Where Does My Help Come From?

Many years ago, I was serving as a chaplain at Florida Hospital and happened to be pulling a night shift when all hell broke loose.  I was getting multiple calls to multiple floors to deal with one crisis after another.  In the middle of all of it, we had a "code blue" that occurred--a man went into cardiac arrest and was not able to be revived.  

I received the call of the "code blue" while I was dealing with someone who had been brought into the emergency room, raving and refusing treatment because of her religious beliefs.  By the time I got a handle on her situation, the code blue was over and I was messaged that he had passed away. 

The nurse in the unit where he'd been asked me to come up and to be with the family, who were gathered around his bed.  I was tired.  I had nothing left.  I honestly wanted to run as fast as I could out into the parking lot.  I hadn't had a cigarette in years, but I figured somewhere out there someone had one that I could smoke.  

Every fiber of my being was screaming, "MAKE SOMEONE ELSE DO THIS!  YOU DON'T HAVE THE STRENGTH!"  

I remember standing in the chaplain's office with my hands on the desk, and my head bowed over it as I tried to gather myself.  I prayed aloud in the room, and my voice echoed in the emptiness.  "God," I said.  "I can't do this.  I just can't."  

Something made me look up on the wall at that moment, and I saw one of those odd, kind of corny photos with a Bible verse on it.  The photo was of a snow covered mass of peaks, towering over a peaceful valley.  The verse was from Psalm 121:1-2, "I lift up my eyes to the mountains--where does my help come from?  My help comes from the Lord who made heaven and earth." 

Suddenly, I felt a kind of peace wash over me.  It was almost like I could hear a voice in my head telling me, "You are not enough.  But I am.  You are not strong enough for this. But I am."  

I picked up my Bible, and left the office to head up to the unit to meet the family of the man who died.  When I got there I told them who I was and asked if I could read a passage of Scripture and pray with them.  They nodded at me through their tears.  I opened my Bible to Psalm 121 and began to read.  

When I got to the last verse, I felt like my heart was going to burst inside of me. 

"The Lord will keep you from all harm
    he will watch over your life;
the Lord will watch over your coming and going
    both now and forevermore."

The faces of the family members softened, some of them smiled.  One of them softly said, "Amen."  They hugged me, and told me how perfect the passage of Scripture had been, what it meant for them to hear it, and to realize their loved one had been watched over by God, and was finally at rest with the Savior.  

May you find ways today to surrender your strength (which isn't enough), to surrender your will (which isn't complete), to surrender yourself (which is all God wants), and be open to the leading of the Holy Spirit.  May you discover new ways to bless and be a blessing, knowing that God will open the doors for you to do so--all you need to do is step through them. 

And may the grace and peace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always.  Amen. 


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