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God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Psalm 46:1

We were enjoying a beautiful holiday weekend, until the moment my husband frantically said, Call 911.  Those are two words I hoped to never hear.  We were having a marvelous time, but in a split second a freak accident happened that couldn’t be recreated if one tried, and it left my husband unable to breathe.

I’ve never in all my life heard anyone gasp for breath like he did.  His bare chest heaving, eyes bulged and sheer panic on his face.  I thought perhaps he was choking, so I almost began the Heimlich maneuver, but he said, No.  Choking wasn’t the problem. That’s when he told me to call 911.

I raced into the house, and while running, I shouted to the kids, Pray!  I grabbed the phone, ran back outside to him and dialed.

The last time my husband scared me half to death was a couple of years ago.  He was in the front yard and I was in the back yard.  Evidently, he got into a tussle with a large branch and his electric chainsaw, and of the three of them, the chainsaw won.  I was unaware of anything happening, until the kids ran to me saying, Daddy’s on the ground bleeding in the head from the chainsaw!   Never have I run so fast!  I had no idea what to expect as a sprinted through the house.

I found him sitting on the ground, thankfully totally alert and all appendages accounted for – including his head still attached to his neck.  I found the gash in his scalp, and although he argued with me that he’d be fine, he couldn’t see the top of his head.  An hour after an urgent care trip, he donned four staples.  This was a thankful ending to what could have been a horrific outcome.  Praise God.

Yesterday was different because there was nothing at all I could do for him.  He had swam underwater the length of the pool, came up to exit without any air left in him, but water spontaneously splashed into his throat causing it to reflexively close to prevent water from traveling to his lungs.  I can still hear, in my mind’s ear, the gasping and heaving.

Being sure he’d black out, he sat down in a chair while I dialed 911 – and prayed hard.  Just as the operator asked what I needed, Bruce took a small breath.  Then another small breath.  Slowly.  She repeated her questions to me, but I was more focused on my husband.  He gave me a nod that he was going to be okay.  I told her, Thank you anyway. I think he’ll be fine.  She replied, Just call us back if you need us.

That quick.  Life can change that fast – in one single breath.  In the moments of his crisis, so many things raced through my mind.  Our entire 22 years flashed fast forward.  The kids stood frozen, watching wide-eyed.  We are eternally grateful that God spared Bruce’s life, and he did not suffer any side effects other than a stubborn tickle in his throat even today.  The body is a powerful machine, a strong muscle.  One he couldn’t control for those moments.  And, I couldn’t help.  We both felt powerless.

However, one thing we can always do is pray – and there is immeasurable power in the name of Jesus.  Pray we did.  Bold, audacious prayers claiming Bruce’s throat to cooperate and open up.

Is any one of you in trouble?  He should prayJames 5:13

I am grateful, happy and relieved that all is well.  Bruce is well.  It reminds me of a few Scriptures I’d like to share if you, too, are thankful for God’s sparing and protection in your life…

You hem me in – behind and before; you have laid your hand upon me. Psalm 139:5

I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand. Psalm 73:23

This poor man called, and the LORD heard him; he saved him out of all his troubles. Psalm 34:6

One thought on “Help!

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