The Unwanted Road

Back on September 1, 2019 I told the story of my quintuple bypass in 2003 in a blog post on Grace Journey. In that post I recounted my testimony of how the Lord provided an ambulance at the right time to take me from Nash County Hospital in Rock Mount to the Heart Center at Wake Med in Raleigh, North Carolina. Here is that account:

One of my colleagues at Positive Action later said, “Why in the world was there an ambulance from Wake delivering a patient to Nash General?   No patient is ever sent from Wake Med to Rocky Mount.”  Well, the Lord, and the Wake County Sheriff Department, transported an incarcerated patient to the Nash County jurisdiction just so that the high-tech medical limo (staffed with a cardiac team) would be there for me.  And would you believe that one of the EMT’s on that ambulance was a wonderful Christian (from England, no less) and we had great fellowship all the way to Raleigh.  My Lord is a great God!!

At that time, I must confess, that was an unwanted trip. But now many years later I realize how strategic it was — a trip of a lifetime! That trip began a journey of learning, growing and trusting. It was unwanted at the time…but life saving. It is hard to believe that was almost 17 years ago. Truly, the Lord is good.

Currently, we are in the midst of the frightening and frustrating Coronavirus Pandemic. It has been over four weeks now and all of society is uncertain about the extent of the present and future threat of this yet elusive enemy. And citizens are becoming restless, impatient, and, in some cases, restive about the restrictions of stay-at-home living. This state of affairs runs totally counter to our instant culture that thrives on at-a-glance and one-touch technology.

But consider our present condition in contrast to the four years plus of World War II. The citizens of our country endured long years of restrictions and social discomfort. And they did not have smart phones for instant communication, or large screen home entertainment systems with a veritable mountain of binge-watching digital options. They did all of this without drive-up fast food emporiums, big box warehouse stores for “necessary” products, or climate controlled comfortable living spaces.

They stood in long lines just to get “Ration Books” to buy truly essential products. If they were privileged to own an automobile they were subjected to long lines at the gas pump to purchase a rationed amount of fuel.

It was a long and grueling period of sacrifice and restriction. There was a massive appeal by the government for citizens to work together for the common cause of national security and continued freedom.

Truly many in our society today are suffering greatly. Too many are dying in hospitals without the benefit of family members at their bedside. Many others have gone through very dark valleys fighting back to regain their health. This has been a time for believers to, “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” as the Apostle Paul enjoined us to do in ‭‭Galatians‬ ‭6:2‬. But it is difficult to help others when we are restrained by social distancing.

But it has been a good time to get alone with God and his word, and to read, think, and meditate about God and his truth. During this period of time I have been privileged to read John Piper’s words from his hastily written helpful book Coronavirus and Christ. He gives the following thoughts that are convicting and challenging:

The coronavirus pandemic is where I live. Where we all live. And if it weren’t the coronavirus, it would be the cancer just waiting to recur. Or the unprovoked pulmonary embolism from 2014 just waiting to break off and go to my brain and turn me into a mindless man who will never write another sentence. Or a hundred other unforeseen calamities that could take me—and you—down at any moment. 

The Rock I am talking about is under my feet now. I could say that the Rock is under my feet now just because hope beyond the grave is present hope. The object of hope is future. The experience of hope is present. And that present experience is powerful.

The book is free by clicking on the link above and downloading to your computer or device in several optional formats. It will be a blessing.

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