When you lie down, you will not be afraid; Yes, you will lie down and your sleep will be sweet. Proverbs 3:24
Just recently I had to have a minor medical procedure that required me to be put under an anesthesia. Although it was relatively minor, the fact that I was being put to “sleep” was a little bit scary. I also had to prepare in advance for a day with no solid food aside from liquids. It was rather an unpleasant preparation day, but I got through it.
I arrived at the hospital and had to strip down and wear the typical hospital gown that removed all modesty from you. My experience in spending seven months in hospital prepared me for that, and I told my wife they could wheel me down the hallway naked and I really wouldn’t care. I think I would care but modesty as a hospital patient is not possible.
I had all my vital signs taken, was weighed and had my height checked, I haven’t shrunk yet, and placed into a bed to wait for my procedure to begin. The nurse came to give me an IV to add liquid to my body but also give an inlet for the anesthetic. And the wait began.
At this point I have to say I hate hospitals! I believe that I suffer from a mild case of PTSD from my seven months in hospital. I dislike the smell, look, and everything about hospitals. When my wife was having her knees replaced, I struggled to visit her because I just didn’t want to be in the hospital any longer than I absolutely had to be there! So this time in the hospital was not easy for me.
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But that is something I have no control over. If we are going to have certain procedures done, we must attend a hospital and I have to put aside my fears. Eventually the wait was over and I was brought into the room for the procedure to begin. The anesthesiologist hooked me up and injected the anesthetic into my IV and told me it would burn a little. That was an understatement! It burned a lot! The doctor told me to have a good sleep and that was the last thing I remember!
In the snap of a finger, the next thing I knew I was waking up, disorientated in the recovery room. In my mind no time had passed, but by the clock on the wall about 30 minutes had gone by. I couldn’t believe the procedure was done, but it was over and I had lost 30 minutes of my life. And just to alleviate any concern, the procedure didn’t find anything of concern, which is a really good thing.
But this procedure and specifically the action of the anesthetic got me thinking. When I awoke and didn’t feel like any time had passed, it make me think of what happens when we die. As you may know, when we die we do not immediately go to heaven, instead we sleep until Jesus comes. (https://shinysideup.ca/2022/11/02/heaven/) When Jesus comes we will either be resurrected into eternal life or eternal death! Hopefully the former is what we get.
At our death, or sleep, we will know nothing and just rest awaiting His return and when He comes we will instantly awake as if no time has passed, be that a day, a week, a year, a century or longer, no time will have passed in our minds. Just like what happens when we are put to sleep under anesthesia.
This is only an observation on my part and I obviously do not know exactly how things will feel upon death, but to me this was an excellent illustration. God prepares us for Jesus’ second coming, and falling asleep under anesthesia is as close as we can get until our time has come. If you ever have to have a medical procedure done under general anesthetic, I hope you get the same feeling and come to the same conclusion.