Into the valley of the shadow of death.
“Looking under rocks LTD.
(leaving no stone unturned)
A brief testimony
2Co 11:26 In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren;
In the beginning of 2011, I began to suffer with an extreme depression…
I began to fall into a state of deep depression regarding my faith in Jesus Christ… and became even more depressed by the attitudes of those who pretended to be Christians, where in reality, they are not…I avoided all forms of fellowship!
I can clearly remember saying to my wife that I wanted to die, but I did not have the guts to kill myself…I said these words to her: “I only hope that some deadly disease will come upon me and take my life!’
Pro_18:21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.
I did not know then what I know now that by this very utterance I had given Satan permission to attack and kill me.
Not long after…I became very weak and ill.
I began to lose a lot of weight, and became unable to eat…
and what I did eat failed to stay down.
In a matter of a month or so, I began to resemble a walking skeleton…
My wife pleaded with me to go to a hospital or see a doctor…
Each time I refused to listen to her, as I really developed the attitude that I wanted to die!
My depression became so intense, I began to embrace a powerful death wish!
It got to the stage where I could not walk, or even get out of bed without falling over.
I was unable to pick myself up from the floor because I was so thin and weak… I had to call my wife to help me get up.
I am over six feet in height and my wife is a small five feet nothing…She was not strong enough to help me up to my feet.
I could not even go to the toilet without collapsing…
A couple of days later, I could not get out of bed at all, and I still refused to go to a hospital or see a doctor…I longed for death to come and release me.
Eventually, I gave in to my wife’s’ incessant pleading, and allowed her to call an ambulance…Believe it or not, there was no ambulance available!
I managed to get out of bed and onto the front porch where my younger son was waiting to drive me to the hospital…
It was then I completely lost my ability to walk.
The shadow of death was upon me as my wife and son wheeled me into the emergency department of the local hospital.
I was diagnosed as suffering from acute renal failure…
My kidneys had stopped working!
Over a long period of time I had developed a blockage in my prostate gland which had been caused by an untreated bladder infection that had grow worse each day.
This caused the prostate to enlarge to an incredible size and block the natural waterworks of my body.
A retentive blockage developed in the bladder that rendered my kidneys unable to function… they stopped working completely.
The raging infection caused other major organs to swell up and become infected.
I could smell the presence of death around me as I kept drifting in and out of a dark place…I was venturing into the ‘valley of the shadow of death…’
I could smell the presence of rotting flesh about me…
It was like I was in a grave with a rotting corpse.
The funny thing was that I was aware of everything about me, yet I was not alone…There were others in this place with me.
I became aware of others around me…
They seemed to be totally unaware of their surroundings, and even aware of themselves.
I thought this place to be where one awaited death to come and claim them…
Maybe this is the place where people go for a little while… where they can be revived by CPR…during that vital five or six minutes before finality of death overcomes them.
I saw a ‘shadowy figure coming towards me and I knew who it was…It was death!
As a believer in Jesus Christ: I recalled Psalm 23 telling me to fear no evil for God is with me…
The shade of death loomed over me like a dark overpowering shroud…
Then I heard the ‘still small voice’ inside me bring scripture to my mind.
1Ki 19:12 And after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.
Ps 23:4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
1Co 15:55 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?
I had come face to face with the shade (shadow) of death, and indeed I ‘feared no evil.’
Satan had been denied his final victory over me…
His ultimate weapon was rendered useless!
Isaiah 54:17 No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me, saith the LORD.
I looked directly into the face of the shadow of death, who had come to claim me, and told him: “My life belongs to God!”
In response, the shade of death fled from me like a frightened rabbit.
James 4:7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
I soon began to recover, and my kidney function began to slowly return to the astonishment of the doctors.
Satan was denied his victory over my life because Jesus had died in my place upon the cross at Calvary…God had given me a ‘wakeup call’ and a WAKEUP CALLING!
Yet the whole thing happened to me because I was too slack to see a doctor when all this began a year or so before.
Like a typical mature aged male, I took the attitude that what I thought was a urinary infection would go away in time…It did not go away. It nearly killed me!
However, I was not yet out of the woods…
There was still the cause of it all… and that cause had to be found…
I knew by my allowing the enemy to invade me was the spiritual cause of my illness, but there still needed to be the physical cause that had been planted by the sewer of the tares.
I was in hospital for about eight days as my right kidney began to work a little…It was planned that I go onto dialysis, but it did not eventuate.
Not only was I in trouble with my kidneys, but the doctors were extremely concerned about my heart rate. It was going crazy!
The doctors concluded that it was because of my kidney failure, the electrolytes in by blood were affecting my heart rate.
