:But thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brothers and sisters , be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.” 1 Corinthians 15:58
Ernie was to get “new lungs” because he asked Daddy. The brave brother and Brenda kept saying “He’s got those lungs”! They said this because they knew Jesus died so Ernie could have new lungs. It was all in the gift package from Daddy called “Salvation”. (1)
But while Brenda and the brave brother thanked God for the “already new lungs”, the hospital folks told Ernie that he would be on a list to get new lungs in the future. He was to get them from another person who would die. They called it a “lung transplant”. Both Ernie and I knew that Jesus died to give him new lungs.(2) And we really didn’t want anybody else to die when we knew His death was enough.
But, while the brave brother and Brenda were expecting new lungs from the inside , Ernie and I were excited no matter how Daddy was going to deliver those lungs. Whether from the inside or from outside. Either way Ernie and I both liked to believe it was “already done”.
So, when Ernie came back to Daddy’s house “waiting” for his new lungs. He said that he was on a transplant list and he sat at the back table of the church again. He sat with other very brave brothers and sisters who began to speak to him about his new lungs. They would say that Jesus was going to give him a set of lungs very soon. And, they acted like no one else was going to have to die for Ernie to get them. They acted like Jesus’s dying was sufficient. Ernie caught a breath of the air spoken by the brave ones. And when he did , he started talking a little braver himself. I just watched Ernie get braver and braver and his hands raise higher and higher as he thanked Daddy . Sometimes he looked like the most excited fan in a stadium.
I would watch him and then I would also cheer for Daddy thinking alot about what the victory would look like for Ernie. I would think lots about Ernie’s new lungs. As air moves through the trachea it meets a “fork in the road’ where the trachae branches to the right and to the left. Air moves through these tubes which get progessively smaller. These dividing pipelines are called “Bronchi”. The smaller tubes into which the bronchi branch are called the “bronchioles” and they end in tiny air sacs called the “aveoli”. Here in the “aveoli” , a miraculous exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide takes place. each lung houses about 300-400 million alveoli. “There are alot of alveoli” I thought” and alot of exchanging of gases in their presence”
Worshipping and pondering , I saw that there is alot of God’s grace and alot of exchanging of His holiness for our sin in His presence. How great His exchange ! Like aveoli on the bronchiole , our abiding in Christ makes us pure by His exchanging our sin for His righteousness. (3) The whole house seemed to fill with the freshest of air that Sunday.
Most every Sunday Ernie was at church bringing us an Amen or a raised hand. until one day In January. It was a very bitter cold day in January when Ernie was not at church. The sun was bright but the harsh wind was like a vengeful thief, it stole the warmth from every beam of light. As i left my post at the door to go to work I saw Brenda’s text “Moving Ernie to ICU, getting worse on his breathing”.
I became afraid. I remembered that Daddy has an enemy. And I knew that this enemy doesn’t like the “already new lungs”. The chill seemed to follow me down the street like a stalking lion. Even when I began to run fast into the hospital , I could feel it breathing down my neck.
When I got to to Ernie , he was breathing like a linebacker on a sprint . His face, once pink was now as a stone . Blood streaked through spit. There was no time between breaths for a word. There was only a wrestling. “Call the repiratory therapist. Has he had a breathing treatment? how fast are we moving him? He needs a CT scan first!Hurry we gotta pray!” Was it all only a wrestling of tubes and wires and face masks orders and prayerful hands? Or was there something else wrestling. . . something like principalities, powers, rulers of the darkness of this world, spiritual wickedness in the places where that cold prince of the air lives? Has he come to block the great exchange of air? I was afraid. I remembered again that Daddy has an enemy and it frightened me more.(4)
I had just finished asking Daddy yet again for a request he had already heard. Like a whinning child I said “Daddy pleeeeeeeassse heal ernie”when suddenly I heard Brenda command:
“Jesus, you sic em. Jesus you sic em. And devil you leave my honey alone in Jesus name”.
