Janelle Webber   -  

The notification came by text. Texts have become a standard form of communication for good, bad or any type of news. This was bad news. The cancer had been diagnosed late. There was no treatment. It would end soon.

This text came regarding a dear friend of my husband. I had only meet his friend a time or two but to my husband he had been a source of support when he had needed it the most, always providing words of wisdom and advice.

It was late afternoon when we pulled into the hospital parking structure for the intensive care unit of the local hospital where he was spending his final days. The hospital was quiet with random people coming and going. The receptionist spoke softly as she walked us though the check in and the name tag process.  With a few instructions, we were sent down the hall to the 3rd floor visitor elevator.

We made our way to his room with the guidance of various staff members. We stood outside seeing a bed curtained off and hearing monitors systematically tracking numerous vital functions. We were not quite sure what to do next.

As soon she became aware of our presence, his wife stepped out of the room, pulled us aside and greeted us warmly. Her eyes were moist yet as she calmly and carefully spoke, her words were solid and confident.

It would be a few minutes before we could go into the room so she ushered us to a small nook a few steps away from the nurses station. It was there that she shared how things has happened so quickly. She told us they had all seen a plethora of doctors and  somehow the lack of communication lead to cancer being overlooked. Yet, she bore no ill will toward the doctors or the process, accepting that God had a plan and this was in His hands.

What struck me most was her testimony as to how the season of covid had  been an opportunity for her to spend time with God and draw near to Him. She now was seeing how God had been working to prepare her for for this unexpected painful situation. A situation that had come into her life far earlier than ever imagined.

Eventually the nurses had the room ready for us to visit. We spent time saying “thank you”, making various other awkward comments and my husband held his hand. We left with,“See you later.” as we knew he would soon be with our Lord and Savior.

I walked away from the hospital that evening sad yet comforted by seeing the faith in God his wife had shared with us. I also walked away that evening wondering if I am anywhere near being prepared for a sudden, unexpected and painful situation that life could present to me at anytime. These thoughts of sadness, comfort and question nagged at me into the next day and still put a pit in my stomach as I type these words.

We read in James 4:8a, “Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you.” We are also told in Psalm 145:18 that, “The Lord is  near to all who call on Him, to all who call on Him in truth.”

God promises to be near us but we need to initiate being close to Him. I need to initiate being close to Him.

His promises include that all thing work together. In Romans 8:28 we find this message:

“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purposes.”

For me to have these truths imbedded in my mind, I know I need to take action daily in reading the Bible, applying what I read and digging deeper into understanding God’s love and kindness that He bestows upon me as His child.

Opportunities are available for us to know God more. Options include:

  • Daily devotions – click  here.
  • Bible reading – this link will take you to an online free Bible.
  • Join a connect group at the Church at Severn Run – click connect  to sign up.-Read a good Bible study book.  This could include any of the following-
    • The Devine Mentor  Wayne Cordeiro
    • Ragamuffin Gospel” Brennan Manning
    • God is Closer than You Think” John  Ortberg

I pray I will draw nearer to God daily. That I will be prepared of the good days and the not so good days knowing that all things work together for good.

What opportunity do you and I need to take to draw near to God and to be prepared for whatever painful, sudden situation we may face? Let’s take those steps now so we too will be prepared to lean on God when He’s holding us up.