No Safer Place on Earth

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I felt strange. It hurt to breathe, and I was feverish, so I went to the hospital.
In the mission field, you expect things to happen, good and bad. Along the way, there always seems to be a surprise awaiting.

The first series of tests revealed an infection. An ultrasound showed that my liver, gallbladder and spleen were inflamed. The medical staff prescribed medication for the fever and infection and told me to return in a week if I saw no difference or if it worsened.

I returned to the house, and time passed. The pain I felt while breathing was no longer present, but I started feeling pain on the right side of my belly while walking. It sometimes felt like a burn. I waited a week, and the pain got worse. When I returned to the hospital, they performed a pelvic ultrasound, showing the unexpected—appendicitis. It was inflamed.

So much went through my mind that I could not think straight. I thought of the most impossible scenarios necessary for me to return to my country. But I realized it was not possible. My appendix could burst at any moment. I had to have my surgery in Benin, in the hospital where I was currently a patient. When I accepted that reality, I realized that the place of the surgery didn’t matter. What truly mattered was who was responsible. Jesus! Everything would go as planned.

When I met the anesthesiologist on the morning of the operation, my heart started to pump loudly, and shivers went down my spine. I will have my surgery today. Friends were there to comfort me, but I was scared. Though I smiled for all the world to see, deep down, God knew how afraid I was. Then one of my friends came to my side and put on a song. I recognized it. It was by one of my favorite Christian artists, so I closed my eyes and listened. At that moment, I felt God speaking those very lyrics to my soul.

In that special moment, I felt God’s embrace. Sitting on His throne, the God of all wonders and majesty took time to comfort my weary heart as if I were the only person on the Earth to care for, and He had all the time for me. For the first time that day, I was calm about the surgery. No one had been able to calm my heart, no matter how much they tried. But my Daddy, my Creator, knew exactly what I needed.

When I entered the operating room, I started stressing over all the instruments. I felt as though I were in a movie. As I lay on the operating table, the surgeon touched my stomach. “I feel something hard. The surgery will be more complex than expected,” he said. Hearing this made my heart beat faster.

As the medical staff installed a venous catheter, I started singing the song I heard earlier. As soon as the lyrics started to pass through my lips, I felt a flood of peace so complete it is hard to explain. As my eyes closed, I knew two things: angels filled the operating room, and Jesus was my surgeon.

Attended by the Heavenly medical staff, my surgery was a success.

Now, I know that circumstances may seem like nothing is going as planned, as if your walls of plans are crashing down, but being where the Master is, following His great plan, is always the best place you could be. Trust Him wherever He leads you, even if it is to an operating table. If He is there, there is no safer place on Earth.