For Jackie the IV was worse than the surgery!
She gripped my hand, her pastor’s hand, while the beads of sweat rolled off her brow. For nearly ten minutes the sweet nurse had tried to puncture Jackie’s rolling veins, hoping to insert the IV.
But it wasn’t happening. Now Jackie could stand up to an angry bear, but she cowered before the needle and the bag. She was in pain, and her arm was starting to look like Swiss Cheese.
The nurse eventually excused herself and went to find some help. At least that’s what we hoped.
Jackie and I decided to convene a prayer meeting. Together we passionately pounded on the door of heaven asking God to guide the nurse’s needle.
Eight minutes later she returned and geared up for another stab at it. (oops that may be a pun). Praise be to God – she found her target on the first try and all three of us breathed a huge sigh of relief.
I thought I should tell the nurse that while she was away, Jackie and I prayed for her. She replied, “Well I just came from the bathroom where I was also desperately praying!”
She fumbled with failure until she sought the Lord for success.
I was reminded of the words that Paul penned in Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
Paul was relating to the church how he was able to get along financially. Whether his account had plenty or was a pittance – he was able to manage because Christ strengthened him.
But he did use the word “all.” My Seminary professor taught me that, “All means all, and that’s all that all means.” So, Paul took that strengthening concept and applied it broadly to all of life – even to the insertion of an IV needle.
The word “strengthen” is worth exploring. The New Testament was written in Greek, and the word for strengthen is, “endunamao.”
It is a compound word. “En” is much like our English word “in.” This tells us that the power that we get is poured “into” us from outside of us.
“Dunamao,” of course means, “to strengthen.” Look closely and you can see the root of our English word “dyna-mite.”
So, this is kind of like God inserting into us a spiritual IV line to empower us to do what we cannot do on our own.
That’s good because there are so many things that we cannot adequately do.
An essential part of my job as a hospice chaplain is to help a person prepare to die. Oh, how I need the wisdom and strength of God as I sit with them and have those conversations.
I watch my daughter as she juggles her duties as a wife and mother and co-manager of a thriving startup business. She makes it a point to go to the Lord often seeking sanity and strength to help her cope.
I pray often for my son who is a minister to teens. He daily faces the adversity of the devil and the apathy of the culture. He needs more than his natural gifting to reach those kids.
Then there is my son the CEO. He regularly faces tremendous challenges. But the job has caused him to see that he can’t succeed without the Lord.
As for my wife – she has to put up with me. What more can I say?
As I have aged, I have come to realize that I must have misplaced my physical strength. Maybe I left it with my bell bottoms! I now need Him to put power in my muscles and bones. He does that every time I mow the lawn.
Well, there is a point to my IV story. (oops another pun)
We need God’s strength for success
A PRAYER: Lord, please fill our weakness with Your strength.
This has been Jim Johnson with pickleheavenpress.com
May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.