The Lord Is Near


Pastor Rodel and the autumn leaves in our daughter’s house in Amherst, MA.

My husband, Pastor Rodel,  was merely doing his morning routine: rising out of bed, tiptoeing to the bathroom where he does his morning meditation. He would often mutter “Sweet, sleep some more”, because of my sleeping problem. Before doing his quite time, he often drinks two glasses of water. On that particular morning, I was hearing unusual clanging sounds. I was not thinking of anything wrong when I went to the bathroom. He said that he was feeling dizzy. He leaned forward on the wall and I was at his back, trying to figure out what was happening. I sensed there was something wrong because he started to make moaning sounds. Fear gripped me and I shouted to call our reliable helper Lani so she could get some help, but to no avail. (We later realized, she could not hear us from the bathroom!)

In seconds, my husband was slowly sinking down, and by God’s providential dealing, I was at his back and  able to support him in a sitting position.  Just minutes out of bed, I was in a desperate situation, unable to do something for my husband who at that moment seemed to be in the brink of death. I was shouting desperately “what will I do, what will I do?” And I cried to the Lord in prayer “Lord Help Me!” I tried to lay him down thinking that it could be a heart attack. Then I saw his ashen face, but more than that, frothy liquid came out of his mouth to my great horror. At that moment I thought his life was fast slipping right before me. It was one of my most terrifying and desperate moments. Thinking that the fluid might choke him, I decided to prop him up again in a sitting position. Immediately afterwards, he slowly regained consciousness, and in a most sweetest sound, I heard him say “I am okay.” It was a satisfying release from an utterly difficult predicament.

My husband remained sitting for sometime, fearing another dizzy spell. The first thing that came to his mind was his scheduled preaching ministry that morning in Grace Baptist Church, our sister church in Los Banos. Still fresh from his unconscious state he called our church missionary, Brother Reymar, and requested him to preach there.

We decided to bring him to Asian Hospital in Alabang – one hour drive from our house – because he became unconscious for some time. It was my first drive in the express highway, but that seemed easy. He was confined for observation and for a battery of tests. Thanks be to God, All tests results were fine and after three days, we were able to leave the hospital.

In hindsight, I can attest to God’s tender care to His people. First, the Lord alerted me to go to the bathroom. If I was late by just a minute, my husband could have fallen and who knows where he could bump his head on, considering the granite countertop and the narrow cement wall. Second, if I let him remain on that lying position, that frothy something  on his mouth could have choked him. Third, as a woman, I could not have supported him if not for my exercise on the rowing machine which I have been doing in the gym lately. Unknowingly, the Lord was preparing me for that critical situation.

And so, though alone in that terrifying moment, I later realized that  I was not really alone. The Lord gave direction  and guided me that very moment.   God is always with us.  He us our very present help in times of trouble. Praise be to God!

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