I said to Brenda “what did you say?” She said it again. She looked so brave when she said it. She looked fighting brave like a coach calling a 3rd in 10 play. When I looked at her, I thought of something the brave brother told me a few weeks before. I remembered him telling me that Daddy had already given Ernie lungs but the devil will do whatever it takes to make it look like it has not happened. He will do anything it takes for us to fear. And when we fear we dont’ believe.
Suddenly, I was mad. I was mad that the enemy thought I was dumb to his tactics (5). Brenda’s command sounded like a battle cry. I was ready to fight. In Jesus, we were gonna fight that damned angel!!!
I walked the hall to Ernies ICU room hearing sportscasters predict plays for a big football game to be played that night. While the TVs in every room of the hospital spoke of an upcoming battle between two colleges for the national championship somethiing in the air seemed to whisper yet louder. Heavenly beings were speaking battle plays for Ernies victory.
When we got to Ernies new room the hospital folks spoke of putting Ernie on a “breathing machine”. I did not get afraid but got very mad and called the brave brother. “Brave brother!! I want Jesus to kick Satan’s ass and show off His glory!! Can you come see Ernie soon !” I screamed. Daddy cringed at the sound of His daughter. I could not find a sanctified word . I didn’t really believe that Satan deserved any sanctified word . “Cleanse my mouth Daddy and hear my heart ” I cried. I wiped off the tears and went back to Ernies room.
Few folks in the hospital are dressed . Most look real naked except for a thin gown. Some dont’ look so naked in these gowns cause they got long underwear from Jesus. Like these folks, Ernie always wears his undergarments. These are the undergarments that cover every naked inch of our being with eternity and righteousness. But when folks , like football players, go to fight for victory they put on extra gear. The brave brother came back to the hospital to remind Ernie that he had a suitcase of gear to put on for this battle. He helped him get dressed one item at a time. .. helment, shield , belt over his undergarments and a sword for his right hand. You could almost hear Daddy say : “Dressed ,Ready. Therefore Stand.”(6)
By afternoon, I brought every person I knew with Jesus in them to come to the room. I knew they carried the Mighty Warrior. They were dressed just like Ernie. And this was a battle. Hands and Hymns and Hallaleujah bathed Ernie’s bed. A respiratory therapist let Jesus sing through her lungs into Ernies “Jesus Walk with me” and Ernie,beaming through the large mask pressing on his face, leaked an ” Amen!!!. “Surely, marching around territory like Joshua and singing like Jehoshaphat’s choir was enough to send that cat running. Ernie was not on the big breathing machine called the ventilator but he was on a smaller one called bipap. The enemy could not accomplish all his threats. He was indeed weakening. I returned to work expectant that the total healing would come soon. I told Brenda to go home and get rest. While Ernie lay in bed waiting for his new lungs, the enemy roused new players.
The play remained the same. The play “Did God really say. . . “ (7). Did God really say you will get new lungs Ernie? came to Ernie’s bed while we were away. Folks explained to Ernie that it was time to die soon. And the enemy whispered “did God really say you would live”. Folks explained to Ernie that he would not get off oxygen and his “quality” of life would be poor. And the enemy whispered “Did God really say you would have full life every day anyway”. Folks explained that Ernie could quit this fight anytime. And the enemy whispered “Did God really say to fight? Aren’t you tired of fighting” One after another, unknowing vessels of the viper came in and counseled Ernie while he was alone. Firey darts pinging against Ernies shield of faith. Until Brenda came back to the room.
Rested and roused for battle , Brenda called ” Sister !! This is crazy!!They want Ernie on Hospice. Over my dead body!!!” she said.
Even folks that do not believe in the power of words cringe at the word ” Hospice.” And Satan . like a cheshire cat, smiles at the power of the word “Hospice. ” He smiles because he scores points with anything that brings fear.
The three of us stared at one another in the room as Brenda said the word again. When spoken out of it’s time it sends a chilling wind like the one that first chased me into the hospital.
“Damn its just a word” The Bold Brenda stomped her feet together.
