“For the word of God is living and powerful, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart”—Hebrews 4:12.
My insides lurched as I clenched the receiver, trying to digest my brother’s words on the other end of the line.
“Dad’s pretty ill, Shara,” my brother said. “He’s been diagnosed with a debilitating disease that could be life-threatening. The doctors gave him medication they hope will work.”
He paused. “It doesn’t look good.”
I called my parents’ house and talked to my mom. While on the phone, my dad suddenly motioned to her to call 9-1-1. That was only the beginning.
The year was 2006 and everything we considered normal life abruptly came to a stand-still. Leaving Bruce in Texas to tend to our horses and music ministry, I flew to California.
In one phone call, I had become the foreman, secretary, and bookkeeper in my dad’s construction business, as well as a caregiver.
My plan to stay a couple of weeks turned into two months. Hope reigned when he received treatment at the hospital and returned home.
All would seem well, and then I was dialing 9-1-1 for the ambulance or rushing him back to the hospital myself. I finally quit booking flights home because I kept having to cancel them.
I needed help beyond the physical. I needed God Himself to show up in a big way.
Sitting in the emergency room once again, I stared motionless at the scene around me: doctors and nurses hurried from one section to another.
A gunshot victim groaned through the partition on one side, and there was some sort of unidentifiable commotion on the other.
I looked over at my 75-year-old dad—a very resilient man—whom I had seen really ill probably once in my entire life. It was nearly unbearable to see him in a hospital bed with a bunch of tubes hooked to him.
The tightening sensation of fear threatened to suffocate me. I choked back the tears and tried to stay strong.
All the Bible verses and sermons I had heard went straight out the window—I remembered none of them. At that moment, all I could say was “Jesus, help me.”
A still, small voice stirred within me, “Didn’t you bring your Bible?” I reached for my bag and yes, there it was.
Blinded by the fear that gripped me, I never saw the tabs and bookmarks that flagged my favorite verses. I just opened my Bible and numbly, randomly started flipping.
On my second “flip” it opened, miraculously, to 1 Corinthians 2:5: “that your faith should not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God.”
Encouraged, I flipped one more time and again, miraculously, the pages fell open to 2 Corinthians 5:7: “for we walk by faith, not by sight.”
The Lord knew I would need these two verses that night and throughout the entire two months. I grabbed a hold of them with a white-knuckled grip.
His Presence in the emergency room jarred me loose from the paralyzing grasp of fear. His encouragement caused me to reach for Him through His Word, giving me hope even through distressing doctors’ reports and procedures; the stress of running a construction company; and other unthinkable situations that tested me during that time.
God’s Word saved me and in turn, saved my dad.
It happened one night as we sat together in his hospital room. Suddenly, for no reason, his blood pressure shot up into the danger zone.
The Lord’s urgency spurred my heart as He told me to start reading His Word—out loud! I grabbed my Bible.
By this time, my dad’s face was beet-red. I looked at his face, looked up at his patient monitor, looked down at my Bible, and started reading. As I read, a nurse came in with a shot. Lord, no! Please, no more medications for my dad!
Now, I have no medical training whatsoever, but I sensed in my spirit that shot was the wrong thing to do. I was close to panicking as the nurse stood there with the needle poised.
All I could do was sit there, read, and pray. Curiously, though, the nurse wasn’t moving. She quietly watched the monitor, and I kept reading the Word.
As suddenly as his blood pressure rose, it dropped. I stared in amazement as my dad safely recovered.
The nurse, visibly relieved, said, “Good, I really didn’t want to give him this,” and walked out of the room.
Later in the evening, I found her at the nurses’ station and asked her what had happened. She confirmed there was no explanation as to why my dad’s blood pressure sky-rocketed.
And then she added thoughtfully, “I heard you reading the Bible when I walked in.”
“Well, I’m quite sure that is why your dad’s blood pressure came down.”
She then shared something I will never forget. “In all the years I have worked at this hospital,” she said, “I’ve seen powerful things happen when the Word of God is read to patients. In fact, I’ve seen a marked difference between the patients who have the Word read to them and the ones who don’t.”
Wow. The Word of God, as it proclaims, is life.
From then on, I read to my dad every day—the spoken Word of God was a powerful force!
Sometimes he was awake, sometimes he was asleep. But I continued to read, if only in a whisper, saying his name in all the personal spots of the verses:
“John Bueler, Sr. will live and not die”—Psalm 118:17; “No weapon formed against John Bueler, Sr. will prosper”—Isaiah 54:17, etc.
My dad turned 86 this year—a walking miracle. “Don’t rest on the wisdom of men, but the power of God,” and “walk by faith, not by sight”!
Shara Bueler-Repka is enjoying life as a singer/songwriter/recording artist, freelance writer, and award-winning author. She and her husband, Bruce, live in their living quarters horse trailer and call “home” wherever their rig is parked. Their mail-base, however, is Hallettsville, Texas. She also loves riding/ministering with her husband and their horses (aka The Boys) in the backcountry and writing about God’s grace in the various adventures on the trail less-traveled. Join the fun and be encouraged on their website: www.ponyexpressministry.com and her blog: www.trail-tails.blogspot.com, or come for a visit on Facebook.