Dear Martha,

You know I have been a Christian all my life, and preached all my life and faithfully served the Lord all my life, never even married, and now I am dying of a terrible disease, and am becoming more crippled every day and now even have to be cared for by someone else, and I mean cared for from top to bottom. I am ready to go meet the Lord and just die, yet suffer so. I don't deserve this. I deserve better from God! Why does He permit this to be upon me? Bitter? You bet I am bitter. I appreciate the blanket you sent but don't bother sending me anything else. I cannot even write anymore and reply to your letters and cards. I have everything I need right here in this nursing home, so I just want to be left alone, so save your money and don't send anymore gifts or anything that will just be given to others. I just don't understand this at all, and I never will, and those others are the unloving ones who put me here!

Signed: Dying Sister

Dear Dying Sister:

I am the wrong person to ask that question of, seeing as I have been afflicted out of measure so many times by sickness and disease, that I am almost as it were, walking death, defying even the powers of death. The LORD sustains my daily strength, and when it is gone, and I am cared for and bedridden as you are, I pray that I shall not be bitter against GOD.

I have just risen up from rest even, to answer your letter, and as long as the LORD gives me breath, I shall magnify Him and praise Him and shall always honour Him as my Saviour and my GOD. I am His creation, His slave unto death, and whatsoever He brings upon me, whatsoever He allows to come upon me, and whatsoever He blesses my life with or my flesh or whatsoever curses He allows into my life in the ways of sufferings, I shall yet thank Him for eternal life and walk through that door of Christ, that door of death and shall walk into eternal life, and even now, walk in that life that cannot be taken from me, even by death, nor can that be taken away from you.

My life is in enough suffering without my adding to my own sufferings the angers and torments of judging GOD and requiring of Him, for who am I that He should answer to me? Who am I that he should explain to me anything at all? I am nothing but dust and but a grain of sand. I cannot allow any suffering of this life to step in between my love of GOD and my gratitude to GOD for eternal life, and even more so, the more I suffer, the more I thank Him for life, and the more I hurt, the more I praise him for salvation, and the sicker I become, the more I rejoice in eternal life, knowing that no disease, or death, or famine, or sword, or pestilence, or any power existing, can take me out of my Father's hand of salvation and eternal life.

So I have to let the eternal joys and the eternal life and the eternal love GOD has for me be sufficient, in every circumstance, be ever so sufficient. For the moment GOD becomes insufficient for me, and eternal life is insufficient, perhaps I might cease to believe, and get leavened with terrible doubts about him and His love and in the ending return to sin and destruction. So even in every affliction and every sickness, the joy of knowing that the sickness and affliction shall not triumph over me, is ever worth every praise and thanksgiving. For though it can and shall take my life even, it has no victory over me. I am the winner. I am the receiver of life. And no power can take from me that gift of GOD in Christ, eternal life. So I judge not GOD nor ask Him why, as though He does not know all that is happening to me and every beat of my heart and every single thought even before I think it. He does know. He requires me to love Him through it all and in spite of it all and to glorify Him even in it and because of it.

I shall either get better or worse. I shall either live or die. It is that simple and that exact. And whether I live or I die, I am the LORD's. So I am not concerned with either life or with death, being only concerned with Jesus Christ and hearing from His mouth, Well done, thou good and faithful servant!

GOD will deliver you from every evil thing, even death. Can you preach all your life faith in Christ to others and then fail in faith yourself? Yes, you do deserve better from GOD an you shall get that better from GOD you deserve, eternal life! You shall not suffer one second longer than you can bear it, even if your escape from it is death! With your dying breath, lead someone to Christ!

Even as Jesus died on the cross, He reached out to one dying next to Him who was guilty, not complaining that He Himself was unjustly dying, and that He did not deserve to die the crucifixion, not saying to His Father, Father I deserve better than this from you, but in all of His dying pains, Jesus reached out to a soul dying with Him, and Jesus saved Him! We must do as Jesus did, and likewise with our dying breath even, speak the glories of Christ and His eternal life. Jesus did not even judge those who crucified Him, let alone His Father who allowed it. Jesus did not only not judge those who murdered Him, but He forgave them, fulfilling the law Himself to forgive all men all trespasses, He perfectly obeying to His dying breath His Father's WORD. And you already know all of these things.

You would have the same affliction you now suffer, but without Christ. Would that not be unbearable? Seeing as this affliction has nothing to do with Christ, ought you not to put your heart and mind at rest in the love of GOD for you and receive the Love of GOD toward you that is waiting at that door of death to take you to glory? Having walked with Jesus all your life ought you now to sorrow that you missed out on life and for what reward have you? You know the Bible says we receive our rewards in the day of the resurrection! You know all of these things, but have need I remind you that Jesus loves you!

I know of a preacher friend a few months ago that died in his Sunday morning pulpit preaching his sermon, dying with a sudden heart attack! He left behind a young wife and two small children. We too, no matter where we are, need to die preaching the WORD to those around us, not being ministered to, but yet ministering Him to those around us even as we close our eyes in death.

In the finality of it all, it is written, MANY ARE THE AFFLICTIONS OF THE RIGHTEOUS! And it is also written, Job 5:6 YET MAN IS BORN UNTO TROUBLE, AS THE SPARKS FLY UPWARD. ........... So all men are born into trouble, yet we who are born in Christ, in our troubles, know that we shall be delivered of them all and be ushered into His heavenly Kingdom....May the LORD comfort you and make His abiding presence known as you lean upon Him and not upon your own understanding.

Till we meet in Jesus,
Your Sister and your niece, Martha

(Footnote: This dear Aunt went to be with the LORD after labouring a long, long time in her sufferings from Parkinson's disease. She brought to my house Jesus Books when I was only six years old, and I read them over and over and over again, and treasured them dearly. I can hardly wait to embrace her someday as we rejoice together in eternal life, for truly I am one of her precious seeds. When I was but a young girl she gave me a white leather Bible with my name engraved upon it in gold letters, and inscribed inside of it was the scripture, Prov. 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.)

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