Saturday, July 16, 2011

The God of All Comfort

Yesterday I went to administer Holy Communion to a woman was very active in service to the Lord under my leadership until just a few short months ago.  That's when her health began to fail.  I'm always so grieved to hear of someone that seems so full of life and vitality, has suddenly become gravely ill, even to the point of death.  That is her testimony.  I'm saddened and amazed at what God has done in her life in the short time she's been a part of our ministry, "An Evening of Inspiration".  But He has done an amazing work in her life! 

As I come into the room, tears begin to flow down her frail cheeks and she smiles a very tired smile.  I can feel myself well up with emotion, but I hold it together because this is about her and what God wants to do for her at this time.  I hear the Christian radio station as I put my things down and come and sit on the side of her bed.  For awhile, we just look at each other as the tears continue to fall.  I speak first.  "I'm so glad to see you, Joyce."  She can barely speak; her voice only audible just above a whisper.  I tell her that I've come to share the Table of the Lord with her and I begin to prepare the elements and anointing her with oil.  I begin to pray slowly, allowing the Holy Spirit to direct me.  After administering the elements, the Lord prompts me to read some scriptures.  He quickly brings to mind which ones, and I turn them one after the other as He leads:  Psalm 23, John 11, John 14, etc.  As I read, I notice her gaze is fixed on me face...a kind of intent stare like she didn't want to miss anything.  I could tell that the Holy Spirit was ministering to her.  She said wanted God to forgive the mistakes of her past, to which I responded with 1 John 1:9-10.  At that, she smiled with a sigh of relief.  She said she was at peace and she wasn't afraid. There was no one she needed to forgive.  I asked her if she remembered when she received the Lord as her Saviour, and she said it was about 3-4 years ago, and she confirmed that she had accepted Jesus Christ as her Savior.

For a moment we were both quiet as I rubbed her frail hands to comfort her.  Then she said, "I guess I won't need this body anymore."  And I said, "No you won't.  You're going to have a glorified body.  This mortal body is going to put immortality and death will be swallowed up in victory!  There will be no more pain, no more sorrow, no more tears."  Her eyes got really wide with hope!  My heart was blessed! 

It was time to go.  Just this short visit was enough for her.  I prepared to gather my things.  As I bent down to give her kiss on the cheek, she said, "I'll see you on the other side."  I smiled with watery eyes and said, "I'll see you on the other side."

It's just a matter of time now, before she passes into the presence of her heavenly Father.  As I was leaving the building, I thought, "God, I really want to see her when I get there."  I left with the feeling that this was all God's doing.  He is The God of All Comfort. When we respond in obedience and love to those who are in need, we prepare the Way for the Lord to come in.  We make room for the divine intervention of God in the lives of those whom He entrusts to us.  It's not so hard.  In fact, we find that life is just as it should be and you are in the center of His will. 

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