Night shift at the Los Angeles County Hospital, around 3AM, and it was very busy. The docs on call were all tied up with emergencies and even though I kept calling for help with one of my patients, we were definitely on a back burner. The young man in question was huge—built like a football player—and out of control because his fever was so high he hadn’t a clue what was happening. Paranoid and confused, he finally tore the IV out of his arm and ran off down the back stairs. Young and fearless (and dumb!), I told the night clerk to call security and raced after him. Down from the 4th floor to the 3rd, to the 2nd, and my patient took off through the morgue—such a pleasant place to be chasing a crazy man around in the middle of the night! I grabbed a phone and called my clerk so he could update security about where we were and then continued the chase. Finally, I had him cornered at a bank of elevators and as he frantically punched the call buttons, with all the authority I could muster, I looked up at this towering, angry giant and told him the elevators didn’t stop on this floor (well, it was just a little fib). There were a couple of visitors also waiting there—and what they were doing outside the morgue in the wee hours of the morning I haven’t a clue. My patient angrily demanded of them, “Is that right? Is she telling the truth?” Those poor people shrank back as far as they could get, eyes wide, and responded, “We don’t know man—whatever she says.” About that time the elevator dinged and the doors opened, fortunately carrying two security guards who were able to subdue my patient and escort us safely back to his room. All this was enough to finally convince the intern on call that he really was needed on the floor, and the patient was finally medicated and restrained in his bed. A few days later the young man had recovered and he turned out to be a very nice guy. He didn’t remember anything from that night, but had been told of our escapade and he apologized profusely.
We confront a much greater threat to our well being every day of our lives than I did during my middle-of-the-night romp through the morgue. At every moment, our adversary prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Fortunately though, we have lots of scriptures that assure us that greater is He who is in us than he who is in the world.
You are my hiding place; you shall preserve me from trouble; you shall surround me with songs of deliverance. Psalm 32:7
Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the LORD your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you. Deuteronomy 31:6
Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10
The LORD is a stronghold for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. And those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, O LORD, have not forsaken those who seek you. Psalm 9:9
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. Psalm 23:4