I’ve never liked the end of life protocols that hospitals, and caregivers, and often families want you to sign. So the near and dear will know what to do with you when they feel you’re too sick, too impaired, to decide for yourself when you’re at the door.
The medical people want it in writing. In fact, everyone seems to want your will about your dying to be in writing.
But my mind knows it’s not that simple. They assume one of your present illnesses will rise up to smite you. That the chronic leukemia will take over and be the one to cause your death. Or that the long-term lung disease, mycobacterium avium will be the guilty party. Or that the newest contestant, your kidneys, will get busy and decide to make more stones, like the three big ones that sent me to surgery will be the culprits. Or the swallowing difficulty which probably caused the two decades of coughing which I brought home from Africa and is now dominating my diet will be the interloper who gets the nod.
They are all there. Their time will come. But no one knows when. And, of course, it may be off the street, in the car, or someone’s growing anger. I had two death threats, long ago, both from within the flock.
Friends say, “Arthur, you’re ‘finishing well, we’re trying to follow you.” The Apostle Paul said he was “running the race.” The trouble is we don’t know where the finish line is.
What we do know, is that our life is in God’s hands. God already knows the year, the day, and the hour. He knows our length of days. He’s already decided. “The Lord giveth, and the Lord taketh away.” He’s already decided, long ago. His word is, to us: “Don’t worry.” Don’t ask for it. Be ready to take it when it comes. Just be ready.
I’ve sung to my congregation when I was their minister: “Well, I want to be ready when He comes. Oh, I want to be ready when He comes again. He’s comin’ again so soon.”
I do want to be ready – in my heart, in my spirit. I expect Him. I expect Him to keep His promise, “In My father’s house are many rooms, and I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go to prepare a place for you, I will come again, and take you to myself, that where I am there you may be also.”
That’s what Molly and I tell ourselves. We will be with Jesus. And, we will be with each other. There’s a place already being prepared for us. We don’t have to worry.
And, as He said so often, to so many: “Don’t be afraid.” We don’t have to make a place for fear in our lives. It will work out. We will know, when it’s time. And, I believe we’ll know what to do. And we’ll have peace about it. Jesus said, “Peace be unto you.”
I believe the promises – of a life after death. A life with Jesus in heaven, where it will be all right. Everything will be all right. It will be the right time. And the right way.
I want to live as long as I can, here. To do what I can, to bless whatever people have been given to me to care about. By fireside visits, by coffee dates, or lunches “without end.” By blogs. Even if I now let the Faith Line go. By letters. By prayer. By early gatherings at the Hilltop.
I think my doctors will work with me. And my family. Most of all I believe Jesus will help me do the right thing, and help my family, so dear to me, to be of one mind, in Him. My high hope. My growing faith.
Thank you, Jesus!
Love you, all you dear people,
Arthur A Rouner, Jr -
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ARTHUR ROUNER MINISTRIES