by James P., inmate
Greetings of love, peace and thanksgiving from me through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I pray you all are safe and well during these troubling and difficult times. I am well (now) after recovering from testing positive with Covid-19. It was the most horrendous ordeal imaginable. At the time, I wasn’t thinking of my birthday (thank you ever so much for the card and devotional material)…just trying to survive.
As I reflect on the 12 days of my sickness, I am reminded of Jesus’ word spoken, stating: “we are to come as little babes…” Meaning, our total dependence is to be placed “IN HIM.” Giving up on self-will and efforts to sustain our being. This was made evident on days 6-8 of Covid. I got sick, feeling bad with a 102.3 fever on April 1, 2020 in my cell. The nurse escorted me to the infirmary where I was examined and tested positive for Covid-19. Then I was placed in isolation until the test results were in. I thought I was dealing with annual sinus issues, no big deal. I was weak and cold, like flu or sinus issues, for 8-9 days before my fever broke. The fever returned on and off for the next two weeks. I received a positive test on day four, my body progressively and aggressively deteriorated with fever, aches and pains that I never experienced. Days 6-8 were the worst. I withered in symptoms with hot and cold sweats that were more profound in the early morning hours. I would awaken from restless sleeps, fall to the floor, and crawl to the toilet. Those mornings as I sit backwards trying to brace myself, I found my body acting like it wanted to separate my flesh, soul and spirit. I know I was dying so I called upon Jesus to have a walk and talk to cleanse things as I was ready to go with Him, I could smell the rotten stench of death. This happened for 2-3 days.
In retrospect, to me, it was Job 2:1-7. I remember Jesus saying something about my faith (I’m a firm believer in the Cross), His grace and peace. I recall thanking Him for His grace and mercy – again this happened during my most difficult and darkest moments of the battle. The peace He spoke of was, in my estimation, a sanctifying peace, not of peace with God at salvation, but one where the finished work on the cross (and my faith therein), all things in His Gospel, would come to pass. I could rest in this assurance.
Days 9-12 were still very hard and the constant fever took a toll on my organs and physical being. Yet today I am feeling great (even after my blood pressure dropped to 107/54). It was after releasing all of my self-efforts to fight the virus, and call upon the Lord, did He restore my health to the point where I got to see my 67th birthday.
I know I was saved for a reason. I studied God’s Word through reading and via radio in my cell at night. In 2000, I was introduced/given knowledge to the meaning of the cross as taught by the Apostle Paul (it was made known to him – Gal. 2:16-17). I prayed for greater understanding and wisdom on this topic. I feel compelled to share what I received so my goal, if it is God’s will, he kept me through this ordeal for a reason, as again, I know I was at death’s door a month ago.
We are still on lockdown/ quarantine and isolation but I want to share my lessons and this experience with the church here (and there in NJ) and when The Saints team comes again, whether softball for basketball, I would like to address the inmates and brothers on your team if that would be all right. Thank you again!
PS- I lost my eldest brother due to complications of the virus on 4/20/2020. His name was Curtis and he was 73. His wife, Ida, tested positive. I am told she’s going to be okay. Please pray for her and my 90-year-old mother, Betty Sue.