There’s nothing like a hospital room to condense your thoughts into the truly important. Something about the tubes, monitors, hoses, gloves, gowns, and even the smell all serve to rivet your mind on the eternal.

During a recent visit to a hospital bedside, I read Psalm 34 with the family gathered in the room. As I read, several key truths—truths that really matter when you’re in the hospital—spoke to me:

1. God is worthy of praise—always. Every situation—in sickness and in health—is an opportunity to magnify His name. In fact, sometimes hospital beds make for pretty good pulpits.

I will bless the LORD at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul shall make her boast in the LORD: the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad. O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together.—Psalms 34:1-3

2. God hears His people. Our Heavenly Father listens to our cries of pain and our pleas for help. And He acts on our behalf.

I sought the LORD, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears. They looked unto him, and were lightened: and their faces were not ashamed. This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles. The angel of the LORD encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them. The eyes of the LORD are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry.—Psalms 34:4-7, 15

3. God is good. He wants us to personally experience His goodness, which we will when we seek Him.

O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him. O fear the LORD, ye his saints: for there is no want to them that fear him. The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger: but they that seek the LORD shall not want any good thing.—Psalms 34:8-10

4. God is to be reverenced. When I’m sitting in a hospital waiting room or standing by a hospital bedside, I’m often struck by the frivolity of angry, issue-orientated Christians. Some things just don’t matter when you face what is truly serious.

Come, ye children, hearken unto me: I will teach you the fear of the LORD. What man is he that desireth life, and loveth many days, that he may see good? Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile. Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it. The eyes of the LORD are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry. The face of the LORD is against them that do evil, to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth. Evil shall slay the wicked: and they that hate the righteous shall be desolate.—Psalms 34:11-16, 21

5. God is compassionate. He displays His compassion to us through His faithfulness, His grace, and His promises. But He also displays it through His people. One of the greatest blessings to our family when Larry was in the hospital was the presence of Christian friends waiting with us. Although they often said little, their Christ-like care was comforting.

The righteous cry, and the LORD heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles. The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth him out of them all. He keepeth all his bones: not one of them is broken.—Psalms 34:17-20

6. God is our eternal Redeemer. Hospitals make me thankful for salvation. Even if the doctors and medicine are not successful in aiding physical healing, we have a perfect, eternal Home to look forward to. Eternity with God—what an anticipation!

The LORD redeemeth the soul of his servants: and none of them that trust in him shall be desolate.—Psalms 34:22

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