After being a hospital chaplain for over twenty years I found it really hard to find myself on the other side of the bed.
Nine months in and out of hospital with a debilitating and life threatening illness tested every aspect of my life. Yet, In the midst of this darkness God revealed to me aspects of life, death, and suffering that I had never seen or experienced before.
In the early stages of my Illness I kept a daily diary. Later, I simply took mental notes of the things happening around me resulting in the writing of this book. I do pray that whether you be patient, pastor, carer, friend or family that God will bless and equip you through the Insights of this publication.
I n April 1994 I was admitted to the Canberra Woden Valley Hospital. After three weeks of intensive investigation, which included two minor operations, I was diagnosed as having a rare and serious lung disease called BOOP, (Bronchiolitis Obliterating Organising Pneumonia).
This disease both inflames the lungs and causes them to be covered with fibre which reduces the oxygen exchange to the body. This condition incapacitated me to the point of being bedridden for a very long period of time and on numerous occasions it has nearly caused my death.
As I write this book I recognise that resurrection healing could be a very real possibility for me before I finish it, as I have just had a relapse. This backward step has caused the oxygen saturation in my body to degenerate to such a degree that my skin has turned a light grey. Time to turn up the oxygen concentrator and type faster.
In the crisis stage of this disease, I was unable to breathe without maximum oxygen from the hospital system, coupled with special life support equipment. I could not roll off my back, eat, stand, sit, toilet or wash myself.
I was totally reliant on the hospital nursing staff to assist me with practically all of these things. For the most part I was so ill that I was unable to receive visitors, as I had difficulty in concentrating or putting more than three or four words together at a time. My future prognosis is uncertain as little is known about the course of this illness.
One thing is obvious, only limited mobility and function are available to me unless a reasonable amount of healing is received. However, the spiritual lessons I have learnt from this experience have been of inestimable value in my life and ministry. I believe for me personally (an iron headed stiff-necked man), there could have been no other way that I could have learnt them.
I have been able to genuinely thank God for the experience, even though the suffering has been great. My prayer is that I will be able to use these lessons in life and not lose them in death. This power however, lies within the sovereign will of God.
Nevertheless, in agreement with the Apostle Paul I can say, "We can rejoice too, when we run into problems and trials for we know that they are good for us--they help us to learn to be patient. And patience develops strength of character in us and helps as trust God more each time we use it until finally our hope and faith are strong and steady." Rom 5:3-4. (LB.}
I have written this booklet for three reasons:
(1) For myself personally, so that I will not forget the lessons I have learnt.
(2) To give the sick and suffering encouragement and direction.
(3) To give those who minister to the sick and dying, insight into the feelings and struggles of those with chronic illness.... (please buy the book to read more)
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