…the parched land shall become a pool, and the thirsty lands springs of water…(Isaiah 35:7)

One-Word Healing

No Sweeter Sound

By Rex Goode


Friday morning, as with most Friday mornings, I got up at 4:00AM to go to my health club  where I swim laps, do physical therapy exercises, and run in place for an hour. I had been up fairly late on Thursday evening. In recent days, I have been somewhat overwhelmed.

Client problems have skyrocketed. I have found myself depressed, disillusioned, disappointed, and even angry. Add to that problems with not enough sleep, glucose fluctuations, and worry about money. I was in a bad state.My running in place routine is in five feet of water to protect my back and joints. I couldn’t do it otherwise. I was so tired that I had my eyes closed for much of the time. Strangely enough, I even dozed off while exercising. It slowed me down, but my arms and legs kept moving.

These little snoozes only lasted seconds. When I had left the lap pool, one of my swimming buddies had said, “Happy Easter” to me. He is a Seventh-Day Adventist.

When I am drowsy and dozing off, here is the way my mind works. I have quick progressions between thoughts, one though leading to another and changing subjects in my head as I go. The progression was like this:

“Happy Easter” from a Seventh-Day Adventist reminded me of the Second Coming, which is a pivotal belief of Seventh-Day Adventists as well as Latter-day Saints. That is what the “Adventist” part of the name means–the Second Coming. My Catholic swimming buddy probably thinks of Christmas when he hears the word “Advent” because they think of Christmas season as Advent. Jesus coming at his birth and his Second Coming.

I woke up seconds later thinking of the children’s song, “When He Comes Again”, that I learned as a boy, which is sings about a comparison between both comings of Jesus Christ. I heard in my head the last words, “You’ve served me well, my little child; Come unto my arms to stay!”

It was a pleasing thought, one I hoped to hear and have faith that I will. I strive to do what is right. However, the troubles of my mind were back present now that I was awake again, running, running, running.

One of the main things I have been dealing with, and it is a very old issue with me, is that it all-too-often feels like people only like me because I have a knack for people. I always have been the kind of person people want to tell their troubles to. I made it worse by getting a degree in social work. Now, it’s official.

It can feel lonely. You can end up wondering if that is really all that your friends see in you, someone to be kind to them and listen. It’s almost a silly jealousy. I’m not just a good listener, but compared to most of my friends, my life is in pretty good order–nothing that a million dollars wouldn’t solve. I have a great family and we’re pretty functional. I don’t generally deal with depression. My big issue is just that–I’m big. The main reason I am in the pool is to work on that.

Lately, I have just felt used a lot by people to help them feel good without a lot of care or concern about how I might be feeling. Like I said, this day in the pool where my mind was preoccupied with troubles was about many things, including medical things related to diabetes, glucose levels, and sleep deprivation. Work was high-stress.

I was low, really low. Thinking through the children’s song helped me feel strengthened to try to carry on in the spirit of, “Each day I’ll try to do his will And let my light so shine That others seeing me may seek For greater light divine.” Yet, I still felt depressed and lonely.

I dozed off again. My mind started an inventory of names of people I had relationships with, which stirred up feelings of disappointment and resentment until I came to a name I had not planned on putting on my mental list. The name of “Jesus” came to my mind in a clear and unmistakeable Amen to my list. My instant reaction to that one little word was a huge smile that woke me up and opened my eyes. All other names were erased by it. I felt healed from my disappointment and loneliness by one relatively small word that means everything to me.

A new song came to my mind:  “Jesus, the Very Thought of Thee”, by St. Bernard of Clairveaux, translated by Edward Caswall. I didn’t think through the whole hymn, just the words, “Jesus,the very thought of thee With sweetness fills my breast; But sweeter far thy face to see And in thy presence rest.”

I could remember many times in my life, when just a thought or an image of my Savior brought a smile to my frowny face. Over my life and childhood, time after time, feeling his love has been the comfort in any trial. I’ve had my share of them and that one Presence has brought me through them all. No wonder it brings a smile to my face even when I’m in the midst of darkness. It is pure light to me.

Another phrase from that hymn came to mind shortly after the other. “…nor can the memory find A sweeter sound than thy blest name, O Savior of mankind!” For me, there truly is no sweeter sound.

On this Holy Week, when countless millions turn their thoughts to Jesus Christ, may everyone who thinks or hears his name find the same sweetness I feel when I do.  Happy Easter!




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4 Responses to “One-Word Healing”

  1. Anon. said:

    Great post Rex! Thanks for sharing. I’m wondering if you’ve had a sleep study done? When you said you fell asleep while exercising, that would be highly unusual, even if only for a second.

  2. Rex Goode said:

    Hmmm…I’ve never thought of it as unusual. It’s something that happens to me. I wouldn’t call it a full sleep, just kind of dozing, but in the brief moments, my mind races. Have had no sleep studies. Doesn’t feel like anything is wrong. I’ve often fallen asleep while talking and just kept talking. Seems the same.


  3. Jay said:

    Hi Rex. Thanks for this post–I’ve always loved that song (When he comes again). It almost always has a very calming effect on me. The melody started running through my head when you mentioned it above, and I experienced one of those “mental leaps” that sometimes come to me. Maybe it’s because I hope to hear the final phrase in the song for myself. So thank you for sharing.

    As a side note to the post by Anon, I was recently given this link by a friend, because I’m falling asleep most of the time. Enjoy. 🙂 You’ve probably heard of it before. Epworth Sleepiness Scale

  4. Rex Goode said:

    Thanks, Jay. I fall pretty low, slight chance in all situations unless I got less than 6 hours the night before. I always try to take one 20 minute nap per day, but other than that, I am fairly awake.

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