[Noozhawk’s note: First in a series.]
These past few weeks have had a profound impact on my life for the better. I contracted COVID-19 and, through my own experience, I’ve drawn closer to God.
He’s given me a personal psalm to share. I’ve always cherished some of the shorter psalms David and others present to God and sense the need to do so in my own feeble way.
These words that follow come from my experience over 10 days of battling this heinous virus. First the psalm and then an explanation of my coronavirus battle. These words are for you Lord:
» My God, where are you? All I sense is a deep darkness and You are nowhere to be found.
I sense an ugliness that overcomes me. It would be so easy to quit and succumb to the enemy.
» Wait, I call out in desperation and see a glimmer of light shine through the darkness of the veil.
Finally, I can sense Your presence Lord. You draw closer to me as time flitters and the day goes by.
» It’s a new day and I now know there is hope and that hope is found in You and You alone.
As I reach out for You, I feel Your warmth and know that You are nearer than ever before My Lord.
» What a joy You bring to my heart. I no longer fear the enemy and subtle hold he had early on,
Your victory over death overwhelms me and I glory in your immense presence this day forward!
Now it’s time to share my COVID-19 experience so you, too, may sense how our Lord can bring us through the deepest and vilest experiences we may ever face in life.
In mid-August I found myself losing some physical strength, coughing a bit, lacking mental sharpness and having difficulty seeing the small print on my computer screen in the office.
As an insurance agent (essential business), I’ve been working in my small office and occasionally meeting with clients since the beginning of the pandemic. I’m sure others my age, in their 70s, decided to reduce their work load until things settle down, but I felt led to continue serving the needs of my clients.
I sensed a need to visit my personal physician, Dr. Paul Aijian. On the evening of Aug. 17, he examined me and immediately recommended I visit the emergency room at Goleta Valley Cottage Hospital the next morning for testing, since he felt I may well have contracted COVID-19 over the past week or so.
Around noon the next day, my wife, Janet, drove me to the hospital and, within 10 minutes, they ascertained I was positive. They gave me the choice to be immediately transported to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital’s COVID-19 Unit or go home and weather the storm. As a typical foolish, prideful man, I decided God and I could whip this virus at home.
Around midday on Aug. 22, I asked Janet to take me back to the emergency room for admittance to the COVID-19 Unit, since I was getting weaker each day. After a five-hour wait in the ER (oxygen administered), the ambulance finally arrived to transport me to Santa Barbara Cottage.
For the next five days, I would be treated with extreme care by the doctors, nurses and hospital staff.
A verse from Jeremiah 30:17 came to mind. It prophesies “’But I will restore you to health and heal your wounds,’ declares the Lord.”
That short promise from God’s Word brought me solace and peace as I started my recovery.
In ending this first segment of my coronavirus story, I’d like to share that I was quite fearful for a short time early on in my illness. That first evening at home after testing positive I found myself seeing hideous scenes that were almost unbearable.
I finally came to my senses and asked God to intervene. Immediately, the Holy Spirit instantly removed the darkness, and His light and His peace immediately came over me.
Passages to Ponder
— Jim Langley has been writing for more than 30 years while working as a life and health insurance agent in Santa Barbara. In recent years, his passion has turned to writing about his personal relationship with God, and his goal is to encourage others to draw near to Him as well. As a longtime member of CBMC of Santa Barbara (Christian Business Men’s Connection), he started writing Fourth Quarter Strategies columns in 2014, and he now reaches an international audience through the CBMC International devotional Monday Manna. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. Click here for previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.