Did I really mean it when last I wrote, “Immanuel, God with us, keeps sustaining us in every tough trial”? Having had 9 different surgeries in 10 years, and fighting breast cancer twice, undergoing a total of 12 chemo and 40 radiation sessions, I would say the numbers add up to “yup.” That’s a “yes with a grin.” The tributes I wrote for oncology nurses and Linear Accelerator 1B technicians are ample proof that God’s gifts of faith and my irrepressible funny bone were fully operative at all times. My only beef was with the ugly nursing home I had to pass on my numerous trips to Kaiser Woodland Hills. The facility advertised itself shamelessly as “Majestic,” and later on as “Royal,” as if that were an upgrade. Thank God I was spared the “royal pain” of going there.
As a rule, I look up more words than I look down on misnomers. Still, some do come in handy. The word “majestic” jumped out at me while reading two of David’s hymns. Psalm 8:1, “LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!” Psalm 16:3, “As for the saints who are in the earth, they are the majestic ones in whom is all my delight.” The KJV uses the corresponding term “excellent,” but in the “majestic” sense only four times in the OT. Thrice it applies to God, once to us His saints, the “set apart” ones. So, the Lambkin enthroned in heaven honors us with yet another affirmation of our likeness to Him that stamps our “ruling disposition” as His redeemed. If we return to that glorious worship scene in Revelation 5 and back up to verse 10, we have this confirmation, “You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth.” We see this echoed in 1 Peter 2:9, “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession…”
Hitler’s reign was to last a thousand years, but came to a crashing halt in 1945 when I was 10. My Swiss village in the Rhine Valley, a short hop away from Nazi Austria, had a front row seat of sorts. A B-17 crash-landed, French allies mistakenly shelled us, we cared for wounded refugees, and witnessed scary bombing raids. My mother became deathly ill, we were forced from our rental house, and I spent months with a host family. My PTSD kicked in when I was 12. A cardiologist saw me at 16. Severe chest pains suddenly plagued me in my early 50s, but I had reason to suspect spiritual warfare. Some people at my church were clamoring for a Healing class, a hot trend just then, but disregarded the course on Worship. This grieved me enough to quietly withdraw as a teacher. I retreated to our small Prayer Room and poured out my heart to the Lord.
Sitting scared and pain-wracked in that dank basement, searching the Scriptures, I was visited by a young woman whose features I could not recall afterward. She prayed intently, knelt at my side, pointed me to Psalm 16, and left with a touch of blessing. Picking up my Bible, I stood up, raised my arm, and spoke in a loud voice, “Satan, my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ has instructed me to come against you with the Sword of the Spirit. His Word assures me that “my body also will rest secure” (Psalm 16:9). The crushing chest pains left instantly and never returned. Was I “touched by an angel”?