Doug Johnson: God will always show up in one’s hour of need

Published 12:00 am Sunday, August 27, 2023

Have you ever had God show up right when you needed Him? 

In 1998, I had the opportunity to go to a pastor’s conference in Brownsville, FL.  Little did I know, as I kissed my wife and children goodbye, what dangerawaited them.

Our son, Corey, was one-year-old.  We had celebrated his first birthday a few days before I left for my conference.  He wasn’t able to enjoy his birthday party because he was suffering with a hacking cough and running a slight fever.  The doctor had prescribed some antibiotics for him as a precaution.  “We don’t want this cough developing into something worse,” he said.

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When I arrived in Florida I called my wife, Crystal, to let her know I’d made the trip safely. 

She said that Corey wasn’t getting any better.  I prayed with her over the phone and told her to call and make an appointment for Corey to see the pediatrician again.  

“Since the antibiotics aren’t working,” the pediatrician told my wife on the phone, “I want you to take Corey to the hospital.  I need to evaluate him there for a few days.” 

Crystal packed some clothes for their hospital stay and loaded the suitcase into the car.  She secured the car seat in the back and buckled Corey inside it, still coughing.    

After traveling a few miles toward the hospital, Corey became very quiet and the coughing stopped. 

Crystal glanced in the rear-view mirror and what she saw paralyzed her with fear.  His little body began to convulse, his eyes rolled back in his head and his lips turned blue!  

She frantically steered the car to the side of the road.  Corey had stopped breathing and was now motionless.  She had no husband, no cell phone and no houses nearby…what could she do? 

Terrified, she jumped out of the car and threw open the back car door.  She picked up Corey’s limp body and instinctively held him to her chest.  “Oh, God — my baby!” she prayed.  “Don’t let me lose my baby!”

Suddenly, on that deserted road, she felt a holy presence and she began to pray in a heavenly language.

There was a surge of supernatural strength and a voice that said, “Drive!”  

Immediately, she jumped behind the driver’s seat still clutching Corey’s body tightly with one arm. 

She raced onto the highway, still praying, oblivious to the speed limit signs whizzing by.  The hospital was too far away but there was one other option: a clinic two miles away.  She glanced at the clock on the dashboard—it was 5:30 p.m. The Clinic had closed 30 minutes ago!  “What should I do?” she prayed. 

“My baby’s dying in my arms!”  Again the voice came: “Go to the Clinic.”

When she arrived at the Clinic the parking lot was deserted.  Crystal threw the car into Park, jumped out of the car and bolted toward the front door.  Two people were standing in front of the Clinic, locking the front door.  “Help me!” she exclaimed.  The two people locking the door turned out to be a pediatric doctor and his nurse!  They immediately assessed the situation and rushed Corey inside.  Crystal collapsed in the waiting room from the stress and exhaustion. 

Adrenaline still pumping through her body, she watched as the doctor was able to revive Corey and stabilize him enough to transport him to the hospital. 

Corey spent five days in the hospital.  His cough had turned into pneumonia and his fever had suddenly skyrocketed to 105 degrees, which caused him to have a seizure and stop breathing in the back seat of the car.  

Crystal called me later and told me what happened. 

“It was God that helped me,” she said.  “I didn’t know what to do.  You were gone; there was no one around.  But God showed up right when we needed Him.  He even had the right doctor and nurse waiting for us at the Clinic after business hours!”

We can testify to the fact: No matter what you are going through, God knows exactly where you are, what you need and He will show up right on time!  

Rev. Doug Johnson is the senior pastor at Raven Assembly of God in Raven, Virginia.