I got some news that someone that I know is terminally ill.
I instantly felt helpless – speechless.
What do you say to someone as they come face-to-face with their humanity? What comforting words can you give that don’t sound forced, churchy, or completely like the rhetoric that is always given when someone tells you they are dying?
What words will bring peace? How do I even present peace when I’m racked with confusion? How did this happen? Why?
I know the reality, and you are probably screaming this to me through the computer. Yes, it is true that unless we be raptured, we will all face death, but knowing when you will die or how you will die takes on a certain sobriety.
I know that as Christians, we would love to say that we are ready to die. We proclaim our great faith and look forward to the other shore. But most times, this is said when we are perfectly healthy and able to move around at our will. But what happens when we are indeed sick? How would we feel if we were diagnosed as terminally ill? What would we prefer someone to tell us?
That’s been my thought process recently. And, I can tell you, I wouldn’t want to hear a bunch of rhetoric. I would want to be as realistic as possible. And in this reality, if my friend does not receive a miracle from the Lord, she will die. Plain and simple. I would want to talk about what I might miss and I would want to make my desires known. I would not want to ignore the elephant in the room, but instead, I would want to do my best to accept God’s will for my life. If I am to be terminally ill – If I am to be sick unto death, then as much as I would desire for things to be different, God’s will is more important than mine.
God is in control of all things. He has never lost control. So, if I am sick, then I have to deal with the reality of that sickness. He is able to heal me. But, healing me of that sickness may not be in His plan and purpose for my life. There might be a greater work at hand.
Realizing this, I would seek the Lord to ask Him what He would have me to do in my final days. Is my death a proving point for someone – is it the catalyst that will ultimately save a soul? How can I serve Him in my final days. These would hopefully be the thoughts that I would carry with me because I truly want to hear “well done, my good and faithful servant” from the Lord Himself.
While we don’t hasten to death, and while I know it can be a grim subject, I would ask that we would spend some time thinking about it today. We live life on full blast never slowing down for some time of reflection, until we are sick. Be different. Slow down now and think about what you want God to tell you. What is the message of your life?
My friend’s illness has not been in vain. Her death, should the Lord allow it, will not be in vain either. Because she is so very young, it has sobered me; humbled me; reminded me that we all have a certain number of days.
So, what do I tell her? I tell her the truth.
I tell her that she means alot to me. That she has shown me what love looks like in the midst of terrible circumstances. That she has been a light even when she didn’t know she was shining in my life. I would tell her that although it would never be my plan for her to depart this world so soon, that God knows best and what’s best. So, if she gets the miracle, great, but if God chooses a different route, then we will adjust. We will celebrate the goodness of the Lord. In all things, He is good! In all things.
And, I tell my friend, not to worry about the things that may happen in her absence, because God has a plan for that as well. I tell her, because I love her. Denial has no place in love nor reality. I tell her while I can.
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