Blessed Changes

“I cold, Nana,” said Bailey. As I hugged our two-year-old grandson close, I could feel his small
body burning mine through the layers of our clothing. I prayed, “Oh, please, let the medicine
bring his fever down.”
At midnight I laid him down and stretched out beside him, not wanting to leave his side until I
knew he was feeling better. I watched, helplessly, as he turned this way and that, trying to get
comfortable. His fever-reddened cheeks looked dark. His breathing was labored; his heart rate
rapid.
Though I was exhausted, sleep eluded me, also, as I kept careful watch over our two-year-old grandson and
prayed relief would come—soon. When it didn’t, I began to imagine all sorts of complications. Croup. A
fever-induced seizure. An illness more serious than the “infected throat” diagnosis given by the Emergency
Room doctor.
After forty-five agonizingly slow minutes, Bailey’s fever began to come down. Though he still felt warm, I could tell
his temperature was no longer near 105, as it had been when my husband and I had given him his medicine.
Around 4 a.m. I eased into my own bed, grateful for the monitor that allowed me to hear the slightest sound
Bailey made, even though his room was on the opposite end of the house.
By morning he was well enough to make the eight-hour trip back to his home where his pediatrician could care
for him.
Remembering how fear gripped me during those long nighttime hours, I empathized with others who were
keeping an anxious watch over their loved ones while praying for their healing. Some of the sick will recover;
others will not.
Since I feel such compassion for all who suffer and for all who attend them, am particularly moved by a situation
described in the 11th chapter of John. Lazarus became ill, so his sisters (Martha and Mary) instinctively sent for
Jesus. Though He loved them, He delayed going to them. When He did arrive, He was told Lazarus had been in
the tomb four days. Upon seeing the grief-stricken sisters and friends, Jesus also began to weep.
While folks were wondering why the Healer hadn’t come earlier in order to prevent His friend from dying, Jesus
was preparing to do an even greater miracle. He commanded that the stone used to seal the tomb be rolled
away. Then He called, “Lazarus, come out!”
When Lazarus appeared, weeping turned to joy. The same kind of emotional reversal occurred
again when those who were mourning Jesus’ death realized He, too, had been raised to life.
And joy will again be felt when the Lord comes “down from heaven, with a loud command, with
the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God…the dead in Christ will rise first.
After that, we who are still alive…will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the
Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever” (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17, New
International Version). In that place, “There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain”
(Revelation 21:4, NIV). And no more terror-filled vigils beside sick and suffering loved ones! All
that will be gone—forever.
© 2003 by Johnnie Ann Gaskill. Contact her via http://eThomaston.net/johnnie

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