Posts Tagged With: 2 Timothy 4:7-8

Because Death Is The Ultimate Healing

 

My four year old son and I were playing downstairs today. “Mommy, will you show me that sewing machine” he asked. He was pointing to an old one. One that I’ve never used.

The one that belonged to my grandma.

She passed away more than four years ago. I looked over at the machine and realized that since my father gave it to me, about two years ago, I have never even taken the case off.

“Sure,” I said to my son.

I knelt by it, unsnapped it, and lifted the case off. There was the machine that my grandma sat by for uncountable hours. My grandfather bought it for her in the 1940’s. She clothed herself and her family with this machine. She made matching dresses for my sister and me with this machine. I have many clothes for my Cabbage Patch Kids made at this machine.

Memories came flooding back.

I sat and stared at it. Nothing is more “grandma” than this sewing machine.

It even smelled like her.

A small piece of her fabric was left under the needle. Bobbins were filled and a spool was in place. Her measuring tape lay under the wheel.  Just like she left it.

I stared more. Tears filled my eyes.

Then my son asked, “Mommy, who did this belong to again?”

“My grandmother.”

“Why does she not need it anymore?”

“Because she died, Sweetie.”

“Where is she now?”

“She is in heaven with Jesus.”

“When we go to heaven will we see her?”

“Yes.”

“Will we take her sewing machine to her?”

I’ll admit that I did smile at this question. “No, it is not needed in heaven,” I responded.

My son went on playing but I sat there and continued to stare at that sewing machine. I couldn’t help but to feel the sting of the loss. It just hurts so badly!

There aren’t even words to tell you how much I miss her. It is too deep.

I spent much time at her house as a child. There was little as fun as being at grandma’s house. We always baked chocolate chip cookies (my favorite), played Old Maid, went for walks, and listened to stories from her childhood.

When it was time for my parents to pick us up, she and my grandfather would sit outside in their chairs while my sister and I ran around and did cartwheels, flips, handstands, and whatever else we were capable of. They clapped and made such a production about it that we were sure we were both Olympic bound.

And when my parents pulled up in their car and we climbed in the back seat, we would always turn around to look out the back window. And there would be my grandma and grandpa, standing at the edge of their yard, waving good-bye to us. I can still see them.

I sure do miss them!

Death stinks, doesn’t it! If you have ever loved someone who has passed away, you know how difficult it can be. How lonesome you feel and the void that is left.

But for my grandmother, her last couple of years here on earth were not pleasant. She was in and out of the hospital. Life became a struggle for her. Because first one thing was wrong with her health. And then another thing. And then another thing. And then another thing until she took her final breath.

And now she struggles no more. No more pain. No more rides in ambulances. No more tests. No more pills. No more falls. No more sleepless nights. No more cramps. No more swelling. No more injections. No more of any of that.

Because death is the ultimate healing.

When someone passes away, I often hear “So-and-So lost their battle with cancer today” (or whatever the affliction may be). But here’s my problem with that: If they are truly a child of God, they didn’t lose their battle. They were finally healed.

It may be true that my grandma had congestive heart failure. It may be true that she had pneumonia. It may be true that she was diabetic. And it may be true that she had several other health problems. But she didn’t lose her battle with any of it. She was finally healed of all of it.

As a follower of Christ, this is exciting to me.

I don’t yet have the health problems that my grandma did, but I’ve had problems. I’ve had the flu many times. And head colds. And chest congestion. And issues with my sinuses. And migraines. And an intolerance to gluten. And pneumonia. And spider bites. And many other bumps and bruises. The list could go on and on.

But I hold onto the promises of Scripture. And take comfort that one day I will be like my grandma and be healed of all of that. No more any of it.

Because I will join her in the presence of the Lord where sickness and disease does not exist. And I, too, will finally be healed!

 

“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved His appearing” (2 Timothy 4:7-8).

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Struggles In The Light Of The Cross

 

Seven years ago I went through a series of unpleasant health difficulties. They are too numerous to list here and since they involve the digestive system, they are probably not appropriate either.

I saw my doctor and she was very concerned. She referred me on to a specialist who told me, “You’re a perfectly lovely young lady. These things usually work themselves out.”

But they didn’t.

Week after week I was in pain. I could hardly stand without blacking out. The passing of food became so unpleasant I did not want to eat. And when I did, I knew I would have severe abdominal cramping for the next twelve hours.  But that was only if I was able to keep it down. Either way, when food left my body it was so violent that it ended with blood.

After about seven months of this, I visited my doctor again. And again, she referred me on to the specialist. This time, however, he thought he should run a couple of tests.

Two weeks later I received the news:  I have celiac disease.

At that time, celiac disease was unheard of, at least to me. We went to the internet and found out that it’s an intolerance to gluten. What is gluten? Another search revealed that it is wheat, barley, rye, and sometime oats. Plus, there are many, many names that it hides under.

A huge change began to take place in my life.

Not only did this involve the food I ate, but also anything that I touched (it can be absorbed through skin). In the beginning I did not imagine that I would have to change my toothpaste, lipstick, dish soap, or the envelopes we used.

I also had not considered the birthday parties and graduation receptions where I was not able to have a piece of cake. I could not even have a piece at my own baby shower.

I am not telling you this to whine and complain. Really, I feel that I have nothing to complain about. There are people who are so much worse off than me. I have a friend who cannot even touch pages of a magazine without a huge reaction. The same friend cannot be around fragrances without a stay in a hospital. This has caused leaving the home to be difficult.

Another friend has such terrible reactions to citrus that if an orange or lemon is even peeled in the same room, she and her daughter may very well get a sinus headache or pain. That’s pretty sensitive!

No, I have nothing to complain about.

And why would I?

If I eat gluten, even mistakenly, I know what the consequences will be. If my first friend goes shopping and smells laundry detergent, she knows what the repercussions will be. And the latter friend tries with all her might to distance herself and her daughter from citrus foods for fear of severe pain.

Is it a sacrifice? No, I don’t believe so. While it is true that we give up things that we want or desire, it is also true that we want to feel good. So we will gladly give up gluten. Or magazines. Or lemonade.

I will admit that I am still tempted from time to time. When I smell cinnamon rolls, I desperately want one. Pizza makes my mouth water. And a blueberry pie…  Oh, that is what dreams are made of!

A dear friend once told me, “Just think…  One day there will be a banquet. And you will be able to have ANYTHING that you want.”

That one statement has given me much encouragement over the years.

It has caused me to look forward. To think of and to remember a time is coming when these bodies will be glorified. The aches, pains, sensitivities, hurts, frustrations, sicknesses, discouragements, and even death, will all pass away.

Oh Christian, the time is coming!

And it will be so much better than either you or I could possibly imagine. I think of how excellent that blueberry pie is going to taste and know that it will be even better. My friend longs for a time when an orange will not be her enemy, but the juice may freely flow over her tongue.

Does this not sound good to you? Is this not exciting?

I, personally, am somewhat thankful that I have these momentary inflictions. While they are not pleasant, they do help to pry my hands off the grip of this world and lift them up in praise. They cause me to crave Christ more. To desire Him. To long for Him. To want Him with all that I am. To keep my eyes focused on the prize.

Pilgrim, I do not know what you are going through right now. But I know life can be rough. I know it can be discouraging at times. I know it can be lonely. I know there are disappointments, and things can be very unfair. But carry on.

Remember, Christ is your reward!

Don’t allow these momentary trials to take you eyes off the cross.

“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved His appearing” (2 Timothy 4:7-8).

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