15 We Are the Lord’s
15.1 My Story
I still recall the conversation. Rarely have I hated having such a talk. I am forever glad we had the conversation.
“Jimmie, we need to talk,” said Miss Benita. I glanced in her direction. While her natural smile and joyous attitude were on her face, it was the tangible seriousness in her voice that caught my attention.
I also realized we needed to talk, RIGHT NOW. Being married to the same person for over forty years helps you understand when she says we need to talk; she means we need to do it NOW.
I didn’t take time to get or doing anything. I gave my wife my complete attention.
“What’s on your mind,” I said as lovingly and supportive as I could. I wanted Miss Benita to know I had her complete attention and whatever was on her mind was the most critical thing in the world to me. If it was her concern, it was my concern.
“You know I am about to start the radiation treatment on the area of my head where the neurologist removed the brain tumor.”
“When the tumor recurs, and it will recur, don’t you go letting them cut on my head again. I don’t want any more surgeries. Them cutting on me isn’t going to save me. Jesus already saved me when I was a girl.”
“So you’re saying –” I started.
“I’m saying, love me enough to let me go. It’s going to be okay for me. I’ll be in heaven with Mama, Daddy, Willie, and Grandma before the hospice people get my time of death called in,” she said with a calm and peace of mind that can only come from God.
“Oh, okay,” I said suddenly choking out my words.
“Don’t go being selfish. Let me go to heaven. Love me enough to let me go. You and the children will be okay. I’ll be seeing you all again when you get to heaven. Even the kids that aren’t attending church or living for the Lord are going to be there. We trained them up the best we could, we shared Jesus with them, and even when they or you aren’t living for the Lord, you’re still saved. I know you know that. Like you, they each accepted Christ and knew what they were doing.”
Then she quoted from memory Romans 14:8 (KJV), “For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live, therefore, or die, we are the Lord’s.”
I teared up.
She added, “Best I can figure, the Lord is leaving you here to write about Him and point others to Him. You need to keep writing religiously. Don’t go chasing any Stephen King or Ray Bradbury dreams of fame and fortune. If you honor God, he’ll honor you. You know that. You taught me that.”
I grabbed a Kleenex.
“The book of devotions you wrote to help me will help others. Write something for those people like you, the ones who are caregivers. You have as hard a job taking care of me and the household as I have being the terminally ill patient. Just keep pointing people to Jesus. We both know Jesus is the only hope anyone has. Now promise me you won’t let them cut on me anymore and that you’ll write to lead people to Jesus and help Christians grow in their faith.”
“I promise,” I said as I held her hand and then kissed the back of the hand to seal my pledge.
Eight weeks later the tumor recurred. At the recurrence, I was given two options. Option one was surgery which would extend life a couple of months at the most. Choice two was hospice.
“I need your decision on which option you will choose. I need it now. The operating room is available now and then not again for several days. Several days will be too late. What do you want to do?” asked the neurological surgeon.
Miss Benita’s word reverberated through my head, “Don’t go being selfish. Let me go to heaven. Love me enough to let me go.”
“No more surgery We chose hospice,” I said. And then I cried. Loving someone enough to let them die and go to heaven is hard.
15.2 We Are the Lord’s
Part of learning to care for a person with a chronic or terminal illness realizes we are the Lord’s. Today most people live for themselves and live for the moment. This lifestyle is different from how a Christian should live.
The purpose of the Christian life is to do the Lord’s will and promote his glory by our living example. Trying to model the Christian life doesn’t mean you cannot have fun. On the contrary, it allows you to have fun without regrets.
15.3 Bible Verse
Romans 14:8 (KJV), “For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live, therefore, or die, we are the Lord’s.”
15.4 What the Verse Means
The purpose of the Christian life is to do the Lord’s will and promote his glory by our living example. A Christin should do this because they belong to God. Not only do we belong to God in this life but we belong to him even as we are dying and after we die.
The passage provides a reminder that the soul does not cease to be conscious at death. We are still the Lord’s.
Even when the body is in the grace, we are the Lords. 2 Corinthians 5:8 (KJV) reminds us, “We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.”
15.5 Pray Using Scripture
- Heavenly Father if I live I live to the Lord. Help me live to the Lord. May you be glorified through my life.
- Lord Jesus if I die, I die to the Lord. Help me to die to the Lord. Help me to remember that even in the grave I am yours.
- I proclaim to the world whether I live or whether I die, I am the Lord’s. Thank you, Lord, for the security I have as a Believer in the Lord.
15.6 Responding to God’s Hope
- Are you living every day to point people to Jesus? If not, ask God through prayer to help you live for Jesus.
- Are you spending time reading God’s word? Remember, a regular time of reading the Bible will help you as a caregiver. It will strengthen and refresh you spiritually.
- Who do you know in your loved one’s circle of friends that need to know Christ as Savior? Begin praying for God to soften their heart.
Photo Source: Pixabay
This blog post is from the forthcoming book, “Caregiving: Biblical Insights from a Caregiver’s Journey” by Jimmie Kepler, Ed.D.
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