I was still unable to walk more than a few steps, or stand for too long when I was discharged from the hospital…
I still had a catheter fitted to me with a leg-bag.
Satan was not about to give up either…
After my discharge from hospital, I was to return as an out-patient for a biopsy on the prostate and another procedure where they would look into by bladder via a small camera to see if all was ok.
Also, the catheter that had been inserted in me to help my kidneys, may have to be voided or changed.
This was to happen in about three weeks…
Six months later, my health and kidney function had improved, but still no word was received to go to the hospital for the procedures.
It was on a Sunday night when I began to feel a lot of pressure in my bladder, and I noticed that the catheter was not functioning.
I went to the hospital about 5:30am on the Monday morning in great distress in not being able to vacate my bladder.
When the doctors (this was a different hospital) learned how long the catheter had been in me without being changed, they were not happy at all and got in touch with the original hospital to find out why this had happened…Their reason was that I must have ‘got lost in the system.’
And who is in the system?
I had developed a nasty urinary infection because the catheter had been left in for too long… and my kidneys were starting to play up again.
The doctors were not happy either with my not having the two procedures being carried out four months prior.
Again, my heart rate was erratic and they put me on an ECG monitor…plus a second CT scan that showed a slight improvement in my right kidney function.
I was discharged from the hospital two days later with new out-patents appointments for the procedures to be done.
In a matter of three weeks, I was called to the first hospital to organize the prostate biopsy… Plus, to have a couple of stints put in my kidneys to allow better drainage.
My ‘Claytons’ heart attack
I remember the theatre and I can remember the anesthetic being administered through a canella in my hand…Then ‘goodnight!’
I woke up looking at a group of doctors and nurses all gathered around me, and I had an oxygen mask on my face…
I noticed that I had been hooked up to a heart monitor that was going berserk..
It was then that I was told that the biopsy went ok, but when they wanted to put the stints in my kidneys, my heart rate went wild…Indicating that I was having a heart attack!
My heart-rate shot up to about 180-200, and they called the paramedics to take me back to the original hospital that I first went to…
By this time, my wife had been called to my bedside and I told her with a silly grin on my face that they said that I was having a heart attack.
I had none of the symptoms of a heart attack whatsoever…I had been down this road twice before.
I was having a ‘Claytons’ heart attack…A heart attack when you are not really having one.
It took three days to complete a ‘one-day’ procedure…
While I was in the hospital, they put the stints in my kidneys without incident.
It was concluded that it was a reaction to the anesthetic that my heart rate went crazy…Cardiology said that my heart appeared to be undamaged.
Some time later, I received the results of my biopsy…It was positive to prostate cancer.
My battle with cancer in Christ
However, the doctor told me that it is quite treatable, and after a course of hormone therapy, all should be well.
I received the news from the doctor with a smile on my face, and without any fear or anxiety…This seemed to confuse the doctor somewhat.
After all, in Christ, I had ventured through the valley of the shadow of death to come out a winner!
I asked the Lord why, when I got home and he told me to shut-up and stop whining, that he was doing something.
I was in a real mess indeed…My kidneys were in a bad state and my heart-rate seemed to be al over the pace. And now I have to deal with prostate cancer!
During 2012, I spent at least four stays in hospital over urinary infections… and at one time with a dose of acute anaemia was thrown into the pot as well.
The doctor decided to give my an iron infusion to deal with the anaemia and build up my red blood cells.
In July of 2012, I was called to the hospital for my surgery on the prostate…It is known as a ‘T.U.R.P.’ It is basically a shaving of the prostate so that the kidneys may drain more urine into the prostate an ease the pressure from the kidneys and the bladder.
They also removed the stints from my kidneys as they were deemed no-longer necessary..
My cancer doctor me that the cancer was well under control and my PSA level had dramatically come down…He to was waiting for the T.U.R.P to be completed.
A day or so following the T.U.R.P, The urologist came to see me to tell me how things went.
She told me that they found a lot of stuff in my prostate that would have caused the blockage…But NO sign of cancer was found!
God indeed had done a work in me…I no-longer needed the catheter which I had to endure for 12 months…My kidneys we speeding along the road to full recovery, and my heart was perfectly normal!
Since then: my health has improved 100%, and my strength in returning at an amazing rate.
I have already shared the good news of what God has done in His healing work to those who knew that I had cancer…They are all in shock.
I share this testimony with whoever reads this testimony of Jesus Christ in the hope that they too will come to know the saving grace that can only come through the person of Christ Jesus and not through the religion of men.
Indeed, God is still in the miracle business!
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