Lament on a Hospital Bed

J. Todd Billings | March 2, 2016


The hospital is a strange place. Lying in a hospital bed, patients realize they’re not in charge, and the world could go on quite efficiently without them. Their previous plans are suspended; overturned. The next breath is never guaranteed for mortals such as ourselves, and this fact is brought into acute focus under the florescent lights and among the many noises and beeps of the hospital.

Yet the hospital is also wondrous: the self-giving love of nurses and doctors, the wondrous gifts of medicine and technology, the surprising moments of gratitude. But as John Piper argues in Lessons from a Hospital Bed, it’s also wondrous because in these vulnerable moments, God does mighty work through mortal sinners as they cry out in need.

Small Book, Big Truths

Piper seeks to make the most of this opportunity in this small (less than 8,000 words) but substantial booklet. Its chapters are succinct, able to be digested between IVs, X-rays, and the many other tasks occupying hospital patients. It’s direct and focused, pointing to the wondrous God of Jesus Christ in the context of the modern hospital.

As Christians, we often pray for our loved ones in hospitals to be able to leave the…


To read the rest of this article, visit https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/book-reviews-piper-lessons-hospital-bed.