Here’s one from Lee…
WHOSE PRAYER SHOULD GOD ANSWER?
I’ve been out in Illinois visiting my only sister, Mary, who has been battling cancer for the last couple years. She is unable to tolerate chemotherapy and is receiving only vitamins to combat the disease at this stage.
I have been faithfully praying for her for many, many months now, and one of the hallmarks of my prayers is the request that God would show kindness to her and would extend her days to be with those who love her and whom she loves. I was thinking about that prayer the other morning: is that prayer to extend her life really the best thing for her? Is that the best thing God should do for her?
As I prayed, it came to me that, for God to answer that prayer, would mean that He would have to delay the time when she finally came home to Him. So who is that prayer really meant for; who most benefits? Her, or is it me and those who love her here on Earth? We don’t want to see her leave us because we love her and love having her in our lives. And I’m sure she loves us; Mary is the one who always remembers every birthday and every anniversary. And cards appropriate for the occasion come every Christmas, of course.
But to be fair, Mary has been pretty sick for a while now. She has had a mastectomy and surgery to remove some cancerous lymph nodes. She now has cancer detected on her lungs and liver and is having difficulty breathing. She is very much aware of the probable outcome of all of this disease and states clearly: “I’m not afraid to die.” She flatly refused to take any more experimental chemo because the doctor warned her that she would be mostly incapacitated and would likely spend her last days bed-ridden. “That’s not really living, is it?” she says.
When one reads the, albeit somewhat limited, description of heaven in the Bible, one gets an idea that it’s a pretty special place. And there one has the unimaginable experience of being face-to-face with the Lord Himself. I’ve often thought that, if you look around this world with all of its attendant wonders and God-created artistry, one can hardly even imagine what Heaven will look like in comparison. After all, that’s the place where God Himself resides. As I look around this world, I often conclude: O, the wonders heaven must hold!
So, as much as I hate to even consider the thought, Mary would probably be so much better off in Heaven. No sickness, no worry, no pain…only God in His glory. To want to keep her from that almost is mean at its worst and selfish at best.
I’m so going to miss her loving smile and kind words when she leaves us…but I’ll be so glad for her to be where every Christian wants to be: in the loving arms and clear sight of the God we dearly love! Intimately present with Jesus, the God-man, who purposefully and intentionally died to give us the opportunity to be with Him… forever! I love Mary, but He loves her even more!