PSALM 18: 1 – 6 & 16 – 17.
I love you, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer;
My God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the horn of my salvation,
my stronghold. I call to the Lord, who is worthy of praise, and I am saved from my enemies.
The cords of death entangled me; the torrents of destruction overwhelmed me.
The cords of the grave coiled around me: the snares of death confronted me.
In my distress I called to the Lord; I cried to my God for help;
From his temple he heard my voice; my cry came before him, into his ears….
He reached down from on high and took hold of me; he drew me out of deep waters.
He rescued me from my powerful enemy, from my foes, who were too strong for me.
This Psalm has become very real to me over the past few weeks. I came very close to death, but, in his great grace and mercy, the Lord saved me. He lifted me from the jaws of death. Praise his glorious name.
As I lay in Manapo hospital in Phuthaditjhaba, I was made very aware that I was in a conflict for my life, through hallucinations? Visions? Dreams? Who knows what? In my weakened state I kept having these, lets call them, visions, flash through my mind. There were visions of great conflict, in which a voice cried out, “Cut off his head!” Then I was playing tennis, but did not have enough strength to hit the ball back over the net. Then I was playing cricket. I was batting, but really battling to survive at the crease. All these different visions told me I was losing the fight. These visions kept recurring in flashes no longer than a few seconds, but just went on and on. At this point I was very weak, my temp was fluctuating between 38.9 and 37.5, my head was bursting with pain and I was dehydrated. At this point I found it very difficult to pray. All I could say was, “I am healed by the stripes of Jesus. I’m restored by the blood of the Lamb. ” And, “I am the Lord that healeth thee, I am the Lord your healer.” I was also resting on the prayers of the people of God as I was too weak to pray. The flashes of conflict and struggle continued, but after a long battle, an old hymn of triumph and victory burst upon my mind, “For all the saints who from their labours rest, who thee by faith before the world confessed, thy name O Jesus be forever blest. Hallelujah! Hallelujah!” Then I found myself walking through a lush green meadow. This cycle of conflict and struggle followed by a hymn of triumph, “A safe stronghold our God is still,” another hymn that flashed through my mind, carried on through that night and most of the next day, and on and off over the next few days, until the only vision I had was walking through green meadows. God answered the prayers of his people and my weak confession, and saved me from death, as he still has work for me to do in Qwa Qwa. I praise my God who heard our prayers and saved me. He is the True and only Living God. He is the Lord my Healer. “Thanks be to God who, in Christ, always leads us in triumph.” This, time out, has given me the opportunity to sit and valuate what is of most importance in our lives and the ministry. It will be a while before I will be back to full strength, but God will continue to strengthen me.
God used various people to bring about this miracle. Thank you Heather for nursing me when I was so ill at home and mom was in JHB. Thank you Peet for taking me to the Manapo hospital, where they put me on a drip. That drip was the first step toward my restoration. Thanks to the doctors and nursing staff of the Manapo hospital for the kindness they showed me. Thank you Joseph and Joyce and the young folk from the Mabolela church for your visit and your prayers. Thanks too to Johan and Wilna and Bart for all that you did for me and allowing Bart to drive me to the hospital in Bethlehem, and for praying for me. Thanks too for watching over me that one night between hospitals and feeding me with hydrate drinks. Thanks too to Dr Johan Coetzee for his dedicated work that led to one of the big problems, my diseased gall bladder, and for acting so quickly to have it removed, you saved my life. Thanks to the doctor who did the op. You did a good job. Thank you to the nursing staff of the Hoogland Mediclinic who were so good to me. Thank you Peet and Esme for visiting me in the hospital in Bethlehem, and for praying for me. Thanks to Cynthia and Heather and John who visited me in Bethlehem and prayed for me. Thank you Gary for fetching me from hospital and driving me to Port Edward. Thank you all for praying for my full recovery. The prayers of God’s people won the day over the forces of death and destruction. Praise the Lord.
Thank you Brian and Biff for allowing me to recuperate here in your cottage in Port Edward.
God bless you all
Love in Jesus