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The Mercy of God Alone

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Desperate. No other word captures how I felt that cold January morning in 1988. The life in my womb was still and the hospital had not been able to stop my bleeding. My son was due in May, four months away. This small coastal hospital had no obstetric anything, not even the special stethoscope to hear a baby’s heartbeat. I had no idea if my baby was still alive or not.

The emergency room doctor had ordered a neo-natal intensive care ambulance to carry me to a hospital 45 minutes away. I had waited for six long hours. My doctor assured me many times that this special ambulance would be arriving soon. I remained calm, focusing on this well-equipped transport.

“They’re here,” the nurse said.

Two emergency medical technicians helped the nurse transfer me and all my belongings from the ER bed to their gurney. Finally, I was on my way, in a safe ambulance with the latest technology to assist me and my baby if I went into labor!

To my surprise, the EMTs wheeled me across the snowy parking lot to what reminded me of an old work van. The burly ambulance driver helped his young, nervous assistant lift my gurney into the van and secure it to the side wall.

“Good to go,” he said, as he closed the back door and went around to the driver’s seat.

I hardly knew what to do or say. I surely didn’t want to go back into the ill-equipped hospital I’d waited in for so long. There'd been no movement in my womb; I had to accept what was going on. The young assistant sat beside me.

“What do you have in here to help me if I go into labor?” I asked.

“We have some sheets and towels in there,” he said while pointing to the cabinet on the wall of the van.

Then reality set in. The medical world was not where I needed to have my hope. I was at the mercy of God alone. My baby and I needed His help! And I had been distant from Him for so long. I began to cry. In the deep recesses of my scattered and limited Christian experience, I remembered a sermon where the pastor spoke of needing to confess your sins so that God will hear your prayers.

“If I had not confessed the sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened.” (Psalm 66:18 NLT)

So, I turned to my escort and said, “I know whose hands this is in now. I’ve got to talk to God.” And then I began confessing each and every sin I could remember. I didn’t want anything blocking my life-and-death need for God to hear my prayer. I named each sin and asked God to forgive me. I told Him I was sorry for each one, that I didn’t want to do it again, and thanked Him for forgiving me. I have no idea how long this took. When I could not think of any more sins, I stopped confessing and began praising God. And then I began begging for God to spare my son’s life. My cries and prayers were raw.

Just as we drove up to the hospital, "He kicked!" I screamed out through my tears. “He’s alive! Oh, thank You, God, thank You! He’s alive! I felt it!” 

The burly driver and his young assistant had witnessed a miracle (and heard way too much of my business). Their eyes watered as they rolled me out of the back of the work van. “God bless you,” one said.

And He did. My son was born two months later, a preemie, but otherwise healthy.

Be encouraged. When you pray, never forget to do a heart-search for unconfessed sin in your life. Put it on the altar before God and confess everything about it so that no part of it remains to distance you and Him. Then, make your requests known to God. His mercy and grace are far beyond anything you can imagine.


Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

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About The Author

Beth Patch on CBN's Brand Team

Beth Patch is a writer and senior internet producer/editor for She's been writing and producing web content for CBN since 2008. Her empty nest now homes a German shepherd named Princess Leia and a hound dog named Rufus.

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