“Its a damned word” I said suddenly feeling brave with Brenda. “He is THE WORD” He is the word made flesh dwelt among us and now dwells in us. ”
Our hands fell on Ernies chest. Simple small prayer from two daughters of a king set loose in the air a counterplay.
“In Jesus name Ernie is healed. And you Satan , out of here in Jesus name.”
There was no trembling or tears or trumpet or tamborine to follow. Only “Amen”. For if the name “Hospice” has power , how much more “Jesus”(8)
The nurse entered the room . “Did you know who won the game ? Yep ,FSU, and what a game it was. . . . no one could believe FSU could win. “Then, just as routine as a football score , she said ” Looks like you are going home with “hospice” tomorrow. but we have to get bipap for you so it might be longer. But if you are here tomorrow you might get to see the championship trophy they are going to place in the lobby. We’ll see what happens” The nurse left the room.
The next afternoon, I received a text from Brenda” Hurry sis you got to see my baby!! AND we are going home” I ran to the room. Ernie was dressed: pants, t-shirt, shoes and a face beaming and free of all devices.
“im just waiting for transport to take me to the parking garage” Ernie announced
“Well brother, Let me have the honor to escort you out of here.” I ran and got a wheelchair weeping and dancing and longing for tamborine and trumpet. I ran past nurses on their way back from the lobby seeing the victory trophy for FSU.
“Victory!!. Victory!!!” I shouted back .
“go FSU” they said
“Go Jesus” I said.
Ernie skipped into the wheelchair. He had to ride in a wheelchair not because of need but because the hospital required his discharge in this manner.
As I grasped the handles I felt that I was carrying the most valuable trophy in the hospital and all of heaven. I wheeled Ernie past the display of the glass foot ball . ” thanks be to God. . “ we said to one another as we parted. I drove the empty wheelchair back through the hospital. praying” Yes thanks be to you Daddy who in Jesus always leads your kids in triumphal procession and through us spreads the fragrant wind of the knowledge of you everywhere. For we are the very air of Jesus to you Daddy. . .(9)
I slowed down. “I am not sufficient to hold these things. . . “I sat down in the wheelchair in the lobby and wept and wept. I recalled every beautiful scene, I could not contain the joy of seeing this miracle.
A security man came to me “ you alright? Just looking at that trophy eh. . . that was some game wasn’t it ? Just never know whose gonna win in a game like that “
“no, sir, you don’t. But I was just sitting here thinking how I forget who has already won every game ”
“What are you talking about?” he said.
“Jesus and His Victory in all things” I stammered.
“well, I know that !” he said with confidence.” I was just talking bout life stuff not religion”
“ Me too. That’s what I’m talking about sir” I said as I got out of the chair.
THE END . . . .>OF SATANPost ScriptDaddy has waited until this day to let me finish the story. He had much to show me about Himself since January. The story has not changed but Daddy wanted it to be told rightly. And Daddy wanted time to be the evidence of His work. For now, four months have passed. And ,as of today , as I post this story , I know Ernie is well. The set of lungs inside of him are from Daddy. Daddy made them and Daddy lets me see them work as I see Ernie worship Him every Sunday.
Greek word for”Salvation or saved” is “Sozo” used many times in New Testament. It’s meaning includes ” to save, to rescue, to deliver, to protect, to heal, to preserve, to do well, and to be made whole. The most commonly quoted scripture referring to “Sozo” carries a vast promise to Daddy’s Children. “If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” Romans 10:9
5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new cration. The old has passed away, behold the new has come.
2 Corinthians 5:21 For our sake He made Him to be sin who knew no sin so that IN HIM we might become the righteousness of God. THE GREAT EXCHANGE!!
Ephesians 6:12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.
Paul speaks of “not being outwitted or ‘ caught unaware’ by Satan’ saying “we are not ignorant of his designs” 2 Corinthians 2 11. Also Peter encourages us to “be alert , sober minded & watchful” to the schemes of the devil. 1 Peter 5:8