I was sitting an a strange doctor’s office waiting to find out if they were going to take out the cables, bolts, pins, screws and the rest of the metal installed in my left knee when they put it back together. We had changed insurance plans, so the original doctor wasn’t going to do the surgery.
I already have a bad case of White Coat Syndrome, but this took the cake. In the first surgery, they’d taken the six pieces my knee had been smashed into and put them back together. Now, they had to come out. When they took my blood pressure it was bordering stage two hypertension.
The doctor was unwilling to even schedule the surgery unless I could prove that it was an anomaly related to my nerves about the whole procedure. He agreed to give me ten minutes, then they would take the blood pressure again. If I could get it somewhere within the range of normal, they’d do it. The doctor was plainly skeptical.
There isn’t much in the rooms doctors see patients in to inspire peace and composure. The only thing I could think to do was to recite the 23rd Psalm. As I remembered each verse, I imagined myself there. Here is the procedure that brought my BP down to normal in ten minutes:
“The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want.” vs 1 I am comfortably full and very contented. Any need I have is met.
“He maketh me to lie down in green pastures.” vs 2a I imagined myself standing barefoot on soft, green grass. No stickery plants, no danger of bee stings, just a soft, green meadow.
“He leadeth me beside still waters.” Even still waters make a pleasant lapping or gurgling noise, and it is a soothing sound. I remembered how it felt to listen to the gentle sounds it makes.
Skipping to verse four of the Psalm, “Yeah though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for though art with me.” Sitting in a doctor’s office can feel pretty close to that valley, especially if surgery is the probable outcome. I imagined the Shepherd standing by, making sure nothing and no one could cause me harm. That was the most important part of the whole proceding.
“Though preparest a table for me” V 5a I imagined a table loaded with all of my favorite foods, and knew that those foods would not add calories, because they came from Him.
“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life.” At this point, the doctor came back in and took my BP again. It was 123/80.
I have used this procedure many times since then and I’ve mentioned it to other people. It calms, it soothes and it can be an invaluable blessing.
Source: eSword Bible, ASV version