As I am dying….
….May my expectant and hopeful heart say “take me”
I remember a few years back when my grandmother died. She was 94 years old, still drove, lived alone and went every Thursday morning.. For as long as I can remember… To minister to the “old people” at the nursing home.
She fell sick and was diagnosed with bone cancer in April or May. I remember being over there one day as she was dressing and I could hear her in her room “Jesus, You are going to have to help me with this or I won’t be able to do it…. speaking of the daily shot of B12 she had given herself for decades. That was common place, she prayed for and about everything.
She declined quickly. She remained home with my mom, dad & my aunt caring for her. The grand kids that lived locally all made regular visits.
I remember the August day she died. I went over there on my lunch break as I had been doing. My mom and aunt were there. I went in to see Grammy and she had grown restless that day. She saw me and her eyes opened wide and she pulled me down, “Kari, you need to pray! You need to pray for Kris, pray that she would see the Truth and that she would know Jesus!” Kris is my cousin who does not believe Jesus is THE WAY or the authority of God’s Word.
“I will Grammy, I promise, I will.” She immediately relaxed. It was as though that was her only struggle, her only undone thing left. She fell completely at rest as she passed that baton. You see, my Grammy was a serious pray-er. Praying hours a day. She loved The Lord with a depth I am only now appreciating.
I don’t think Grammy said another thing that really made sense to those of us surrounding her. She spent the next several hours drifting. At one point, there was NO doubt she saw someone none of the rest of us saw. She seemed to be fixed with her vision and her attention. She spoke but not to us and we could not make out what she said. But, she smiled and with her frail thin arms she reached out as to say, take me, come get me and take me with you!
I know The Lord ministered to my grandmother that day… And not too many moments later, my Grammy was lifted up into the arms of her Savior. And it was beautiful and an amazing blessing to witness.
It was so – because my 94 year old grandmother had been dying for some 45 years, ever since she had given her life to Christ. Romans and Galatians talk about our dying to this life, dying to sin, dying to ourselves. That process, for those of us who believe, will carry on until the day He takes us home.
Grammy had some quirks, like us all, that didn’t always align with her profession, but no one could deny her heart’s total and complete commitment. As I have struggled with my own dying, the “death to self” we are called to surrender to, I’ve come face to face with facets far more painful than quirks…. The pain of letting go. The pain of trusting when I haven’t seen the plan. The pain of the unknown. The pain of desperate dependence from one who has always been independent. The pain of realizing my sin and then knowing what it is responsible for. I am seeing more and more of myself that God needs to transform. And having a mirror lifted before my eyes — I am moved to my face before Him.
You see, somewhere along the line, Grammy became convinced that her Savior was worth it… worth whatever He asked, wherever He led. In the depth of my heart I am convinced of that as well!
Last week I cried out in the pain of death. And with the faithful love that never fails, with the mercies that are new everyday, through the very Bride He’s preparing me to be a part…. God lifted my eyes. I am filled with thanksgiving for all those who encouraged and prayed. Please don’t stop!
I still don’t know how God does or will use the likes of me, and I am trying NOT to resist the death I can literally feel taking place in my heart, but one things for sure…. I will rejoice if, when that day comes, I have submitted to this spiritual death of my old self and in His transformation of my heart…. Oh I will rejoice… if I have only the burden of a persistent prayer to hesitate me from lifting my arms and saying, take me!!