December 2, 2019
•Contributed by Gordon Braun•

“And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.”

Powerful, soothing words for easing the fears of the frightened. I can understand and relate somewhat to their fears as to what was happening and what was about to happen.

Some 20 plus years ago, I was placed in a rehab center for recovery from a stroke. I was sure that life as I knew it was over. I also was fairly sure that I was in charge; that I could handle my recovery alone, but I was ‘sore afraid’.

15 years ago, I was on a collision course with something much worse. I had business problems that were correctable, but they weighed heavily on my mind and body. One afternoon as I was headed home after yet another 12 hour workday, I became stuck in a blizzard. I began to cry, turned my palms upward, and prayed to God that I could receive some relief. My prayer was simple. “God, I can’t do this alone, I turn this over to you”. A few weeks later, I received a phone call that someone was interested in purchasing one of my businesses. Again, I thought that I was invincible and could do it myself. Minor chest pain soon sent me to the hospital and the discovery was made that I had 4 blockages that needed immediate surgery, but I was ‘sore afraid’.

2 years ago, Jean (my rock) and I were on a 12 day cruise around the British Islands. On day 4, we were at port near Glasgow, Scotland, and scheduled to go on a 10 hour tour of the Scottish Highlands. I did not feel the best that morning, so we stayed on the ship until noon. When I woke up and sat up, my nose started to pour blood. Jean walked about 3 miles looking for a drug store to get cotton balls, swabs, and spray to attempt to get my nose to stop bleeding. By the time she returned to the ship, there was blood on the bathroom walls and floor, and blood coming from my eyes. Needless to say, we were told to leave the ship. Two ambulance rides to two hospitals found us in the largest hospital in Western Europe, the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, where they proceeded to care for both Jean and me. Having bled profusely for 15 hours, I was a few quarts low. Hanging blood 2 bags at a time to a total of 6 was a bit alarming. Seeing my wife frightened for the first time ever, having doctors, nurses, and a cast of what seemed like thousands working very quickly to shove things up my nose was disconcerting and painful. We both felt an inner peace that it would alright.

Were we nervous? Yes. Were we ‘sore afraid’? NO! Were we absolutely blessed? Yes.

Everywhere we looked, and in places we didn’t look, were signs that we were positioned where we were for a reason. Our faith was in our Savior Jesus Christ who was born to us, and was with us at every turn.

Praise be to God! Gordon Braun
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