Ten Lessons from a Hospital Bed


Lessons learned by John Piper through a recent spell in hospital:

1. Don’t murmur about delays and inefficiencies in the hospital, when you are getting medical care that surpasses by a hundredfold what is available in 90% of the world.

2. Don’t let yourself be numbed spiritually by the ceaseless barrage of sounds, noises, television, and chatter that surround you in the hospital.

3. Don’t default to the television.

4. Pray for the patients near you and, if possible — without undue offense — see if your roommate will let you pray for him, and tell him words of hope in Jesus.

5. Realize that physical pain makes focusing on God’s promises more difficult and demands greater concentrating effort.

6. Reach out to a friend or family member to help you.

7. Accept the humiliation of wearing the same unflattering gown everyone else wears.

8. Let the pain and misery of your body, and of the people around you, remind you of the exceeding moral horror and spiritual ugliness of sin.

9. Let the self-revelation of Jesus as the good physician be sweet to your soul, and preach to yourself that this light momentary affliction is working for you an eternal weight of glory.

10. Pray that none of these hospital hours, none of this pain, none of these fears, none of these relationships, none of this life-altering season will be wasted.

You can read the whole thing here.

Peter serves as a pastor-teacher, at home and abroad, resourcing gospel-centred communities.

2 thoughts on “Ten Lessons from a Hospital Bed

  1. May I add,

    1. Renew my mind.
    Ask whether these dark thoughts, are true, or helpful.
    Think on the good, the lovely, the praiseworthy.
    Turn gloom into thanksgiving,
    Look for the light,
    See God’s loving kindness in the touch of the medic,
    In the washing of your feet.

    2. Fill the long hours
    With prayer,
    With short spells of reading, painting, or writing.
    When your life events are projected on your mind:
    Give thanks, admit falling short, and ask for forgiveness.

    (The author has just spent eleven days in hospital, for a hip replacement, unexpected dislocation and second operation).

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