Unexpected opportunities to minister the love of God can be challenging. For example, you pass an acquaintance in the grocery store and in an effort not to be rude you ask them how they are doing. You fully expect to get the standard, “Fine how are you?” response but instead they begin to cry and pour out their hearts. How do we respond to those situations? How do we shift our focus off of whatever we were doing and onto the need presented to us at a moments notice? Can we hear God in the midst of rapidly changing circumstances?
One particular overcast morning I was in the middle of making sure my rescue (ambulance) was stocked and prepared when a car screeched to a stop in the station parking lot. An older woman quickly emerged and frantically waved us over. She told us that her neighbor was having some kind of problem and needed help.
We hurried over to the passenger side of the vehicle to discover a young woman who was breathing rapidly and looking very uncomfortable. I asked a few questions and determined that the young woman was having a severe anxiety or “panic” attack.
Unfortunately panic attacks are common and terrible. Uncontrolled panic attacks can quickly progress to the point of complete incapacitation. It’s like getting closer and closer to the edge of a cliff. Once a person falls over the “cliff” the way we are instructed to help is by chemically sedating them. This particular young woman had one foot hanging over the edge.
We quickly helped her to the stretcher and loaded her into the back of the rescue. My partner and I secured an IV and placed her on the heart monitor, all the while trying to calm her down with gentle reassurance. Nothing was working.
As we pulled out of the station en route to the hospital, the patient’s heart rate was 130 beats per minute and she was breathing 30-40 times per minute. She was unable to lean back as her muscles began to tighten and spasm uncontrollably. I realized the only medical option I had was to chemically sedate her.
It was then that I felt the familiar nudge of the Holy Spirit. I quickly asked the Lord what He wanted me to do. I heard the Lord tell me to pray for her and get rid of the fear. I looked at the woman on the verge of complete collapse and asked her if I could pray for her. She couldn’t speak but nodded her head yes as a single tear slid down her cheek.
Over the next few minutes I prayed the words God gave me to pray. I prayed against the spirit of fear and commanded it to leave. God also showed me some things about her life and I prayed about those things the way I felt God leading me to pray. I asked the Holy Spirit to fill the rescue and rule in her heart.
As soon as I was finished I looked up to see the young woman breathing normally and completely relaxed against the stretcher. The muscle spasms were gone. She was breathing normally and her heart rate was 80 beats per minute. She had a smile on her face and tears in her eyes. I spent the rest of the riding telling her about the Prince of Peace who had just healed her.
The chance to minister the Love of God can appear in an instant. We can either ignore it or we can take a brief moment to ask God what He wants us to do. It’s our choice to make. But if we choose to ask Him what He wants us to do, most likely we are going to see an amazing display of Love that can change someone’s life in an instant.
Jesse and Kara Birkey
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