The more your affections are set on Christ, your true husband … the easier it will be to take you out of the world. He who has laid up his heart in heaven, will think comfortably of laying down his head on earth.
Your grandma is ready to go home.
That was it. That was all she said when we asked if she had any last words before our family went home. Grandma wanted us to know she was comfortable laying down her head.
The Grandma who so loves life- whose eyes still light up at the sight of the season’s first purple plums my sons gathered in, whose unbroken good humor broke apart my solemn heaven-talk,
You’ll beat me there, Grandma, but I’ll meet you.
Well, then-drive home safely, dear, she breathed, eyes smiling, from her hospital bed-
This dear Grandma is ready to lay down her head and go home.
The Biggest War We’ll Ever Fight
Paul, to Timothy in 1 Timothy 6:12
When He Brings His Biggest Guns
Stand Fast By That Book (AKA: Grandma Wields Her Sword)
Paul wanted his parchments. These are very possibly his copies of what are our Scriptures. Spurgeon urges us to learn from his last wish for his parchments,
You may go to human puddles, until you forsake the clear crystal stream which flows from the throne of God. Read the books, by all manner of means, but especially the parchments…Stand fast by that Book which is infallible, the revelation of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Grandma loves her books, too. Piles and piles still line her bedside. But one book, that Book, is the sole book that sits on the otherside caregiver’s chair. And after a restless night, up before the sun, Grandma was ready for that Book.
Is Romans 8 okay? I wondered.
She nodded. Holding her hand, I began,
There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
I squeezed Grandma’s right hand and pressed on,
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us…
And then- miracle of miracles- the thick tongue whose muffled words I could barely understand moments ago, recited clear and strong,
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?
Then by dawn’s early light, I witnessed another wonder I hope I never will forget. That frail hand I’d held and rubbed last night and nestled under the covers, that same hand was raised high.
And beside me in her hospital bed, Grandma wielded her sword and finished the chapter with me.
For I am sure that neither death nor life…nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Not worth comparing. No condemnation. Nothing can separate. Yes, yes, and-hallelujah!-yes.
But Satan’s a wily guy.
Even The Strongest Saints Get Weary Hands
I will fear no evil. Jesus is with me. I will not fear. He loves me.
Let’s not miss the biggest source of strength. Be strong in the Lord and the strength of his might, Paul wrote. He rescued me from my strong enemy…for they were too mighty for me. For by you I can run against a troop, warrior king David wrote. And when Demas deserted, Paul wrote the Lord stood by me and strengthened me.
But people help too. Saints help saints stay strong and fight. There ought to be comaraderie in our kingdom fights. Paul strengthened the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith, saying that through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God. When David was alone and weak, his friend Jonathan went and strengthened his hand in the Lord.
Sometimes it’s more than emotional support we need. Remember Israel’s first battle out of Egypt? Pesky Amalekites attacked them from the back.
So Moses said to Joshua, “Choose for us men, and go out and fight with Amalek. Tomorrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the staff of God in my hand.” So Joshua did as Moses told him, and fought with Amalek, while Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill. Whenever Moses held up his hand, Israel prevailed, and whenever he lowered his hand, Amalek prevailed. But Moses’ hands grew weary, so they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it, while Aaron and Hur held up his hands, one on one side, and the other on the other side. So his hands were steady until the going down of the sun. And Joshua overwhelmed Amalek and his people with the sword. (Exodus 17:8-13)
The whole course of the Israelite cause would be determined by Moses’ strong, upheld hands. But even Moses’ hands grew weary. So Aaron and Hur, his right and left hand men, held up Moses’ weary hands. And his hands were steady until the going down of the sun.
Everyone of us needs help holding up our hands. Especially as the sun goes down. I was blessed that night, in my little Romans 8 way, to get to help hold Grandma’s hands. Together we wielded the sword of the Word and held her shield of faith. Because even the most faithful of saints, Moses and David and Paul and Grandma, need someone to hold and strengthen their hands.
Those two little miracles happened two visits ago. This Sunday when our family dropped by, Grandma said, I’m not alwaysstrong. Then she looked to the wall and explained, My chart.
Sunday, August 21st was on top of Grandma’s chart. The five who- ala Aaron and Hur- would hold up Grandma’s hands were listed. That day it was Laurie and Patty, Tom and Mark and John. Other days and nights it’s Judy and Steve or Nathan and Rachel or Joy and the kids who help her fight.
Even the most faithful of saints, Moses and David and Paul and Grandma, sometimes need someone to strengthen and hold their hands.
She knows that though she dies, when this fight’s done, yet shall she live.
Boys, if you’ve got Jesus, you’ve got everything.