Devout Men Are Taken Away
My friends in Messiah, I am truly sorry I have written so little in the past month. My days have been equally filled with LIFE (caring for the precious little boy Father God has dropped into our lives) and DEATH (losing several precious friends and having the honor of doing their memorial services).
Besides those God has already called home, there are many other friends battling cancer and other life-threatening diseases and it has become quite overwhelming. I imagine many of you are experiencing the same thing, as it seems to be a part of the season we are now entering, as God pours forth His mercy and brings many out of their suffering. I have been in much prayer for all these dear ones, and trying to be present to them with the encouragement of God's Word.
About a year ago a sweet couple in their early 50s moved next door to us. They did not have children and after getting to know them we learned that she had a job requiring much travel away from home and he was a stay-at-home husband, caring for the house and the pets. We never questioned why Tim did not work; we just enjoyed conversations over the back fence over the summer and fall months. He was quiet and sweet and when John had two surgeries last fall, Tim brought him flowers!
Two weeks ago an ambulance came to their house and paramedics rushed inside. I watched out the window and when I saw them taking Tim out on a stretcher, I ran over to be with his wife. Preparing to get into the car and follow, she told me had been very ill for a long time and would need a liver transplant. I prayed with her on the sidewalk that night, and it was then she confessed to me that she has pancreatic cancer and had been hospitalized herself quite a bit in the past few weeks. A few days later John and I drove to the hospital in Denver where Tim was and we found his wife in the room with him in her own hospital gown, having been admitted there the night before. She was in a wheel chair, snugged up to his bed and they were holding onto one another's hands in an unbreakable bond. John and I began to read Scriptures over them and to softly pray words of comfort and healing. We were told that Tim had less than two weeks to live since his body had rejected the liver.
My heart skipped a beat. There they were, my two next-door neighbors, husband and wife, both facing certain death, but smiling into one another's eyes with a peace I had never seen before. She looked up at me, a few tears escaping her eyes, and said, "It's OK. We both know we will see one another again very soon!"
John and I drove back home in silence, pondering all the death and illness we have been experiencing with good, God-fearing friends all around us, and then I recalled a Scripture a friend had recently shown me. Isaiah 57:1:
The righteous man perishes,
and no one lays it to heart;
devout men are taken away,
while no one understands.
For the righteous man is taken away from calamity;
2 he enters into peace;
they rest in their beds
who walk in their uprightness.
This Scripture really spoke to me, friends. Our God is so merciful, so loving. He knows the days we are in, days filled with much darkness and calamity, days that will soon be even more chaotic and difficult to navigate. He is mercifully protecting those who are battling grave illness and promoting the righteous into glory; and they are at peace.
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Kelly Ferrari Mills