God is always present

The Doctor's Life Support for 15 March

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me …

Psalm 23: 4

The colonel’s order came for me to go to Sarajevo. I was to set up and run a surgical theatre there. The journey was difficult and dangerous and Sarajevo was under daily artillery attack. The Olympic stadium had become a cemetery with several burials daily, of children as well as of adults. After a stressful few days, our company commander arranged a party. It was a wonderful evening – until we had a mortar attack and I had to operate on the casualties. A good French friend, another army doctor, was mortally wounded and died that night. I later joined the guard of honour at Sarajevo airport and heard his chaplain speak on the text, ‘In my Father’s house are many rooms.’ (John 14: 1) With so few rooms in Sarajevo still intact, this brought home in a new way the meaning of this verse. Then came the bombing of the United Nations headquarters. All those not on duty were evacuated to our shelter and our Danish chaplain held an international service. Brown, black, yellow and white men, representing the whole world, sat and listened as he spoke about the army officer who requested healing for his sick servant by one word of command from Jesus. (Matthew 8: 5–13) The discipline of the man evidently impressed Jesus, giving us an example of a faith still expectant, even under trial. Wherever we go and whatever the danger, whether in life or in death, we can practise the presence of Christ and so share in the confidence expressed by the psalmist: ‘You are with me.’

Written by Arne Skipper from Denmark

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