“You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You” Isaiah 26:3
I have been hesitant posting this. This experience is sacred to me, and it almost feels like if I put it down on paper, it will be lost. But this blog is about Jesus to highlight His power. So, here’s telling how great our God is…
You know when you smell something familiar, it invokes a distinct memory of a place or time, whether good or bad? That’s what they teach in Psych class 101 – called classical conditioning.
When my daughter was in my womb her oesophagus never grew all the way to her tummy, so she needed a massive operation at only three days old. This ensured that she was born straight into NICU and I had a very scary 30 days ahead of me.
I had to stay very close to the Lord during this time, but many times fear got the upper hand and gripped me. There were many tears, with as many prayers. There were doubts peppered with ‘what ifs’ that jumped into my head. I sat at her bedside from 8am-8pm. I would watch all the machines attached to her little body painstakingly, and jump up at the nurse for every little beep, demanding to know what it meant. If I had to write a nurse’s exam after that ordeal, I think I might have just passed!
It was incredibly stressful. This post is not about spiritual attacks, but I am giving this example to highlight the type of ordeals we went through. One particular morning there was a spiritual attack on the NICU. The night before I had felt an evil presence come into my bedroom which I had to rebuke and pray away. The next morning, as I was getting dressed to go to the hospital, the Christian NICU nurse who was assigned to Jordan, called me on my cell. I was blessed to have her, she is a mighty woman of God. Her first words were, “Now don’t panic…but Jordan’s heart rate has increased to 300bpm and we can’t see why.” I can’t remember what happened after that but all I heard her say into the phone was, “No no, calm down, just call hubby or your mom, don’t panic!” And next I knew I was at the hospital.
The NICU was in disarray, which was out of the ordinary for this first class hospital. Jordan’s nurse felt it was a clear attack from Satan – all the machines were beeping out of control for unknown reasons, every single infant was screaming and phones were ringing off the hook. There was confusion everywhere. It was so noisy people could not concentrate.
Satan chose that specific day to attack because that was the day I would find out if Jordan’s operation was successful or if she had to be transferred to Cape Town’s Red Cross Childrens’ Hospital. God won. It was ok! Satan tried to steal my joy of God’s victorious operation by replacing it with a possible heart problem. To cut a long story short, there was nothing doctors could find that caused her heart rate to speed up, and an ECG showed her heart was perfectly healthy. I always find that when doctors don’t know, the spirit world does!
However, despite this most stressful time, this is the most blessed hospital I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. I would say about 95% of the hospital staff there are saved. Every patient gets prayed over, and Jesus is on their lips the entire time. Besides a church, I have never witnessed an institution that holds so many Christians in one place and makes God the centre like this hospital does. God was always the topic of conversation there, which infused me with an abundance of strength. They are blessed and the patients are blessed because the staff honour Jesus. I never got to hold my baby until her third day in this world. A nurse came unexpectedly into my room and said, “Lets’ pray.” And she prayed for me and my baby, so heartfelt and wonderful. It gives me a lump in my throat thinking about it as I type. God is so beautiful in that hospital. He walks those floors the entire day through. There is peace amidst the chaos the medical world brings.
As you know, every time you enter the NICU ward, you need to wash your hands with that disinfectant or rub them with the alcohol disinfectant, which has a very distinct smell. I have one of those bottles at home that I use now and then. One would think that every time I smell the disinfectant that it would bring back awful memories. But no, my mind gets flooded with warm, loving memories! The smell invokes a very happy time for me. I do not remember it as a ‘bad’ time, but a great time with wonderful experiences because Jesus led the entire process. I get nostalgic. I smile every single time I use it. It makes me miss that hospital so much and its wonderful people. To be honest, I think I keep a bottle because it’s sentimental for me.
That’s our Jesus – the beautiful calming peace in the storm. How I love Him! The world does not smile thinking back about a tribulation or trial. But we can, because we are His! We are children of the God of all comfort (2 Cor 1:3). God brought beauty to a memory that would very easily have been a horrible one if I never knew Him.
I know, that no matter how difficult the trial, I can rest in the peace of Jesus because God will always be in the midst of her.