(…continued) I once knew a lady who, right at the end of her life, ‘saw the light.’ Doris left the little town where I was a pastor fifty years before I arrived. She moved out to California to make lots of money and live an exciting life, and that’s what she did— for fifty years. Her mother, Helen, who I visited with monthly communion, was in failing health. Doris, a widow now, was coming back home to care for her old mother until she died. Helen told me that Doris might bring her to church once in a while, and she might not; but either way, Doris would not be going to church herself because she didn’t go to church all the while she was in California. Church was not a part of her exciting life.
I did not see either one for a while, but then one Sunday there was Helen, and also Doris, who sat through the whole service with her mother. The next Sunday, they were both there again; and every Sunday from then on. Then Doris said she wanted to join the church. I said, “That is great, Doris, but tell me about this– all these years of never going to church, and now, you never miss. What happened?”
“Well,” Doris said, “it was something you said that first Sunday I brought Mom to church. The rest of the sermon wasn’t all that good, but one line got me thinking. You said that many people make careful preparations for their retirement, which they may not even get to enjoy; and they make no preparations for the rest of eternity, which they will most certainly face.” Doris said, “That’s me. I am all set for a very comfortable retirement, but I haven’t given a bit of thought to what comes next. I thought it was time I start paying attention. I want what Jesus has to offer, and I want to have Jesus in my life.”
“Praise the Lord, she saw the light… Jesus came to her, and she let her dear Savior in.”
Not long after that, Doris’s comfortable retirement was ended by a sudden, fatal heart attack. She died even before her old mother, and she was off to what was next; which for her, was now that place where there is “no more darkness, no more night, and no sorrow in sight.” Praise the Lord!
James 4:13-15 — Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.”
Psalm 85:8a — I will listen to what God the Lord says; he promises peace to his people, his faithful servants…
Acts 3:19 — Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord.
Romans 10:9 — If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God, have mercy on me, a poor sinner. Amen.
–Ancient Jesus prayer (based on Luke 18:13)