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Those who went in front and those who followed were shouting: “Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.” (Mark 11:9 NASB)

Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you. (1 Peter 5:6-7 NASB)

When someone entrusts a 22-month-old child to you for a weekend, you’d really like to hand the child back in the same condition you received him.

I was babysitting my grandsons on the weekend of Palm Sunday. At church, the boys enjoyed marching around with palm fronds and seeing grandpa play guitar. Pastor Mark’s message included a mini-sermon on the meaning of “hosanna.” It’s a marvelous word with the root meaning of “saves.” It can be translated “He saved,” “He saves,” “He will save,” and “Save us!” Hosanna is a promise, plea and praise wrapped into one.

Palm Sunday evening, the littlest grandson spiked a fever. The next day, his fever went away, but he seemed unusually tired. Monday night, he seemed to sleep ok, though I noticed his breath particularly because his belly was going in and out, and the breaths seemed frequent—but no fever. Tuesday morning, I left the boys in the hands of their nanny and went home, planning to rejoin the boys for dinner. Their mom and dad were due home in the early evening, so we were in the home stretch of the extended weekend.

I rested a bit at home and then did a search of “fast breathing” with “two-year-old.” The results were alarming. I called my daughter and headed back to Seattle, with a call in to the family doctor’s office. My daughter called back almost immediately and said the nanny was taking the boys directly to the emergency room at Children’s Hospital in Seattle, and I should meet them there.

My heart was pounding and my mind was racing. I forced myself to focus on safe driving as I blazed west on 520. One word rose up within me – Hosanna! Oh, Jesus – hosanna! Have mercy on this little one! Hosanna became my word of the day, my hope and my peace with a mind full of fear.

There were only a few people ahead of us at the emergency room. My daughter was available by phone to give medical history and approve treatment. Soon, the little guy was in the hands of a doctor. Hosanna – thank you! The first hour-long treatment didn’t reduce his symptoms, so we started on a second treatment. Hosanna – let it be successful!

All afternoon, the little guy and I were glued together, with him reclining on my chest. The emergency room staff were making plans to admit him to the hospital. Meanwhile, my daughter and her husband had boarded their plane and were out of communication for a few hours. Hosanna, Lord Jesus, we’re in Your hands!

By the time my daughter’s plane landed at dusk, the little guy’s vitals were improving and the staff gave him a 50% chance of going home. Hosanna, thank you! Please make it 100%! By the time my daughter walked into the room and scooped up her little son, the chart read, “Going home.” Hosanna!!

I fetched the car with the car seats from a distant parking lot, while my daughter waited with the little guy on her lap. After they were all belted in, I waved them away home and stood still, trembling in the breezy, cool twilight. Hosanna… Hosanna… Yes, hosanna, and I’m suddenly feeling very tired.

I went looking for my car about halfway down on the right in the emergency room lot. No car. Uh-oh. Did I leave it too long in the emergency lot? The staff assured me there was no way anyone had towed my car away. Turned out, my husband had taken away my car in one of the many car exchanges of the day. Argh. I should have hopped in the car with my daughter.

My dear husband made one more trip back to the hospital to pick me up. While waiting, I walked back through the emergency room, now teeming with people. Hosanna with thanks, that we had found help here. Hosanna for those waiting, that Jesus would meet them in their need. Hosanna with praise for a God who saves!

Jani can be reached by email here.

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