It started last week with some strange pains in my chest. The pains didn’t seem to be heart related but they were disconcerting regardless. I talked to my doctor’s nurse, who spoke with my doctor, and I got some advice along with an appointment to see her.
Yesterday, after conversation and an exam, I found myself being ushered to various rooms. Labs…chest X-Ray…EKG…a CT Angiogram…and all the waiting that is an inevitable part of the whole process.
After my CT scan, I was led to another waiting area. For a long time, I sat there by myself. There was a small, tall table beside me. I hadn’t paid it much attention. I was looking at the other table across the room and for some reason wondered if the one beside me matched it. So I leaned forward to look at the table next to me. Then I saw it…the Bible laying on the little table.
I felt compelled to pick it up and to open it. I have opened my Bible often in my life at times like this…times of stress and concern. I have never been disappointed in what God has to say to me when I look down and start reading.
I opened the Bible. I looked down to find myself in the book of Job.
I was a little let down. I mean, why couldn’t it have been the Psalms? Not that Job doesn’t have words of God’s encouragement, but the Psalms are stuffed full of really great verses that are meant for these moments of uncertainty such as I was feeling.
I started reading chapter 12. Just look at these verses! Job was speaking:
“But ask the beasts, and they will teach you;
the birds of the heavens, and they will tell you;
or the bushes of the earth, and they will teach you;
and the fish of the sea will declare to you.
Who among all these does not know
that the hand of the Lord has done this?
In his hand is the life of every living thing
and the breath of all mankind.”
Job looked at his terrible suffering and could still say that the Lord’s hand had done that. He knew, and said that even animals and nature know, that all of life is in God’s hand.
But I was blown away by that last line. The breath of all mankind is in God’s hand.
I had been given breathing instructions in every exam and test that morning.
Take a deep breath. Now let it out.
Take a deep breath and hold it.
You may breathe normally now.
Hold your breath.
And as I sat there waiting on test results, wondering if something serious was wrong, God so gently reminded me that He was holding my very breath in HIS hand.
If something was wrong with me, could I say like Job did that God’s hand had done that? The same hand that held my breath could do with me what He wanted, but whatever it was that He did would be good.
Did I really believe that?
It turned out that the radiologist that we were waiting on to read the CT results was gone. I sat there for an hour only to be told to go home and results would come in later.
It would have been easy to be frustrated by that…to feel like I had just wasted an hour, hungry and tired and with no results.
But I look at it as a sweet gift from God, that time of opening a random Bible and listening to what God had to say to me in that dismal waiting room.
Right now it seems like I am fine, and I’m thankful for that.
But most of all I’m thankful for God sitting with me in that waiting room.
Thankful for the very timely reminder that every breath I take is in His hand.
And on the day I take my last breath, I’ll be holding His hand.