Posted by: dhkrause | October 27, 2016

Robbing Death of Its Power

Sunday, October 23, 2016, when I arrived at a care center for a service (worship and Bible study), the Activity Director requested that I first visit an a longtime elderly friend who was not doing well.  Entering her room, I found that my dear friend of many years was extremely emaciated with sunken cheeks, apparently semi-conscious with eyes open but slightly glazed, and her life clearly nearing its end.   I addressed her by name, identified myself, and assured her that Jesus was right there with her, and would be present with her always.  Indeed, the presence of God was manifest, as a small tear drop formed at the corner of one of her now clear blue eyes.  Later at the service, I prayed with her co-residents for her peace and comfort, giving thanks for her life which was now in God’s hands.

After the service, I had a conversation with a middle-aged resident who was grieving over not being able to return to her beloved hometown of Eureka.  Near the end of the conversation, she remarked that a family member had suggested that perhaps if she had just received Jesus as Lord and Savior, all these mishaps would not have occurred.  I gently advised her that rather than engage in “what if” speculations, the most important thing she could do is to simply receive Him right now.  She agreed, and with no further thought of trying to bargain with the Lord, she prayed with me to receive Jesus as Savior and Lord, and to follow Him.

Later I visited a younger longtime friend who has bravely endured severe medical problems over the years faithfully keeping her eyes upon Jesus.  She saves the printed Bible studies I have given her with each visit, and says they help her to overcome depression and thoughts of suicide that she sometimes battles.  Her older sister visits weekly and they sometimes read these Bible studies together.  I have been visiting her regularly since she came to the facility in 2010, and both she and her sister express gratitude that these visits and Bible studies have helped her to stay strong in the Lord.  This resident also has an evangelistic ministry of her own, bringing hope, love and encouragement  to her fellow residents, including the elderly resident mentioned above.

She called the next day to tell me that our dear friend had died during the night. We prayed together in thankfulness for her life, knowing that she is away from us but present with the Lord.  Psalm 116:15 declares, “Precious in the sight of the Lord Is the death of His saints.”  Indeed, Paul speaking of the coming resurrection of believers, declares in 1 Corinthians 15:54-55, “So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.”  “O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?

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