God Is At Work!
If I had ever forgotten, or doubted, that God is at work in our lives, I was recently reminded in a very big way. Out of something really difficult, something really beautiful and amazing happened.
My husband and I have a friend who has been battling bladder cancer for over a year. Kjell (pronounced “Shell”) has known Neil since they were in high school in New York. Neil’s wife introduced me to my husband 46 years ago. So, a very long friendship. Neil had numerous chemo and radiation treatments and many ups and downs during this journey. His cancer had spread to his hip and spine, then to his brain. He had lost the use of his legs and one of his arms and had limited use of his other arm. He was in excruciating pain if anyone touched his body, trying to move him to clean him up. We had visited him at the hospital, a week ago Friday. He had told us he wanted to go home so he could be with family and friends near the end. We felt he should really be at a residential facility where they had people who could manage taking care of him in that condition He checked himself out of the hospital on Saturday night. His wife hired some nurses, and hospice came in.
On Tuesday of that week, I did my regular volunteer work at Encompass Ministries (Papa’s Pantry). They are actually one of our church’s local mission partners. The director, Lynne Saunders, came to chat with me, asking how things were going. I shared with her that our dear friend was near the end of his life and I asked her to pray with me. She asked me if he was a believer and I said that he believed in God, but was Jewish so didn’t believe in Jesus as his Savior. She held up her hand, as if to say “I got this.” She prayed that Jesus Christ would come to Neil so that Neil could know Him before he died, and could be welcomed into heaven. She also prayed that he and his family would be at peace.
Two days later, on Thursday evening, Kjell and I were talking to Neil on the phone. After catching up a little, he said to me “Have I told you about me and Jesus Christ? I asked if Jesus came to him. He said no, but told me the story of his nurse who had been with him Tuesday night. She talked to him about Jesus and heaven, she sang to him. She told him, “You know, you guys had him first.” She told Neil that if he accepted Jesus, He would be there to meet Neil when he died and guide him. That night, Neil accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior!!!
I started crying and told him about my prayer with Lynne. We were both so moved. He seemed much more at peace and that did my heart good. Neil died three days later. Though it has been a sad time for all who knew and loved Neil, I am comforted to know that he is with our Lord—whole and at peace.
I have always believed in God, the Father, Son and Holy Ghost and have always felt like I had a relationship with the Lord. But I have never had an experience like this. I didn’t actually do anything but ask Lynne Saunders to pray with me. And, WOW!!! God hears our prayers and answers our prayers!
I am so grateful that God used that nurse as one of his angels that night. God is SO good!