I talked to a friend one night who was dying barring a miracle and who would not let me get off the phone for some time because she was so overflowing with love, hope, and joy it was absolutely astounding. Despite years of medical trials and recent physical suffering beyond imagination even with medication, she was thrilled and ecstatic to excitedly tell me about all the wonderful things the Lord Jesus Christ had done in her life thus far.
Testimony after testimony she poured out of her mouth. She barely took a breath, it seemed, before she told me the next wonderful thing the Lord had done. Not an ounce of complaining. Not an ounce of pity. Oh, sure, she wanted desperately to be out of the pain and suffering. She wanted to close her eyes and be with Jesus face to face as she knew she would be because she had long ago turned from her sins and placed her faith in Him as Lord and lived for Him no longer for herself. But rest assured she was bound and determined to live what little remained of her life on this earth honoring, praising, and glorifying God.
I read to her the verses below as I believe she was a living testament of those very words. The Lord had taken her through an unbelievable trial, and, now, nearing the end of it, she was stronger in faith in and love for Him than ever before!
Sometimes in the midst of our biggest battles and greatest trials, we fail to see how when we are yielded to Jesus Christ as Lord, He can do a mighty powerful work in the midst of it all. He can change us, refine us, test us, grow us, conform us to Himself, and use us in the lives of others to inspire, encourage, and help them to surrender their hearts and lives utterly to Him. And He can bring us to a place of deeply, reverently, steadfastly, devotedly loving, honoring, praising, worshiping, and glorifying HIM!
A few hours later, my friend reached out to me for prayer because her suffering had become unbearable once more. I was blessed to pray for a friend whom the Lord blessed me with on this earth to teach me of the love, hope, peace, and joy we can find IN CHRIST.
p.s. A day after I published this, I had the great pleasure and privilege of reading it to my friend over the telephone. Except for taking communion, she had had no food in about five or so days as she drew closer to the end of her life on this earth. Still, her voice was strong as she praised, honored, and glorified God in all that she said!
“In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, receiving the end of your faith—the salvation of your souls.” 1 Peter 1:6-9