So I’m a month and a half from age 70, and what have I learned from my life as a Christian? If, say, I were now on my death bed–and thank God I am not!–what lessons would I seek to share with my grandchildren?
Number 1: God is faithful
I have seen many tough times, troubles, hard places when the future looked dark and foreboding. I have known despair and fear and have felt like giving up, and not just one time. But in His own way and with His own timing God has always come through and rescued me out of the trouble, the danger, the hopeless-looking situation. Time after time. He never failed. I failed many times, but He didn’t.
Life-threatening illness in Seminary
I was in my in my second and busiest year of seminary when I got sick. But I struggled through the year, getting good grades, just like I had before getting sick. And I experienced what I firmly believe to this day was an unmistakable healing. Days later I heard the news: the nurse told me that my blood test results showed the sickness was completely gone.
Prayer at the Mental Hospital
I was working in a mental hospital. I was a teenager at the time and worried whether I was doing a good job. So I locked myself in a restroom, got on my knees, told God I needed reassurance and claimed Mathew 7:7: “Ask and it will be given to you…” Then got up, went outside and a patient told me, “The charge (unit boss) is looking for you.” I went to the office, and he turned to me and said, “Oh yeah, I just wanted to tell you you’re doing a good job.” A direct and precise answer to prayer about 3 minutes after I had prayed.
Rock Climbing Peril
I was rock climbing with friends about 1500 feet above the pine trees and ground on Lily Rock at the Tahquitz area of Southern California. I was leading above my fellow climbers and got into trouble. I was definite danger of losing my grip and falling backward and down through a narrow jagged rock opening. Soon my legs and arms began to tremble. And believe me, I prayed very frankly to God. And then, soon, He saw to it that I was able to climb back down to a safe area.
There were many other occasions when God came through for me. He did not fail to do so, even once. And usually things turned out better than I had anticipated.
So what else would I share?
Number 2: God is The Master-Timer
I would tell my grandchildren that God is the master of timing. He doesn’t always answer our prayers when we want Him to. But He always knows what is best. We may not get healing in time. We may die still sick or broken or of a broken heart. Be He always acts toward us in love. We can count on Him for that. So we can’t always count on things getting done when we want them done, but He will get them done.
Oh, and one more thing…
In the words of Revelation 21:3-4:
“And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, ‘Behold the tabernacle of God is among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.'”
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