Do you realize that if you are a follower of Christ, our Lord walks with you? He walks with you as you go through major challenges in your life as well as the mundane day-to-day efforts. I recently experienced both. I had a planned angiogram which was expected to result in an angioplasty. Unfortunately, my arteries were compromised to the point that an angioplasty could not be performed. Instead, bypass surgery was scheduled. For me this qualified as a “major challenge” in my life. I was fearful and immensely discouraged. Prior to the surgery I sought the Lord through prayer and His Word. As I read God’s Word, one verse grabbed me to the point that I continued to pray and pray this verse. In fact, I still pray this verse. It is Isaiah 41:10 which says:
“Fear not, for I am with you;
Be not dismayed, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you,
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
We have all been afraid and discouraged in life and I was feeling these exact emotions as the surgery drew near. What is comforting is the Lord acknowledges our fears and hopelessness because He knows us. He reassures us that He is our God and He is with us. Not only that, He promises to strengthen and uphold us. Whatever your situation in life, whether it is “big” or “small,” He sustains and supports us. He walks with us.
After the surgery (triple bypass) came the recovery. It was tedious and boring. You want your body to be whole again, but it requires continuous rest, which I don’t excel in. Yet this was a time for me to see how the Lord walks with me in my day-to-day life. He does this though the Holy Spirit, which indwells in all followers of Christ. The Holy Spirit is our helper, advocate, comforter and the spirit of truth. He seals, teaches, guides, directs, encourages, convicts, and comforts us, to name just a few characteristics. I felt close to the Lord as I healed. And I recognized that He walks with me throughout the good and bad, the high and lows, and every other situation in my life. What triggered this observation was my teddy bear. Yes, my teddy bear. Let me explain.
My surgery was at the Bakersfield Heart Hospital. All heart surgery patients receive a specially-designed teddy bear after surgery. If a cough or sneeze occurs, the teddy bear is to be placed against your chest and you squeeze the teddy bear against your chest as hard as you can until the coughing or sneeze passes. The teddy bear is to be with you 24 hours-a-day for the entire six weeks of recovery. I initially thought this was absolutely silly – until I coughed for the first time. After that first cough I had my teddy bear with me always, even when I ate and slept! It reminded me of how we always have the Lord with us every step of the way. He is always ready to help unless we forget about Him, which I have done too many times. Again, my teddy bear highlighted this forgetfulness. Let me explain.
About three weeks into my recovery I was slowly improving. And although I was to take my teddy bear wherever I went, I began to leave the bear in another room of our house. Well, I was doing better, right? Things would be going along swimmingly until a cough happened. All I could think about was, “I need the bear! I need the bear!” Isn’t that just like us when we forget about the Lord? Hey, I’m fine. Things are going well. You can stay in the other room because I’ve got this. And then something bad happens and you cry out, “Where are you, Lord? I need you.” But He is there with us. Hebrews 13:5 says “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” And that is so true.
So is the Lord walking with you? Or have you left Him in the other room? May you be close to Him, seeking His guidance and help in every aspect of your life. He walks with us.