In June of 2002 my Grandmother Lelia got very sick. We took her to the hospital on Saturday afternoon, she was admitted, the doctor removed 3lbs of fluid from her lungs and all was well, so we thought. My mom, her brother and I spent the night with her that night. Her pulse was low and her breathing sporadic. Suddenly she had taken a turn for the worst, and by the next day all of her doctors agreed that she had 3 to 24 hours to live. Everyone gathered around her bedside to say their goodbyes.
Didn't matter what the doctors predicted, God wasn't finished with her yet as He so boldly proved that He is the only One who knows how many days we are given on this earth. On Monday, we brought her home so if she was to die she'd be surrounded by familiarity instead of cold hospital walls. She was on hospice for about a day when the family decided to put her on regular home health care with us doing most of the care. My Mom took off two months of work to care for her and spent her nights and days helping her almost 80 year old Dad take care of her dying Mom. We began to have weekly family dinners with Grandma watching us as she lay in her rented hospital bed set up in the middle of the living room and she savored every minute of it. Everyone did their part and Grandma was daily surrounded with much love and laughter. Grandma's diet was changed, she began a regular exercise routine and soon the doctor's notes said, "She is a miracle." We actually have a copy of his notes and her story of God's healing was so amazing that the local newspaper and TV station did a story on her calling her "Miracle on Sewell Street".
My Grandma would be known for her love for her family or the game of Bingo before being known that she loved Jesus Christ, but when she was sick, whoever gathered around her she made sure to tell them that they had to know Jesus. She was insistent that we have Him in our life. Her grand kids and my Grandpa heard her often say, "you just have to believe" as she shared how He had saved her. There was a different kind sweetness I had never seen in her before.
She wanted to hear "Amazing Grace" all of the time. All the grandkids chipped in and we gave her a beautiful wooden music box that plays Amazing Grace and has some of the words etched in the top of the heart shaped lid. She would listen to it constantly and always had it displayed on the table next to her chair. Her TV stayed off and when she wasn't sleeping she was either listening to or engaging in conversation with loved ones. She suddenly wanted to attend church with our family and cried when the worship band just happened to sing her song the first Sunday she went.
Six short years later, times have changed.
The only family dinners we have are on Thanksgiving and Christmas. She has gained back much of the weight she lost. She stopped exercising and now uses a walker to get around the house. We stopped asking her to go to church because her excuses outweigh her need to go. Her music box is covered with newspapers and she is back to watching hours of soap operas and reading cheap paperback romance books to fill her time.
Jesus being the center of her grand kids lives is not a voiced concern anymore.
Isn't it just weird that we can forget what God has done for us?
Like the doctors marked my Grandma dead within 24 hours, we all have a death sentence on our life unless we have accepted Christ into our life. When we do, we become God's miracle as He gives us new life. New breath. A new beginning. I know from experience those times I've strayed from God, that the few weeks after my reunion with Him are some of the sweetest. I want to tell everyone about Him just like my Grandma did. I want to worship Him, sing about Him and talk about Him.
Then at some point I invite complacency to settle in my life, and soon He's not the topic of my conversations. I'm not so picky about what movies I rent. The candle of excitement I had lit inside my heart for corporate worship on Sunday is suddenly blown out. One on one time with God isn't a desired adventure anymore, it's a rushed burden into my busy schedule until eventually my Bible needs to dusted.
Jesus being the center of my life is not a concern anymore.
How do we prevent this from happening in our walk with God?
When Gene takes Alivia somewhere he tells her to hold his hand. He wants to keep her safe from getting hit by a car as we walk in a parking lot or separated from us if we're in a crowd. For the most part she obeys, but there are times when he has had to be stern with her little independent self and demand that she holds his hand. When she is hand in hand with him he knows right where she is and he is able to protect her. She is by his side or even a little behind him, but when she's close he is aware of her presence as she is aware of his. She goes where he goes.When Alivia is listening to her father's instruction and holding Gene's hand, nothing can separate her from her Daddy.
Let's avoid becoming a forgetful, complacent Christian and keep hold of our Savior's hand. For when we're close to Him we are aware of His presence and are under His protection. Be in His Word daily and listen to His instruction so that nothing can separate us from our Heavenly Father.
Let's go where He goes.
~Live today for Christ~