(July 13, 2022) Kenneth Drinkald shares an amazing testimony of God’s caring…
I opened my eyes, not sure where I was. I was hot, sweaty; feeling nauseous, as though I wanted to be sick… and there was pressure in my chest and left arm.
Gently putting a hand to my hurting head, I felt blood dripping down the side of my face. I was laying on cold kitchen tiles, trying to make sense of what had happened.
Day began as normal
I had promised to paint a lounge room for a friend. Arriving at Judy’s home I had begun by painting the ceiling, but after a while was feeling hot and clammy. Believing exertion from painting and the warm day to be the cause, I opened the windows and went outside to the porch.
After sitting out there for a while and giving the house time to cool down, I went back inside to continue painting. For some reason I left the front door open.
However, as I painted I found myself continually distracted by some pieces of paper in the lounge room. Strange… but I just couldn’t stop looking at them, wondering what they were – and at the same time scolding myself for being so inquisitive!
Eventually, I gave in to the constant pull to these papers, climbed down the ladder and looked at the paper on the top of the pile. It was a council rates notice, with the address of the property I was in. Feeling rather silly and nosey, I continued painting, thinking no more of it
Suddenly… a phone somewhere started shrieking!
Onto a good rhythm now, I was making good progress only to be disturbed by the house phone ringing. It went on and on, seemingly endless in its piercing shrill!
Oh how that ringing continued! I finally climbed down to answer the call… but couldn’t find the phone. I could only follow the shrieking sound. Eventually I found it hidden under a cloth among a whole pile of things, not in the lounge but out on the kitchen floor still ringing away!
‘What a stupid place to put the phone,’ I thought as I answered it. A man from Chrisco Christmas Hampers asked, ‘Judith, the home owner, please.’ Explaining that I was the painter, I asked him to call back later. Going back to painting, I was soon making further progress.
Out like a light
Suddenly I was aware of pressure in my chest and at the same time also in my left arm. I was sweatier than before, clammier, and feeling quite nauseous.
I decided to sit on the kitchen’s cold tiles… only to lapse into unconsciousness. How long I lay on the hard floor before coming to, I have no recollection. But I awoke to find my head split open and bleeding. In passing out, I’d hit it severely on the hard kitchen tiles.
Somehow I reached for that nearby phone and dialled emergency, requesting an ambulance. The call-taker was very efficient, assessing the situation instantly and asked, ‘What’s the address?’ Address? Address!
Believe it or not, although I had been to that house many times and knew directions, I didn’t know the address!
If I hadn’t been mysteriously led to that rates notice, I wouldn’t have been able to give the address! The call-taker then asked about access to the home and I was able to confirm the front door was open, having left it so earlier.
She continued talking to me, finally saying, ‘Can you hear the ambulance now? It should be in your street.’ Yes, I could hear it and very soon two officers came in to find me on the kitchen floor.
They were efficient, but could not stabilise me. ‘We have to get you into the ambulance and go to the hospital, do you think you can walk with our assistance?’ they asked. With their help, I made it.
While on the way the siren was screaming! A very quick stop was made for another paramedic to board to administer heavier drugs than those two had. But after examining me, this officer proclaimed, ‘We won’t give him anything more yet, get him straight to hospital… quickly.’
Rushed into theatre
Rushed on arrival straight into a room filled with a waiting medical team, I was quickly prepped for theatre, then we were hurrying down a hallway.
Another patient had been held back so I could be taken straight into surgery. The doctors operated and fitted a stent, opening an artery that had been blocked. Someone kept asking me a series of questions, one of them being: ‘Where do you work?’
After he had asked a fourth time, I replied, ‘When you’re my age, where will you work?’ The surgeon who had operated on me cracked up laughing, saying to the interrogator, ‘That’ll teach you!’
Throughout all of this, peace from God remained on me. Interestingly, as I was being taken out of the theatre, the surgeon said, ‘I’m glad you didn’t die.’
‘So am I!’ I replied.
Personally, I thank the Lord for our medical profession… but above all I thank my great, caring God!
More mystery surprises
A couple of days later Judy phoned me. She had arrived home when the ambulance officers were working on me, her face white as a sheet when she saw me. Now she was saying, ‘I thought you were going to die.’
Then she really surprised me by saying, ‘Ken, it was a good job you had your mobile on you.’ Taken aback, I replied, ‘Why no, Judy… remember when you found me, I had asked, “Please call Eve. Tell my wife to come to Flinders Hospital. She’s got our mobile with her.”’
After a few moments I asked, ‘Are you still there, Judy?’ Ever so quietly she astounded me by querying, ‘But if Eve had the mobile, how did you call the ambulance?’
I said, ‘Why, I used your phone, and what a silly place you have it. If it hadn’t rang earlier so shrieky, so long, I’d never have found it.’
There was more silence… for a long time, only broken by me again asking, ‘Are you still there?’
To my amazement, Judy astounded me further, saying: ‘Ken… that phone hasn’t worked for many months, not since the grandchildren pulled the wires out of the wall in the bedroom. It wasn’t even in the kitchen… and it doesn’t work, it just can’t.’
The mysterious ‘ifs’ of trusting God replace ‘buts’
It was a couple of weeks after I was released from hospital, that Judy asked Eve if she would ring Telstra for her, as she wanted the phone re-connected. Only then did it work normally.
- If my attention hadn’t been drawn to those papers, I wouldn’t have known the address.
- If that phone hadn’t rang so ear-piercingly, I wouldn’t have found it.
- If the medical team hadn’t been able to attend to me so promptly, I may have died!
- If I hadn’t left that front door open for ventilation…
- If that other medical officer hadn’t been close by…
As Corrie Ten Boom said, ‘There are no buts in God’s kingdom. His timing is perfect.’ In His timing, He caused a dead phone to work, so I could live, bless His name, hallelujah!
Oh… one other mysterious thing: Judy explained to me later that she hadn’t dealt with Chrisco Christmas Hampers for five years. Why did that agent phone that particular day? I can but praise my caring God and share my experience, my good news!
Kenneth Drinkald was involved in pastoral ministry and church planting for many years. Although retired he still delights in sharing God’s grace and goodness with others, and praying for the sick and troubled. Link: OnlinerConnect@gmail.com