A DAY AT THE HOSPITAL
by Claudia Guardado
A few days ago when I was at the hospital visiting with my Dad after his liver surgery, a group of people were walking around with two guitars, singing songs and praying for the patients in the hospital beds. They approached our room and asked my Dad if it was okay to sing and to pray for him. He agreed without hesitation. The group started singing and my Dad lifted up his skinny arms and sang praises along with them. With their warm smiles, uplifting songs, special prayers and encouraging words, they left our hearts filled with hope.
Before my Dad got really sick, he used to go to church every week, but he hasn’t been able to do so for over six months because of his frail condition. Sadly, he spends more time in the hospital than he does at home. But our God knows all our needs, and He definitely knows my Dad’s. Since Dad couldn’t be at the church service, thanks be to God the service was brought to him.
I thought about the times my family and I have visited the convalescent home with our brothers and sisters in Christ, but this time we were being visited. It made me reflect. It’s true that we will never be able to eradicate trouble, frustration, sadness, disappointment, pain, hunger, sickness and suffering in the world; but we can light up the lives of many when we reach out to them in their time of need.
A friend called me a few days ago and asked me how I was doing. I told her I was doing all right. She seemed surprised at my response, and encouraged me to talk and not to hide my feelings. But I was being honest. I was okay. Later on I asked myself, is it that I am not afraid to lose my Dad? Is it that I am ready to say goodbye? Is it that I don’t care what happens to him anymore? Or is it that all the prayers of my family and friends are giving me the strength I need to keep standing no matter the challenges? I truly believe that last statement.
I completely understand that it sounds illogical to thank God when things don’t make sense. It’s hard to trust Him when our souls feel vulnerable, our hearts are exposed, our thoughts are scrambled, our minds are tired, and our bodies are restless. It seems impossible to sing a song when the same question keeps popping up in our heads, “Where are you, Lord?” However, if we pay close attention, we will discover that God is always there, and that is reason enough to be at peace and to rest in Him.
Our God is our Provider. He has used many to bless us in a great way. Some friends have given money to the family; others have brought food, or paid for the grocery shopping for the week. My Dad’s boss and friend did everything necessary to make sure the insurance company would pay a considerable hospital bill they didn’t want to cover. A doctor volunteered to perform a surgery that no others doctors wanted to do. God has been fighting our battles and supplying according to our needs.
Our God is our Strength. He has showed us His amazing Love and Support through everybody. All those encouraging texts, emails, pictures, videos, songs, and prayers from family and friends really come from one, and only one, place, Him! God put the will in the hearts of many to drive all the way to San Diego Hospital from Los Angeles to see Dad and to support my mother and brother, Moises. Thank you Jesus for putting such wonderful people in our lives.
And if that is not enough, God sends people we have never met before to the hospital my Dad is at, to sing songs, probably after a long day of work. That is love, that is compassion!
This is indeed a very difficult situation, but God has been with my family and me every step of the way. We could easily focus on the negative, but we choose not to. Why not bless the Lord and remember all His benefits? Whether God moves big mountains for us, or decides to keep them unmovable, we will keep waiting and trusting in Him, knowing that He loves us, and that He has our best interests at heart.
In the meantime, guide us, O Lord, to make the right choices. Give us the strength to continue moving forward. Train our ears to listen to Your Voice attentively. Teach us how to follow You and to be better each day. Thank You, Jesus, for all Your tender mercies.