Remember my elderly friend Hilda, from Juanita’s Joy?
I had just visited Hilda the end of January, before leaving on a family trip. She was in rehab, suffering from a respitary ailment, weakened and less responsive. As usual, I shared neighborhood news and friendly regards from the few she could remember.
“I’ll see you when I get back from my trip!”
I turned to leave but felt a restraint. Turning back to her wheelchair, I put my hand upon her shoulder and spoke loud enough for her to hear without her hearing aids,
“Hilda, consider Jesus as your Messiah! Turn to Him for forgiveness of sins. Be ready for the moment you meet God!”
Slumped in her wheelchair, she didn’t wave me away this time but neither did she respond. Who knows, I thought, it may be a word for the others around her too.
Yesterday, partaking in Jewish tradition, I sadly shoveled dirt upon Hilda’s simple pine coffin. The rabbi called this Gemilut Hasadim, “an act of kindness that can’t be repaid”.
God’s kindness to me though, was that moment of ‘restraint’ – an inner upstirring – that left my dear friend with words of eternal value.
The apostle Peter warned, “the end of all things is near”. Beloved John wrote, “Dear children, this is the last hour…” Agreeing with Bible teacher Zac Poonen, if, 2000 years ago was the last hour, we must surely be living in the last seconds before Christ’s return!
For true believers in Jesus Christ, those who strive to live as a branch connected to the Vine and a sheep pressing near to the Shepherd, I pray for a fresh awakening. Before any other role or occupation, may we see ourselves as the Body of Christ in this world, interfacing with ordinary people, under ordinary circumstances yet availing ourselves to God’s upstirring, God’s leading and restraint. We may not pass by fishermen or women by a well, but perhaps a stranger on a park bench, a mother in the grocery line, a student on the train.
We’re living in the last seconds, I pray we fulfill our ‘assignments’ and ‘appointments’ before the Lord returns! Pray for unsaved family members…but be an answer to someone else’s prayer. May the Lord break down every flimsy dam that blocks the Holy Spirit flow through us and let these last seconds count!