Tuesday 16 April 2024

Too ill to die

 I was feeling very ill and waiting for an ambulance to take me to hospital, so how was it that I had the assurance that it was not my time to die? After all, I am now 93 years old. Surely a ripe old age.

Back home now, and recovering my strength, I will tell you the story. A faithful Christian lady had once told me about her mother. At the age of seventy she had been healed of heart disease and she had told her, ‘Mother, don’t forget. You do not have to be ill to die.’

And she didn’t and indeed wasn’t. In her nineties, she had been helping her daughter with her jobs around the house all morning, enjoyed her dinner and sat back in a comfy chair to enjoy her cup of tea, closed her eyes and was gone.

What a lovely story and somehow I had believed this was a promise for me too.

I had come into this wonderful Care Home, having survived a cardiac arrest and for two years have been enjoying a busy and fulfilling life style. A lovely Christian friend had been hoping to join us in this same home, but the only way there would be room for her was if the Lord called one of us home to glory. It could be any one of us. Was the Lord ready for me?

A friend reminded me that if I were no longer here, then this lady might not want to come, but soon after that one of our long-term residents suffering from dementia, but otherwise hale and hearty, slept her way through twenty four hours. They had kept her on a recliner downstairs so that she had constant care, but the next day she very gently stopped breathing. Indeed, she had confirmed to me the assurance that we do not have to be ill to die.

And though, if we are trusting in Jesus as our Lord and Saviour then we can say with Paul that ‘to be with Christ is far better’, yet I know that I am very privileged to be returned from hospital and am beginning to take up again my fruitful life style – rejoicing in every opportunity I am given to shine for Jesus. And yet with the blessed hope of soon being home, home at last with our wonderful Saviour, having demonstrated, I trust, the truth that we don’t have to be ill to die.


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