I read about the experience of a man who underwent open-heart surgery. He said, “The day before surgery a nurse came into my room to visit. She took hold of my hand and told me to feel it and hold it.”
“Now,” she said, “during the surgery tomorrow you will be disconnected from your heart and you will be kept alive only by virtue of certain machines. When your heart is finally restored and the operation is over and you are recovering, you will eventually awaken in a special recovery room.
You will be immobile for as long as six hours. You may be unable to move, or speak, or even to open your eyes, but you will be perfectly conscious. You will hear and you will know everything that is going on around you.
During those six hours, I will be at your side and I will hold your hand, exactly as I am doing now. I will stay with you until you are fully recovered.
Although you may feel absolutely helpless, when you feel my hand, you will know that I will not leave you.”
“It happened exactly as the nurse told me. I awoke and could do nothing. But I could feel the nurse’s hand in my hand for hours. And that made all the difference!”
Jesus’ favorite word for His promised presence in the Holy Spirit is “Paraclete – the One called alongside.” Engrave the words of Jesus on your mind until they are such a part of you that even during the hardest times of your life, regardless of how you feel, you will know that He is with you – holding your hand – and He will never leave you or forsake you. (Hebrews 13:5)