By: Tim Sader
“Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” (1 Corinthians 15:55)
Before I continue my story about what I’ve done I need to fast forward and tell about what has been happening lately. Wow I have had quite the journey physically, mentally and spiritually. I find it ironic that last time I had the opportunity to write the Torch we talked about hospitals and the machines that help me live my life so that I can do my work for the Lord. For three weeks I struggled to write a Torch before midnight because something wasn’t right in my body and I just couldn’t shake it. A few Thursdays ago I felt sick to my stomach and everything I tried to eat or drink I would get choked on. I went to the doctor the day before but I felt bad enough on that day I knew I needed a hospital and if I wouldn’t go my wife was going to call an ambulance. In the ER they had trouble getting blood and starting IV’s so they used imaging to start three lines. After getting blood for labs, I got a chest x-ray, EKG and echocardiogram. They wanted to see my heart and lungs since I had been coughing some and it made me have chest pain. My blood came back and showed I had an infection. I had my third UTI and come to find out I had pneumonia though I didn’t think I was that sick. After all this they needed to test my swallowing to see if I was doing it safely without aspirating. They brought me ice chips, a sip of water and apple sauce to try and swallow. Ice chokes me, I don’t sip liquid and apple sauce is so sweet it makes me get thick saliva in my throat. I was wore out from three weeks of being ill so not a fair test for them to determine how I do swallowing. Speech therapy determined it was unsafe for me to eat or drink anything so all my fluids and food came through IV or nasal feeding tube while I was in the hospital for the next two weeks. After spending over thirty hours in the tiny ER room they moved me to the Neuro floor so I would have the help I need for my level of care. My mom never left me alone there because my voice was to low, no one could understand my noninvasive ventilator and breathing is pretty important.
After being in the hospital for about five days the IV antibiotics and respritory treatments began to clear up the pneumonia and infection. Every night I had new nurses taking care of me and because my heart is weak my regular blood pressure is very low so I had to keep explaining this when they freaked out. The doctor finally put in my chart that it was normal for me and they worried less. While I was there I remembered the conversation I had with my friend Cliff about how I could get a grip on the fear that kept trying to creep in on me. He asked me what is the worse thing I could fear and I said death. He reminded me that death has been swallowed up in victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. This is why we can stand firm and let nothing move us because when we are working with the Lord it is always worth it (1 Cor. 15:54-58). The thief comes to steal, kill and to destroy our lives but Christ came to give us a blessed life (John 10:10). Christ came and shared in humanity with us so that by His death He could break the power the devil had over death. He freed those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death (Heb. 2:14-15). My friend on the phone told me that whenever fear comes creeping in the best thing to do is praise the Lord. His name is majestic in all the earth and His glory is set in the heavens. Through praise children of God have a stronghold against the enemy, to silence the foe and avenger (Ps. 8:1-2). Praise stills the enemy, it cripples him and when we resist him he will flee from us. Many times in the hospital doctors presented me with alternative feeding options so I could return home and every time there were serious risks if I were to proceed. These were not options to me so they had to put in a pick line so I can get IV feeding. Miraculously this went in perfectly but what is most amazing is that I’m able to swallow food and drink despite being told I would never do it again.
Lord I thank you for the abundant life you promised to give me in place of what the thief has stolen. When I am confronted with fear and the anxieties of life help me Lord to praise until the enemy becomes silent to me. Lord I only want to hear you when I find myself in difficult situations. Other voices may say a lot to us and it maybe reality to them but Lord I want your reality to be mine so that I can share the victory with you. In Jesus name, Amen.
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No one lights a lamp and hides it in a clay jar or puts it under a bed. Instead, they put it on a stand, so that those who come in can see the light. Luke 8:16