No Hospitals In Heaven

My family has spent a lot of time in the hospital. I mean a lot. My son, Kaleb, has spent more time in the hospital than anybody I know. From the time he was born, until the present day, hospitalizations have been a common part of his life. Hospital stays have ranged from a day, to several weeks, to months at a time.

His story is too long to recount here, but he has many medical issues that make his life more difficult than most. He has experienced unbelievable circumstances, medical mistakes, and even some miracles. I capture his story and the lessons God has taught us in a podcast called Hopeful Sufferers.

The last two years have been hard. Kaleb got sick from fungal meningitis in the fall of 2017. It caused a stroke that wiped out his motor skills, speech, and other things we had previously taken for granted. This new reality only made previous issues he dealt with (e.g. having a kidney transplant and lung disease) more complicated to navigate. He comes in to the hospital with UTI’s and respiratory issues with some regularity.

It hit me while walking the hospital halls recently that the place felt like home. It’s sad, to be honest. The place that should feel foreign and out of place for most people feels like our second home. We have been coming to this hospital for 15 years. We know the doctors and nurses, care partners, and respiratory therapists like family. We have given one of our main doctors the nickname “Grandpa Hall.” You have to laugh in the midst of crying.

Kaleb’s latest admission has been primarily focused on his lungs. He has struggled to keep his oxygen levels up and has needed BiPAP. This is one step below needing a breathing tube placed in your throat. The labor and effort required to breathe wears him out. He has slept a lot.

I took the picture above of him after praying for him. He had been sleeping most of the day. I wanted him to know that I was there, and most importantly, I wanted to remind him of the promises of God. The Reed family regularly rehearses and recites those promises. We cling to the reality that these present sufferings are not worth comparing to the glory that will be revealed in us (Romans 8:18).

In my prayer, whispered in Kaleb’s ear, I reminded him that God is using his life. I reminded him that his story is being used by God to encourage others and point them to their need for Jesus. Then I told him we have such an incredible future awaiting us. The New Heavens and New Earth will be filled with lots of laughter, lots of singing, and lots of running and dancing. I also reminded him of what won’t be there: hospitals. These momentary afflictions won’t follow us into God’s glorious future.

My prayer finished by reminding him, and myself, that this incredible promise was signed, sealed, and delivered solely because of the finished work of our Savior, Jesus. Our Lord personally guaranteed our future life by laying down his life in death. Jesus then walked out of the tomb, the first fruits of a resurrection future. Because he lives, we can face tomorrow. Because he lives, we know that we too will live.

In this life to come, we will live with Jesus, enjoying him and his blessings forever. And there will be no hospitals!

10 thoughts on “No Hospitals In Heaven

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  1. Reeds, I have been praying daily for Kaleb and the family. I will continue!! Your words pulled at my heart and made me smile at the same time.


  2. You are so right when you say “ God is using Caleb’s journey through this life to minister to others.” I am a witness to this truth… This child is a true warrior in the Lord. We are praying and have been praying and will continue to pray for Caleb.


  3. Oh Erik… So sad to read this.. Im not on FB, but look for updates all the time regarding Kaleb. We faithfully pray for him every nights. Most nights, our kids pipe up, “Dont for get to pray for Kaleb!” We love you guys and will continue to pray. XO
    The Rankin Family


  4. Hi. We have some mutual friends on Facebook. And I saw a post about your precious son.

    1st… I have no words. I’m so very sorry. No one should have to endure this.

    2nd. I’m in awe of you and your wife. Seriously in awe.

    3rd. I will think of you all often. I will think of Kaleb often. This story. Your family’s journey has touched my soul.

    All my prayers and thoughts.


  5. For I am persuaded…not any other thing will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. May the God of comfort and peace continue to grant great Grace.😔


  6. I’m a fellow Preds fan and I saw the post about Kaleb’s passing today. I’m sorry for your loss but thankful for Kaleb’s ultimate healing where there are no hospitals, needles and tubes. He walks standing tall, in perfect health alongside his savior. Thoughts and prayers for those left behind.


  7. I can not say how I truely feel about the Reed Family. I have heard and seen Kaleb’s painful life. He and Family have been in my Prayers for over 11 years. Erik came to my Family after my Grandmothers passing. We attended TJC the following Sunday. And i have been convicted and shown my sins, which I am forever Grateful for. Erik was with my Mom days and nights for three days, in her passing. My heart can not explain how Comforting and Grateful I was. This Reed Family is beyond words, Kaleb’s Smile is unexplainable. I for the rest of my days could never tell how they All have touched my life, except GOD Blessed me and my Family through them and TJC
    Now Kaleb is with Jesus and running down the streets of Gold. Their Lives are forever changed, But GOD will hold them and catch them when the stumble. Then one day, we will meet again. My heart is lost and tears roll, But GOD!!!


  8. Erik, prayers are with you and your family. I too at this very second am experiencing a hardship and searching for that inner peace that god has brought you.


  9. Thank you and Katrina for pouring out your heart and soul to us all.❤
    Our trials and suffering are temporary, AMEN to that. We lean on and hold tight to the promises of God. Better words could not be said, and whispered with love. Kaleb has and will continue to prove to us that God is incomparibly glorious!


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