Thursday, August 23, 2007


One of the things a pastor does is visit the hospitals to see and pray for those who are ill. Most of the time, these visits are quite uneventful. They consist of talking with the patient and family and having a prayer with them before leaving. In fact, the actual visit is always the highlight of the trip. The travel to the hospital and actually finding the patient is the adventurous part.

I have visited patients in more than one hospital where the information desk had no record of the person’s name. In these cases, I have learned to inquire about the patient at the nurse’s station where they are most likely to be. You can usually find out more from the nurse’s station than the information desk. At least here in Edgefield, we only have one floor and since everyone in Edgefield either knows everyone or more than likely is related in some way, most of the people that work in the hospital can help.

One visit that I will never forget happened after I had been in Edgefield for about two weeks. Derry Billingsley, our minister of music at the time, graciously volunteered to go with me to visit someone who was in CCU at the VA Hospital in Augusta. Since I had no idea where that was, I accepted.

As we entered the building, Derry told me that he knew where CCU was so we didn’t need to visit the information desk. We took an elevator up a few floors and got off. We stepped from the elevator and the door closed behind us. As we walked into the hospital corridor, something didn’t feel right.

Only about half the lights were on, most of the rooms were dark, and there were no people around. We approached the nurse’s station where there were a few papers and some pens, but again, no people. At this point, I began to get a little uneasy. A busy hospital corridor is one thing, but an empty, dimly lit one is a bit creepy for me.

Derry suggested that the CCU might be through the electric double doors nearby, so we went to try them. I pushed the button and the doors opened to an even darker area. Derry stepped in, but I did not. The door began to close behind him, and he had to rush to get out. He and I both had enough and began walking briskly toward the exit. We were met by an employee who then informed us of the relocation of the CCU.

Our fears were unfounded, but seemed real at the time. I still believe there was probably a security camera person rolling on the floor laughing at us. We both felt silly for getting a little nervous in that darkened corridor. I just couldn’t help remembering the hospital scene in one of the old Halloween horror movies.

Isn’t that the way fear is though? Most of the time, our fears are unfounded. We are afraid of things that go bump in the night only to find them to be nothing in the light of day.

There were about 10 recent reports of a hairy creature frightening people at a campsite in Winnipeg, Canada. One witness informed the Mounties of this creature that was pounding on their camper. The Mounties investigated, and discovered an 18 year-old man wearing a gorilla mask playing practical jokes on the campers. Now a hairy creature pounding on your camper at night is indeed disturbing, however, once the discovery of the man in the mask is made, it seems silly.

Satan’s number one tool against us is fear. As many of you have heard me say from the pulpit, F.E.A.R. stands for False Education Appearing Real. 2 Timothy 1:7 says
For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
God doesn’t want us to go around fearing all that we don’t know or understand. He wants us to boldly go out in His name and love the lost enough to overcome our fears and share God’s love with them knowing He will protect us when we are in His will.

The wicked flee when no man pursueth: but the righteous are bold as a lion.
(Proverbs 28:1)

He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust.” Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler And from the perilous pestilence. He shall cover you with His feathers, And under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler. You shall not be afraid of the terror by night, Nor of the arrow that flies by day, Nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness, Nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday. A thousand may fall at your side, And ten thousand at your right hand; But it shall not come near you.
(Psalm 91:1-7)

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