1 week. 2 saints. 2 diseases. 2 sets of doctors sadly shaking their heads hopelessly. 2 lots of prayer requests filling Facebook. 2 groups of fervent prayers. 1 opening of heaven’s doors.
Paul, fifty something, man’s man, abseiling, survival camping, teen mentor, Godly husband and father, firmly believing God would grant him many more years, live’s adventures lurched to a halt by cancer.
My Nana, eight-five, widow, frail, wrinkly, little old lady, deaf, Godly prayer warrior, fully trusting in Christ’s ability to heal, scarred lungs, fighting pneumonia again.
Many people, around the globe, send many, many prayers to heaven for both of these saints of God. Their earthly impact still rippling around the globe.
Yet when the doctors shake their heads and get that look, you know there’s not much the medical profession can do any more. All that remains is more fervent, anxious praying.
On Friday God chose to bring some unexpected healing to one and to take the other child of His home to heaven. And while my Nana is still very frail and may yet be due to leave this live in the near days, some wonder why God chose Paul to come home so soon.
Some people may wonder if there is any point praying for someone once the doctors say there is no more hope and palliative care steps in. Some people may wonder if death is a result of failed prayers.
Yet I am reminded of King David’s response in 2 Samuel 12:13-24. God had outright told David that his son was going to die as the punishment for David’s sin. David’s response? Prayer and fasting for seven days straight. While his son was ill he fought in prayer, hoping that maybe God would change His mind and heal his son.
When his son died, the first thing David did was take a bath (remember, he hadn’t had one for seven days), made himself presentable, then he went to the temple and worshipped God. After that he ate and comforted his wife.
When the odds are against the ones you care about, keep praying, keep believing. God may yet change His mind. God still does miracles every day. Up until death, and a short time beyond it, there is still reason to pray for healing. He did for my Nana, He did for others, He will again. He said no to David and to Paul and He may yet, even today, call my Nana home. Yet we still pray.
And when death comes and all hope of healing is gone. Then we worship. We worship God for His wisdom in saying no, in His faithfulness of carrying us through the journey, His love and His comfort, and the amazing hope of heaven that His Son Jesus sacrificed to give us. Yes, then it is time to worship.
So today I worship.
What would you say to encourage someone with a loved one so close to death? Share your thoughts in the comments below.