Yesterday I heard of an elderly Christian lady who told her daughter, “Three more days.” For the next three days, this lady was calm and at peace. Then she died.
Others shared that they also knew of Christians who had the same prior knowledge of their time of death. This was also true of Paul. He wrote:
“For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing.” (2 Timothy 4:6–8)
This morning I read that the nature of ‘praying without ceasing’ is that we are continually aware of the Lord, that He is not only with us but communicating to us everything we need to know. Certainly Paul was a person who prayed continually. He was always close to the Lord and thinking of Him. The above-mentioned lady was likely much the same. They were not afraid of death; they anticipated seeing the Lord. God in His wisdom and kindness let them in on when they would die. Awesome.
In the same part of Paul’s letter to Timothy, he describes a situation and his attitude toward it that reveals much about this close relationship with Jesus. He wrote:
"Alexander the coppersmith did me great harm; the Lord will repay him according to his deeds. Beware of him yourself, for he strongly opposed our message. At my first defense no one came to stand by me, but all deserted me. May it not be charged against them! But the Lord stood by me and strengthened me, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. So I was rescued from the lion’s mouth. The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed and bring me safely into his heavenly kingdom. To him be the glory forever and ever. Amen." (2 Timothy 4:14–18)
He trusted God to deal with his opponents. When abandoned, the Lord did not leave him alone but stood by him. He forgave those who had deserted him, just like Jesus did at Calvary. He knew the chief reason God rescued him from evil was so the Gospel could be heard. He also knew he would safely reach his heavenly home. His only desire was that God be glorified. This man was close to God and God trusted him with information that most others would not hear.
Lord Jesus, praying without ceasing is just part of the marvel of knowing and loving You. In such a relationship, You give Your people whatever we need for our days here and for our future with You. You are such a wonder, a gracious and loving God. I echo what Paul said — to You be the glory forever and ever.
Today’s thankful list . . .
A nice, slow day with time to catch up on that to-do list.
Able to give away some unneeded furniture.
Mailed photos to my sister yesterday and she got them this morning!
Grilled chicken and cheese sandwiches.
Sunshine and incredible green with a hint of gold in the trees.