The Lord makes firm the steps of the one who delights in him; though he may stumble, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with his hand.
~ Psalm 34:23-24
She said to me, "I feel as if death is right on my heals with each step, just waiting for me to stumble, or to become too tired. Death is catching up with me."
I remember the joy I felt watching my children crawl, then pull themselves up on to something, then turn and take their first steps. We learn to run, first by crawling, and then walking. Once we do, we all seem to be part of some race.
You might say that I spend a lot of time with people who are tired of running.
I reminded her of these words from 2 Timothy, "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race. I have kept the faith." (2 Timothy 4:7)
While these words seemed to have brought some comfort to her, for me, it has made me aware of the race I run each day.
Death may seem to be right behind, waiting to overcome, Isaiah reminds, "but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint." (Isaiah 40:31)
At the end of my visit she told me that she was ready to stop and to lay down. "I recognize that this is about my valley of the shadow of death, and I am walking through it. I think that what helps is not necessarily all these other verses about faith and hope, it is just knowing that it is okay to rest. At some point we all will have to learn that walking is something we learn to do as children, but is not required to enter into heaven. We simply have to trust and we will all arrive there just fine."
Stay in God's grip!
G. Todd Williams (c) 2018
Rev. G. Todd Williams lives in the Houston metro area and is a Hospice Chaplain and ordained Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) pastor.