The Bible promises God’s presence in every situation— even the ones that cause fear or stress.
by Rhett Wilson
The night before my grandfather’s funeral, I spent the evening with my grandmother, who I called Mom-ee. Before going to bed, she wanted to tell me about his final moments. Pa-Pa had been very sick for several weeks in a nursing home. Months of taking dialysis had taken its toll on his eighty-two-year-old body.
Mom-ee told me, “Just the other night, I got down on my knees and prayed, ‘Lord, please don’t let him die alone in the nursing home. Please let me be with him when he dies.’”
That Tuesday, Pa-Pa got very sick and was rushed to the hospital. Mom-ee and my aunt stayed in the waiting area while the hospital workers attended him. A doctor came to them and announced, “Mrs. Hendrix, his vital signs are rapidly dropping. You need to come see him right away.”
Her legs feeling like lead weights, Mom-ee thought, There is no way that I can go in there and watch my husband die. I can’t do this. But, she quietly asked God to help her.
She and my aunt walked through the double doors to the bed where Pa-Pa lay. Here was her husband, friend, and lover of more than five decades. For about forty of those years, he preached the gospel as he pastored different churches. When he was a boy, he was so rambunctious and wild as a monkey that his family gave him the nickname “Monk.” For the rest of his life, many people called him Rev. Hendrix, but his siblings and wife affectionately called him Monk.
On that hospital bed, Pa-Pa couldn’t talk and looked weak. My aunt patted his head and kept saying, “Daddy, we love you.” The nurse told Mom-ee to start talking to help him die peacefully.
“Monk, I have loved you for more than fifty-eight years. Now you are about to go to heaven. You’re going to see Jesus. You’ve talked about heaven many times. Now you’re going, and then I’m coming. So you go on.”
Pa-Pa moved his throat as if to say something. He closed his eyes and was in God’s presence.
Mom-ee told me the story sitting upright on her bed. She relayed the account to me without shedding a tear. Proud of herself for having the strength to stand upright and speak clearly to her husband in his last moments, she knew that God was her helper.
When we face challenging moments, God is present with us. Our hurdle may be facing a difficult situation at home, a boss that we dislike, or a financial obstacle. The Bible promises God’s presence in every situation — even the ones that cause fear or stress. Let’s ask Him daily for the strength to face them. Then we can move forward, standing in His strength one moment at a time.
Rhett Wilson pastors The Spring Church in Laurens, South Carolina. His blog, Faith, Family, and Freedom, can be found at rhettwilson.blogspot.com. He enjoys doing life with his wife, Tracey, and their three children.