I never prayed so much as the time I spent in the bathroom the night before last – about twelve trips that night until the contents of my stomach and intestines were emptied, as a result of a nasty virus. Each time I earnestly asked, “O God, please help me” and felt I would have been better off dead. Two days later I am feeling better and resuming my daily tasks with more energy at last. I felt as if I had been to the edge and back, not knowing that my body could convulse that much and stay in one piece. It sounds a bit melodramatic now, but not then. I want to share the psalmist’s gratitude at the feeling of restoration:
I love the LORD, because he has heard
my voice and my supplications.
Because he has inclined his ear to me,
therefore I will call on him as long as I live. (Psalm 116:1-2)
Just over a year ago I fell off a ladder and fell 15 feet onto a concrete floor. Miraculously I escaped lasting injury, although it took a few months of physical therapy to get me back in shape. Immediately after that experience I was very grateful to be alive and not seriously injured. I could echo the psalmist’s words once again:
For you have delivered my soul from death,
my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling.
I walk before the LORD in the land of the living. (Psalm 116:8-9)
For all the times we are restored to health through the body’s own wonderful immune / defense system, there are times when we must come to terms with a lesser outcome. For those times we also pray to God in the words of the psalmist:
Gracious is the LORD, and righteous;
our God is merciful…
When I was brought low he saved me.
Return, O my soul, to your rest… (Psalm 116:5-7)