Friday, June 29, 2007

The World Is Not Worthy

On Tuesday of this week I went to visit a lady that I had never met before. Her step-son attends my church and he had asked that I go visit her. She was in a local nursing facility dying with cancer. I was able to go see her, and am really glad that I did.
Hazel Bowes had been battling cancer since the 1970s when it struck her in the breast. All of her family -- all of her many brothers and sisters had died from cancer. She was the only one that remained. Doctors had recently found a tumor on her brain, and the cancer had also spread to her lungs, and was aggressive.
When I visited her, she was alert and talkative. She had read the newspaper that day, was up to speed on the happenings in her church and community, and was generally in a pretty good mood. She cracked a few jokes and smiled a lot.
This was all the more amazing being that she had a death warrant from her doctors, and she had a huge scar on her skull, visible due to the fact that they had shaved her head for the surgery.
She looked me in the eye, and confessed that she at times felt like she could get discouraged when she felt the pain in her head, and see the scar. But then she said, with deep earnestness, that when she felt like getting discouraged she thought of her Jesus, her Savior and Lord, with the crown of thorns shoved down upon His head and the nails driven into His hands and feet. Then she said, "When I think on Him, I can endure this. I can take this."
This, I believe is what the writer of Hebrews refers to when he writes of those in Hebrews 11, "The Hall of Fame of Faith", of whom "the world is not worthy." Only a lover of Jesus, and one loved by Him, could live their lives like this at a time like this. The world does not and cannot get it.
Mrs. Bowes' faith ended in sight yesterday morning. She closed her eyes for the final time on this earth, and opened them in heaven and looked upon the One with the nail-scarred hands and feet, and heard "Welcome home, child; I love you."
May all of us so live to die that way. To Christ be the glory!!


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