In the past two days I have been overwhelmed at the prospect of death and the peace that ONLY Jesus brings.
George rode 83 miles on his bike less than a year ago on his 83 birthday. Today, he has a hard time keeping track of time due to a brain tumor that has ravaged his body. Yesterday, George described to me what it was like to have a helmet on your head as radiation pumped mercilessly in. "I laid there asking Jesus, who can I bless? Who do you need me to forgive? What do you want me to do?" Tears sprung to both our eyes as he shared, with joy on his face the testimony he has been to the doctors and nurses that have treated him. "Everyone deserves to hear a clear presentation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ." In the face of death, George smiles... neither afraid to die nor anxious of the life he lived.
Ann-Brit, his beloved wife is a testimony to me of a woman who will serve her husband at any and all costs. "Through all these years we have so enjoyed a closeness that has come with both having the same passion for the Lord and people and love of life .... I had a wish list of what I wanted my husband to be like .... George has so exceeded that list." After 24 years of marriage, the love between them is so apparent. George leaned in real close to give me the secret to marital bliss... "Now here's what you gotta do. When you wake up in the morning and his hair is all messy and his eyes are half open, you gotta say, 'WOW! I am so lucky to have a husband like you! Today is sure to be a great day!"
This is the life they lived, in love, laughter and the Lord. As they talk about George's illness and the possibilities of things to come, you see a peace come over them. There is no sense of anxiety or nervousness, only the peace that passes all understanding and the joy that one day they will spend eternity together, as best friends in the arms of the Father.
Today, my parents' friend shared with us the loss of his 7 and a half month old unborn son. I was surprised at the calm way he described laying the small coffin in the ground. "I knew that this was just a body in a box. I knew that he was with the Lord. So I told the Lord, I want you to be glorified!" As he stood over this small hole, he bowed his head to pray with his wife's family who are not believers. He grinned widely as he said, "The Spirit of the Lord came over me. I don't even remember half the things I said... but Scripture has never poured out of me like that!" As he finished, a peace came over him and it was known by all those watching. His brother-in-law commented that he had never seen anyone pray like that before.
Peace that passes ALL understanding... Oh death, where is thy sting??