Christian Living

Spiritual Life

I Stood on Holy Ground

The night before my first major surgery, Don, a dear brother in the Lord, came to my house to pray with me.

A month prior to Don's visit, what I feared the most might happen, happened. I was diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer. Since I dreaded hospitals, surgery, and any disease, I had always eaten a healthy diet, exercised regularly, taken natural supplements, and lived an active lifestyle; but none of these precautions exempted me from cancer.

A few days before the surgery, I was so nervous and restless. I couldn't sleep and paced the floor like my rat terrier who wanted out, reciting scripture like a ticket dispenser. "I know God's in control, but I'm not. I can't calm down."

My wife said, "I doubt if you're going to make it through the procedure."

So we kept praying for God's deliverance from my fears, claiming, "I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to give you hope and a future" (Jeremiah 29:11) and searching his Word for promises to be fear-free.

My wife stuck post-a-notes, filled with promises, on closet doors, the refrigerator, and mirrors. Both of us clung to Psalm 34:4, "I sought the Lord and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears."

My friend knew my fears, so he had come to support me. After a brief visit, we stood around in a circle holding hands-Don, his wife, my wife, and me. As Don begged God to give me peace and deliverance from my claustrophobia and anxiety over the surgery, I realized there were no longer four individuals in our circle, but five.

Another Presence was standing next to me, confirming Don's prayer had already been answered!

The more Don poured out his heart to the Lord God who had joined our prayer circle, the more I was like Moses at the burning bush, hearing God's voice from the flaming fire, "Take off your shoes for the ground you're standing on is holy." I quietly slid out of my Birkenstocks. The carpet I had walked on many times became holy ground under my feet that night, hallowed by God's presence.

Don's prayer had transported me into a worshipful holy reality I had never experienced before in my entire life and hallowed the carpet, the room, the night, and the four of us—no, the five of us!

The holy One of the universe had never been so close to me as he was that night. God's holy totality saturated my soul. I trembled, I wept, I worshiped. The Almighty God of Israel, who spent the night with Daniel in the Lion's den, who walked with Daniel's three companions in the fiery furnace, who spoke to Moses from the flaming acacia bush, and who filled the Temple with his brilliant glory around Isaiah, that same God stood with me that night as we prayed.

Don interceded for God's Presence to fill the operating room the next day, but I knew–the same Presence with me in our prayer circle was already there, waiting for me.

Will you ever encounter a holy ground experience? I don't know, but, if and when you do, you'll never be the same again. You'll pray like Elijah, you'll "see" God in burning bushes like Moses, and you'll eat his Word like Ezekiel.

This was, and still is, no fantasy, no dream. It was real! That night for a few minutes I stood with my loving God–on holy ground.

Copyright © 2015 by Dr. D. Leon Pippin. Used with permission. All rights reserved.


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