I love to write. But I have been sitting here for an hour, and I can’t quite form a clear thought for the subject of this week’s devotional. I can only share what’s running through my mind. Someone in our family is dying. He’s been fighting cancer for over 10 years, had several major surgeries, had one leg removed, had one lung removed. But now here’s the cancer in his remaining lung slowly filling up his breathing room. Any surgery to attempt to remove it would likely kill him, so he is home, living each day as it comes. We get to visit with him often. You can tell how much pain he’s in. On a good day it’s just a shadow behind his eyes while he carries on a brief conversation with you. The bad days he struggles to speak. He doesn’t know Jesus, but is questioning, desiring prayer, desperate for hope, reaching for ways to comfort his children through this process. We all feel the great tension of caring so much for him and being absolutely powerless to save. I want to offer comfort, but the only comfort I can offer is Jesus, who declares that there is no other way. I feel I am floating in uncertainty. Torn between hope and resignation. God could still do a miracle. I pray and desperately hope that there will be a miracle, be it salvation of body or soul or both. I have deep fear that I will somehow miss doing what I ought, that I will be an ineffective instrument or say something unintentionally unloving and unhelpful to a dying man. I wonder what I will have to give to his children who may lose their father after watching him suffer so much. I must cling to Jesus. I have no answer but him. He is life. He is wholeness. He is eternal. He is comfort and love. He is all wisdom and understanding. He is the anchor when tumbling terrifying disorientation threatens to separate us from everything familiar. He is the center of my being. I pray he will give me words of compassion and truth, not from me, but from Him. He is with me.
“We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain, where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf, having become a high priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.” Hebrews 6: 19-20 ESV
“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me.” Psalm 23:1-4