. Then I fell sick and literally I have no money now. I am in such an impoverished condition, I don’t have any money for Sunday offerings. And I am still recovering my sickness and am quite weak. So, she asked me if I was sad. And my answer surprised even myself. I said, “No dear, I am really happy and am filled with the joy of the Lord.” And I was not saying it for the sake of my daughter. I am really happy and satisfied.
Now, that does not make sense. In March, I had my health and some money. Yet, I was sad and had trouble sleeping. I was even prescribed sleeping pills. Now, I have nothing. Five months on, I am still recovering from my sickness. Absolutely no money left. But I am filled with the joy of the Lord. And the weird thing is, I take only 2-3 minutes to fall asleep and as my wife noticed, I am sleeping like a little baby. What happened at the ICU?
During my days at the ICU, though weakened I was, the presence of the Lord filled me. The peace I felt during those days. It was like the beloved disciple reclining on the Lord during the Last Supper. Though I was alone and was attached to so many tubes, in all those, I felt the embrace of our Lord Jesus Christ. I never felt like I was alone. In all the silence, He was communing with me; in all the darkness, He was teaching me (Matthew 10:27). HE made me understand how amazing are His ways, even in the valley of the shadow of death. Yes, I was not alone, not even for a second. My good Shepherd was and is always with me (Psalm 23:4). I have never felt such a calmness and assurance in my life, like I felt during those days.
There are times, now, I miss those silent days; when it was so dark around me. No, I am not missing the sufferings. But in the din of everyday life, it is so easy not to hear the tender voice of the Shepherd. However, now I yearn more for His presence, and His voice. And the more I hear His voice, I forget every single problem ahead of me. My heart is not filled with the worries of this life, but with the joys of His presence.
Yes, I know that by the standards of this world, I am a pauper. That I need to worry about even the vagaries of day-to-day life. But somehow, I am filled with this inexplicable joy, the joy that only the presence of the Lord can give; with peace, the peace that transcends all human understanding. And with David, I can surely say:
You have put gladness in my heart, more than in the season that their grain and wine increased.
I will both lie down in peace, and sleep; for You alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety.
– Psalm 4:7-8
Posted on November 28, 2016, in Christian Life, Personal and tagged and sleep; For You alone, are you really happy, are you sad, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, I will both lie down in peace, I will fear no evil, ICU, make me dwell in safety., more than in the season that their grain and wine increased, O LORD, Psalm 23:4, Psalm 4:7-8, they comfort me, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, Yea, You have put gladness in my heart. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.