Lest you think I’m vying for Late Night TV, a man really did walk into a bar. John and I were right there, and this is no joke…
Being empty nesters for a handful of years, Hubster and I have developed hilarious habits. My favorite of which happens to be eating out. (Emphasis on O-U-T.)
Recently, while dining at one of our favorite haunts, Porcini’s (www.porcinilouisville.com ), something happened which opened our eyes… John and I were talking to one of our favorite waitresses who informed us EMS would be arriving soon. Seems a guy literally walked in off the street and hollered, “I think I’m having a heart attack.”
Sure enough, we began to hear sirens. A fire truck and an ambulance pulled up out front. Before we knew it, the EMT’s were whisking a stretcher, occupied by this guy, thru’ the door, and up into the ambulance. Off they went. While I don’t know the outcome, it sure made me think: What if that evening, that man didn’t live to see the next morning?
Which of course leads me to pose three huge questions to us all:
– What if today was your last day on this Earth?
– Are you sure you’re Heaven bound?
– While you’re at it, are you aging gracefully?”
This week at Middletown United Methodist Church, we are finishing up the Bible study on Acts of God—Why Does God Allow So Much Pain? by Bob Russell. As God would orchestrate, we’re on Chapter Eleven which discusses the trials of aging.
Bob shares the painful process of watching his Mother succumb to Alzheimer’s. Several of my friends are dealing with this very scenario as I type. It’s not easy by any stretch. My own Mother died of Advanced Dementia.
Bob tells about two final encouraging visits he had with his Mother, long after she quit recognizing him. They began as seemingly futile. One visit, when Bob was about to leave, he decided to read the 23rd Psalm to his Mother. Like a switch was turned on, she began to quote it with him, word for word. On another visit, Bob and his brother, John, began singing a hymn, and their Mother suddenly sang along with them. Bob said, “God is at work in ways we never see. I thanked Him and praised Him on my way home.”
Here’s the bottom line: “It’s only human to fear the unknown, of course, but at some point, genuine trust in God should make the difference.” May we truly trust, daily.
Bob reminds us, “Revelation 2:10 is a promise from the mouth of Christ: ‘Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life.’”
Bob talks about people aging gracefully, and of some who do not. You’ll be astonished to learn about Florence Nightingale.
You’ll get tickled when Bob discusses those who get so consumed with all their aches and pains take themselves out of the battle before it’s fought. Anyone or several who come to mind for you? Or have you heard, “Oh, we must make the trip, for this could be Aunt Edna’s (or fill-in-the-blank of your longest living relative) last Thanksgiving!” Bob says if we are to age gracefully, we must “live life to the fullest, and let God decide when the curtains are going to close.”
Finally, one more point to consider: “The truth of heaven should also impact our feelings of urgency in sharing the Gospel with those we love.” Do you have a friend or family member who needs to hear the Good News? I keep thinking of that man John and I saw who came into the restaurant, right off the street. Did he know the Lord? I pray so.
Bob concludes, “Every act of God carries more meaning than our minds can grasp. No matter how we mourn, no matter how sad some days can be, we must believe that God is loving and good, and that someday, in His presence, we’ll see the whole picture and understand that the darkest moments of this life were necessary ingredients to the brightest miracles he was planning.”
May our eyes be opened to those God places in our path.
Press on, friends.
‘Til next time!
(FYI: The teaching DVD’s to Acts of God are incredible. They include clips from the movie of the same name, memorable teaching by Bob, and helpful nuggets from God’s Word. I highly recommend it for your small group/Bible study. You can find these, on special right now, at The Living Word Bookstore, www.livingword.org or, you can order these from www.actsofgodthemovie.com or www.cityonahillstudio.com )