From Alcoholism To Stroke To Bible Study To Heaven

December 11, 2013

Friends,
Yesterday my husband went with me to the nursing home. I was especially glad that he did because one of our best friends there was crying and had to inform us that her son had passed away on Sunday. That son had been in a wheelchair since about five years before 2005 which was the year we were taking him and his mom to the church we were going to at the time. I really admired my husband who was so patient in getting him and his wheelchair in and out of the car and also in taking him to the restroom at least twice during every service.

A year later our half-paralyzed friend moved out of the nursing home, but his mom stayed. So I didn’t see him near as much after that, but his mom grew to be a dear friend of mine. Mother and son visited each other weekly (others would take them), and they had a close relationship, depending on each other a lot emotionally.

I think it was so kind of the Lord to compel my husband and me to visit the nursing home yesterday so that we could give encouragement to this grieving mother whose son had just died two days before. I reminded her of how happy and healthy her son was –no more sadness, pain, loneliness, or suffering. I reminded her of all the Bible study he’d been doing the last several years and how he had been teaching her too. I reminded her that her son’s transition from earth to Heaven was under the complete control of the Lord and that He had chosen the timing. I pointed out to her the big blessing it was that she was there at his house (her old house) to be with him at the last, and that even after he was rushed to the hospital, she was able to go in and speak with him in his last moments. Not everyone, I said, has the blessing before a death of having exchanged loving words all day.

All the while, I was sitting next to our friend, hugging her close, sometimes wiping her eyes with a tissue. My husband, who she’s always adored, said some kind words too, and before leaving, I prayed aloud for her and the family and thanked the Lord for her son’s love for God and His Word.

This man had not always loved God and had actually been a terrible alcoholic, sending his family shattering. But, after the stroke and realizing his life was utter chaos, he turned to God. I smile wistfully as I recognize that my husband and I were just one of the stepping stones that God used to lead this man closer to knowing Him. What a joy it was for his mom and I both as we often discussed the Scripture passage he had been teaching his mom from earlier that week.

Well, our dear friend who was so poor, so lonely, so neglected by the world, and had so much hardship living alone handicapped as he was, is now vibrant, handsome, healthy, and living in friendship and joy. Yes, we are sad in one way, and we know his mom will miss him ever so much, but the suffering is over for him. The Lord took him unexpectedly, but He always knows best. As I hugged my friend yesterday, she said, “Well, he did say recently that he didn’t know what he would do if I passed away before him. That he’d be very lonely. Now I don’t have to worry about that.”

Definitely that worry is over for her. And knowing her son is now with the One he came to love and know, though through terrible trial, should, even though she misses him immensely, give her joy, peace, and relief.

Sincerely,
with love,
Rachel

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