(Note: A downloadable PDF copy of this lesson is available on the last page.)
Are most of us too busy to hear God’s whispers?
Does it take a clap of thunder to get our attention?
It is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment.
Hebrews 9:27, NKJV
“For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?”
Matthew 16:26, NKJV
It was April 25, 1982. Eva and I were alone in her private hospital room as she battled cancer. She was lying in bed with her head propped up on pillows when I heard her weak little voice say, “Am I going to die?”
I was stunned and not prepared for her question. I have always been forthright with Eva, but I was greatly tempted to lie to her. After a long pause, I heard myself say, “Yes, you are going to die.”‘
She said, “I’m scared.”
I asked, “Why are you scared?”
She said, “Because I made a mess of my life.”
How could she say such a thing? This lady who had traveled the world by my side, who was my stable companion, who kept encouraging me, who left a heritage to a host of women whom she helped to understand their role as wife and mother, and who was a faithful career mother?
I asked, “Why do you say this?”
Her answer was a complete surprise. “I could have been a better mother. I could have been more careful with the money. I could have been a better witness. I could have been more affectionate toward you.”
How should I respond? I was always proud of the way she handled her role as a mother. It’s true, she could have been more careful with money, but what did it matter now? There are very few women who served the Lord as she did. As far as being more affectionate toward me, only she would know.
My first impulse was to reassure her that she was wrong. But then I remembered many instances when, after listening to someone unburden themselves to us, we were tempted to soft-pedal their story. The only way to really help them was not to offer human sympathy, but to help them call sin by its right name.
These thoughts ran through my mind. Eva was about to meet Jesus. She wasn’t concerned about her plants or her wardrobe or her makeup. She was concerned about her soul.