Yesterday a friend lost her husband of 31 years. It was not sudden. It had been a battle for some time for him and for her. She knows the Lord and called on His strength and wisdom through it all and while it was hard she never wavered. He had once known the Lord but something eventually got in his way, he lost his focus on Him, so he struggled in this illness. He had very little peace.
As he came to his last hours he knew he was dying. Perhaps he had known for some time and it was why his testiness and determination not to do as doctors said was so evident. He rejected the peace of God to get him through while my friend called on Him for strength.
The last couple of days men from church visited him. They would, I know, pray with him and talk about the Lord. One of our younger men, and an elder in our church, said this: The last time I spoke with Tom he seemed very much like a man who knew he lacked the peace of God in his life, yet wanted it.
When things are going well in life, we can discount the Lord. Why do we need Him? I have all I need.
There's also the opposite when one questions, how is it God isn't helping me now; why trust a God who's not here? But He is here. He's always here. The very world He created is proof. The fact that seasons change like they always have, that things are born, grow, fade and die to start over again is proof. The gripe that we think if God cared He wouldn't allow some things is our rejection of Him. If we feel He's not with us it might be we have shut Him out. He can still be silent at times, however...to grow our faith. But it doesn't mean He's not there.
What we need to understand is our need for Him and dependence on Him for all our situations. If we do this He will be there to help. He will bring the peace in the midst of trying times. If we have that peace, the grumbling about where is God when we're hurting or scared or in pain won't be there. It's all about His peace. But we need to be willing to acknowledge Him, not shun Him.
My friend is now confident that in this very difficult time of her husband's life and in his death, he finally reached out to the Lord. It's been a prayer by many that he be broken and in that brokenness he once again turn to God. In that brokenness we finally realize we are nothing and either give in to God or reject Him all the more (not something anyone should do). It's better to go through the brokenness now...and enjoy the peace He brings.
While she mourns his loss, she has been given the hope that she will see her husband again some day. It was all she ever hoped for. Through this she has displayed strength, even when it seemed she was getting tired. She was a witness to her Lord. I saw it.
Praise You, Lord, for all You do in us. I pray you keep Your children focused on You. Grant us peace in our daily lives. Keep us strong through Your power, that power You give to us.
1Timothy 6:12 - Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.