Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Praise Him All Ye Little Children"1 (Lyrics)
There is really only one answer:
Proverbs 3:5 – Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. (KJV)
I do palliative care at our local nursing home. I sit with dying patients, both those who are peaceful and those who are frightened. I offer to pray with each of them. If they answer "yes", I pray aloud with them. If they answer "no", I pray silently for them.
I've lost grandparents, parents, parents-in-law, a younger sister, and two best friends, some after many years of cancer. All were believers who knew and loved the Lord, all looked forward to seeing Jesus face-to-face, and all died peacefully without fear, believing His promise:
Romans 6:4 – Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. (KJV)
Now my latest best friend is dying. She is a believer. Gradually, she has come to believe that acceptance is the key to peace. She has no bitterness. She has yielded.
I think of how Jesus pleaded for His life three times in Gethsemane, but each time, He yielded to His Father:
Matthew 26:39 – And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt. (KJV)
At seventy-three, I anticipate with joy seeing Jesus face-to-face and falling at His feet to worship Him. This is my favourite Bible verse:
1 Corinthians 2:9b – No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him. (NLT)
Life's problems and experiences have taught me that our heavenly Father wants each of us to come (sometimes, many times) to the point where we say with a broken and contrite heart, "Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him." (Job 13:15a KJV) As soon as we yield, His perfect peace flows in.
I seem to spend most of my days, and many of my nights, at His throne of grace. But then, I realize that He invites me to come boldly and that it is a perfect place to be. In fulfilling our responsibility to pray for our families and friends, we reap many blessings. When sorrows arrive, He enables us to accept His will and to smile through our tears.
We can thank God that Jesus and the Holy Spirit also intercede for our families and friends:
Romans 8:26 – Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. (KJV)
Prayer: Heavenly Father, as a body of believers, we bring our dying friends to Your throne of grace, asking for Your blessings of peace and joy, as only You can give. In Jesus' precious name and in the power of the Holy Spirit, we pray and thank You. Amen.