A young man had been thrown from his horse. He lay in a hospital bed racked with pain and impatient to be out again with his mends. He had almost decided to take up law at the university, and now he was resolving to master horsemanship. Why, oh why, was that pain in his leg.
Suddenly everything changed. A somber looking nurse quietly brought a folding screen and placed it carefully around his bed. The screen! That meant he was expected to die soon. How soon? His world began to collapse around him. Horses and law courses were quickly forgotten. He heard the hospital clock chime one. Perhaps before it chimed again he would be gone! Why hadn't he been told about the seriousness of his condition? He wasn't ready to die and face God! He hated the very thought of it.
Not that he was such a bad person; he had just ignored God. He always figured he had plenty of time. Why had he stayed so far away from God? His life began to pass before his eyes and he tried to see it as God would. He shuddered. He hadn't even kept the second commandment about loving your neighbor, let alone the first commandment about loving God with all your heart.
For the first time in his life he felt the crushing weight of the load of his sins and groaned at the coming judgment of a holy God. He tossed restlessly. His eyes roamed feverishly over the ceiling and walls. That ominous screen! Time was passing quickly.
Then came the answer. It was written on a little plaque on the opposite wall. He could just see it above the screen: "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." (Matthew 11:28).
That was it! Jesus Christ, the Son of God, somehow a fellow could be saved if he came to Him. He remembered Christ on the cross. Yes, Christ had died on that cross, and that meant pardon for sinners and peace of heart. This time he didn't question it or argue about it or put if off. He read the verse again, "Come unto me:and I will give you rest."
Right out loud he prayed, "I will come. I do come to You, Lord Jesus Christ, if it's not too late."
The man in the next bed thought, "Poor fellow; he's getting delirious now." But the man behind the screen was smiling. He knew it wasn't too late. A light shone into his soul. The burden of his sin rolled off and peace filled his heart. He trusted the finished work of the Son of God and he knew he was forgiven. He had never been so deeply happy before! Now he was ready to die.
He thought of his own brothers and fellows he ran around with. Most of them laughed at God. Why hadn't he come to Christ sooner so he could tell them? If only he had one more chance to tell them about this wonderful news.
Suddenly the nurse appeared. "I'm very sorry," she said, "there's been a mistake. We put the screen by the wrong bed."
To her astonishment the patient sat bolt upright in bed. "Sorry? Why, that's the greatest thing that ever happened to me!" he exclaimed.
How about you? Have you come to Christ for salvation? There may not be plenty of time for you. The Bible says, "And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment." (Hebrews 9:27). "For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God." (1 Peter 3:18).