Troubles are temporary- glory is eternal.
1 Peter 1.24 says, "all men are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field: the grass withers and the flowers fall".
"Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day for our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. for what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal." 2 Corinthians 4.16-18.
What can one say to another whose husband is walking out his last days on this earth - on his way to heaven?
Psalm 119.28 My soul is weary with sorrows; strengthen me according to your word."
Tonight I said several extra prayers for extended family. Over two years ago, a diagnosis of ALS, stunned and shocked many around him. This is not a 'fun' way to live your last years on earth. His prayer was that the disease would progress quickly - he did not want to suffer a slow death.
Last Sunday, our Pastor challenged us to check ourselves and our salvation. Were we on board and doing what Christ has commissioned us? Are we Jesus to a dying world?
I have had the pleasure of knowing this family and its extended members for almost 20 years now!! It is with great sadness and some hope that I prayed this evening -- that his home going would be swift and as painless as possible. And I prayed that each person around him would see God's grace and mercy but also be comforted as we will see him again --
But I am glad I am 1400 miles away -- so I can cry in my own place and shed tears and not have to look into the eyes of his nieces and nephews as they say their goodbyes. Some of those nieces and nephews are my nieces and nephews. I don't want to have to look into the eyes of my brother - his brother-n-law as he has to comfort his own children and his sister-n-law. Tough days. But, as I wrote this tonight - I thought back to when my nephew departed this earth - Blake. Exactly 8 years ago today and I was reminded of the peace we experienced at his Life Celebration and the JOY that occurred when he got into Jesus's arms. However, it still hurts. It is never the same.
My extended family's name is Dave. When I saw him this past July 4th, I was able to smile at him and pray but I cried back then-- it hit me -- to RAW. The emotions were too close. Why is it that we can sometimes seem to keep it all together and then another time -- just LOSE it?? Emotions. But God gave me the strength to share some sweet time with his wife and I have kept her in prayer.
He is too young. He is only a few years older than myself. However, I also knew and heard within his voice that indeed he knew of the better place in which he would go -- heaven. He was indeed a different person than from the previous year. I am sure many of us would change a bit if we knew that in 1-2 years our lives on this earth would be coming to an end.
And then the sobering thought comes across my brain -- tonight may be my last night to say good bye to my husband -- we just never know!
** I wrote this blog last night. Today, I checked in with my brother and hospice is there -- but now this is on God's time. Continued prayers.
Then today, I thought of another precious wife -- who is in tears as she reads this blog because her husband is headed straight for death as well. Spiritually - he is dead. He has pushed everything he has been told and believed to the side and choosing to live his life on his terms. It hurts. She is devastated. However, she does not have that peace that he would rest for eternity in heaven -- as he is not saved....or he has hardened his heart so hard that one can't tell who has possession of his mind!
He does not have a terminal disease but indeed -- he is out of relationship with Jesus Christ!
I thought of both situations and cry and thank God that my man is asleep in the other room. But what would I say to him, if tonight was the last night -- the last time I said "good night"?
I would say, " I love you, thank you for making me a better person -- for making me laugh, for providing for all of us, but also for the discipline and structure you have brought into our lives. " I would say thank you for our children and how he has given them good influence and walked a walk in front of them with honesty and integrity --even through the yucky stuff.
I would remind him that this "life was only temporary" and I would probably make him laugh....then I would sob...and hold him and just take a mental photo of him as I kissed him good night and said "good bye. " But I would also pray for him - pray that indeed as he went into the arms of Jesus that he was perfectly loved and accepted. And I would find some sort of joy in it all.
It is easy to think and plan that and yet - who really knows WHAT would be said and HOW it would transpire. God knows. My prayer is that both my man and I are raptured up or go quickly -- no suffering -- but we both want to live a bit longer and enjoy MORE of what God has for us and DO MORE for HIM. So, I am saying a quick prayer right now and telling God - thanks!
Death -- its necessary I guess. I get it. However, it is still hard and it hurts and its sad.
So tonight -- a prayer -- a bold prayer for that wife. Her name is Shelley.
Lord, I come to you and take comfort in Your Word that you strengthen me, according to Your Word. Lord, I envision Shelley right now, sitting at his bedside and just loving her husband of 30 +years and thanking You for the time they have had. Lord, I pray that Shelley will experience such a supernatural peace that even the grand babies around will indeed feel Your glory. Lord, I pray continued strength is over her and protect her heart. Lord, help her to discern the people that will come and visit or want to 'do something'. Lord, I pray you will just lead and direct every step.
Lord, for the family -- and the extended family -- may they experience that same peace and may this home going be so personal and purposeful Lord, that he would be in no pain and that he would indeed seek Your healing touch Lord -- even if it is in heaven!
And Lord, a stated prayer for my sister tonight -( Blake's mom who kept busy today with work, yesterday, but indeed the wave of emotions can return!! ) I am thankful at all we DID have with him while he was here for his 17 years!! I am unsure if he can see us right now -- in heaven everything is perfect so why would he concern himself with keeping watch on us -- and also I don't believe time is a factor in heaven -- but it would be cool to think he could see the new cousins that have been born after his departing. It would be so cool to tell him about Ava, our grand-daughter and see how he interacted with Taylor's husband - Jake. All memories or thoughts we will enjoy on the other side of this Earth!!
And another prayer for that wife who is hanging on by a shear thread to her marriage. Bless her efforts, bless her steadfastness and her integrity as she is wore out. Some journeys' take 2 months, 2 years, or even 20.... only YOU know the timeline but Lord, we thank you that YOUR timing is perfect. HELP her as I know you are, may she see some supernatural events or situations or even messages that speak to her with BOLD volume as she waits. And as she waits, help me to be prayer warrior that stands in the gap -- but is also real with her.
Lord, ONLY you can dissolve a marriage. Lord, ONLY Your will is to be done. For the ones, the wives or even husbands that don't see any hope with their spouce at the moment and have had that deep thought and fear..and have said, "Lord, take them home...I have had enough". God, those are scary words - words that SAtan can hear and RUN with. So I pray, even as the enemy continues to fire darts into the camp of marriage -- that each one reading this is at a place where they can pray for their marriage and pray for their husband and wait on YOU. And I pray that anyone reading this and wants MORE of YOU -- would SEEK YOU. And I pray for my own marriage and husband -- the enemy has not let up ....being married is difficult. It is an attack on God's plan -- when a marriage fails...there is always MORE to the story, but God I pray that a miracle would occur for this one and that one and this new one as well....and for anyone reading this.
Lord, we know how blessed we are - Lord thank you for this medium where I can share a prayer and I pray YOU will use it big.
IN Jesus name, Amen.