Pastor Greg Edwards Testimony
Pastor Greg Edwards Testimony

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“I am blessed!”: A Pastor’s Journey Through COVID-19

Testimony by Pastor Greg Edwards

Greg Edwards shares the story of how God healed him from, and carried him through, the COVID-19 virus during a month-long hospital stay. Greg is a pastor at The Rock Christian Fellowship in Newark, NJ, under Lead Pastor Ray Dash.

It was a new year. We had said goodbye to an unprecedented 2020 and welcomed in 2021. Although we had many close calls, our family of six: myself, my wife Michelle and our children, Troy (28), Zuriel (22), Raamiah (21), and Esaias (16)—by the grace of God—remained coronavirus-free. As the world started to slowly open up again, life was starting to look more and more positive.

COVID-19 Hits Home

Shortly after my oldest son tested positive for COVID-19 on January 6, 2021, and quarantined himself, everyone except my youngest son started experiencing symptoms in various ways. I started to have massive headaches, body aches, chills, and a non-stop cough. Feeling some discomfort in my chest, I asked my wife to take me to the ER, where they did an EKG, X-ray, and put me on a heart monitor. They also gave me a COVID-19 test. At the time, everything checked out and they sent me home. Two days later I got the results, which weren’t a surprise. I was COVID-positive.

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I spent that next week feeling worse, just wanting to stay in bed. My brother-in-law encouraged me to get out and take a walk to get some fresh air and sunshine. I took the advice, and while out for a short walk, I started having difficulty breathing. I was barely able to make it up the stairs to my front door. I went for another walk a day or two later, experienced the same shortness of breath, and had to literally lay down outside before I could make it up the stairs again. There was something seriously wrong. This wasn’t positive.

Hospital Treatment

By this time, we had received a pulse oximeter and temperature gauge my wife had ordered from Amazon. She checked my oxygen levels, finding them in the low 90s. She and my sister, who works in a nursing home, agreed I should go back to the ER. My wife quickly drove me there; they put me on oxygen right away, then had me wait. After what seemed like an eternity, I was whisked into one of the exam rooms and connected to a pulse oximeter, with an oxygen mask strapped to my face. After a while, the nurse noticed my oxygen levels were not improving and said I would need a more high-flow oxygen output, which provides more liters of oxygen per minute. The attack of the virus on my lungs was preventing them from doing what God had designed them to do. Eventually, I was admitted—they wanted to keep me on the oxygen for a few days. I called Michelle, who was waiting for me in the car, and told her she could go home. Sounding positive, they figured I would be out in three to five days.

Unfortunately, three to five days turned into a four-week journey in the hospital. I was diagnosed with bilateral COVID-19 pneumonia.

Why Me to Why Not Me?

A little after my first week in the hospital, my positivity began to wane. My prayers focused mainly on Why me? Physically, I had no underlying health conditions. My twin brother, who is an asthmatic, was out of the hospital in six days. I had lost my uncle to coronavirus in April 2020. Was this to be my fate as well? However, as I thought of Jesus on the cross of Calvary, I realized my suffering was nothing compared to His. My prayers then focused on Why not me?

I then began to reflect on the blessings of knowing Christ, the blessings of being saved, the blessing of a beautiful God-fearing wife, the blessing of all my children walking with the Lord! I prayed, God, if you never did another thing for me again, I am blessed! If you never raise me up from this hospital bed, I am blessed! If you decide to heal me, I am blessed! If I die and go to heaven, I am blessed! This gave me a peace I have never experienced before. Philippians 4:7: And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard you hearts and minds through Christ Jesus became real to me during my suffering. When negativity tried to creep in, the peace of God kept me positive.

God the Healer

The talented doctors did their best to treat me. I was told that they used the same treatment given to former President Trump when he contracted the virus. He had a speedy recovery, but the treatment was not working for me. There came a point where there was nothing else the doctors could do to treat me. The only advice they could give was to rest and lay on my stomach. This position did lower my oxygen output percentage, but never enough to remove my dependence on the oxygen. It was now up to God alone to heal me, so I had to trust in Him and remain positive.

During Week 2, the doctors told me I had developed a pneumothorax, which occurs when air leaks into the space between the lungs and chest walls. The pressure from this air pocket can cause a collapsed lung. I had to be moved to a floor where I could be monitored 24/7. This was very discouraging. The doctors said the air pockets could be treated by minor surgery or could heal on their own, but because I knew where the healing would come from, I was positive.

The LORD will strengthen him on his bed of illness; You will sustain him on his sickbed. Psalm 41:3

On Week 3, God stepped in—He had decided it was time to remove the high-flow oxygen. With no real explanation or logic, the doctors came in and switched me to low-flow oxygen, and I was breathing fine! They talked about discharging me to continue treatment at home within the next few days. This was overwhelming to me, and I am convinced—positive—that God performed a miracle at that very moment.

Experiencing God’s Attributes

During Week 4, after some physical therapy and other logistics were arranged, I was to be discharged and sent home to my family. Early on, my wife gave me a book titled The Names of God. As I read it, I realized that it is great knowledge to know how God’s name matches His many attributes. However, it wasn’t until I experienced God through my suffering that these names became real to me.

That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death. Philippians 3:10

I truly know him as Jehovah-Rophe, the God who heals, because he healed me. I truly know him as Jehovah-Shalom, the God of Peace, because he gave me His peace during my storm. I truly know him as Jehovah-Jireh, God my Provider, because he took care of my family through the generosity of my church family. He truly reminded me of the positive when I could have focused on the negative. The secret was keeping my eyes on the cross (+), the symbol of all things positive!

 

All verses above are quoted from the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

© 2020 Calvary Chapel Magazine. All rights reserved. Articles or photographs may not be reproduced without the written permission of CCM. All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.® Used by permission.

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