“This is the air I breathe, this is the air I breathe,
Your holy presence living in me.
This is my daily bread, this is my daily bread,
Your very word spoken to me.
And I’m desperate for You,
I’m lost without you. ”
(Michael W. Smith)
My mother was in the hospital in a medically induced coma, and a ventilator breathing for her. She had been there five weeks after a heart attack and her lungs collapsing. This turn of events was brought on by the last stages of ALS, better known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. If there ever was a time to be desperate it was then.
I stayed with her almost every night sleeping outside in the hallway on a chair that folded out into a small bed. Those days and nights were spent in prayer, taking in His word (my daily bread), and journaling to find God’s answers. I slept, ate, and breathed the Father. At this point I had no one to turn to but Him. He was everything to me.
The doctors gave their prognosis and advised I take Mom off all the machines. But they didn’t know what was in her heart, they didn’t hear her say, “I don’t want to die.” I knew how she felt and what she wanted so if I opted to let her go God would have to tell me not the doctors. Praying and seeking God’s will was constant. And even though family and friends said it was best to turn off the machines, I didn’t have peace from God.
One day when discussing the situation with someone who was urging me to let her go because it would be best for her, I said, “I’ll decide when the time is right and until then she will stay on the ventilator.” Anger shot though my being and I went to the bathroom to calm down. While washing my hands, I looked in the mirror and a thought came to me, “You are not God, He will make the decision when she dies not you.” He spoke loud and clear through my spirit and I understood He was in control of this horrible circumstance. I felt free from the bondage of making the hardest decision of my life. He would take care of my mom.
A few days later God gave me a very real peace and I knew it was time. I called my brother and told him that the ventilator would be removed the next morning. As I prepared that night to let my precious mom leave me and go to be with our Father in heaven I finally had peace. Desperate pursuit of God and His will had released me from the burden of the guilt I felt about letting her die.
The next day the nurse turned off the ventilator, but left the tube in her throat so she wouldn’t realize she was no longer getting air. She remained in the coma, but I felt she could hear what was going on around her. Therefore we talked to her as if she were awake, never indicating this would be the last time we saw each other here on this earth. Hours passed by and well into the afternoon I got some time alone with her. Without thinking I said, “See you didn’t even need that ole ventilator to breathe. You’re doing just fine on your own.” Then as if this was the first time she realized what was happening she took one last breath and the angels carried her into the arms of her Jesus. It was peaceful and I knew God had her, me, and this beautiful releasing of her spirit under control. He took her when His timing was right and not a second before.
Now I wait for the day I will see her and my dad again. I live fully here in this place, but I also have the wonderful hope of heaven to look forward to one day. Thank You Jesus for making that possible.
I know some of you reading today are desperate for something. You may be seeking help from the world and its endless supply of false hope. But let me urge you to turn to Jesus right now. He is our REAL hope. The Bible says “when you seek Me you will find Me, when you seek Me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:13) If you are desperate, now is the time to seek Him. It is certain He will keep His promise and you will find Him.
He is the air we breathe, He will speak His very word to us, and without Him we are lost in this crazy world of hopelessness. Let Him take you through your time of desperation.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28