United with Christ in His Death and Resurrection
By Irene Gehring
Verse 8 reads, “Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with Him.”
This morning, Wednesday, April 28th, is a day that for me will never be forgotten. I am humbly thankful for my Heavenly Father’s guidance and perfect timing - today and always.
A month ago I made an appointment to visit my dear friend, AnnaMae, in her nursing home, at 9 AM. I had looked forward to this day with great joy since I had not been able to visit her for over a year because of the pandemic. Before that time we met, faithfully, every Wednesday morning at 8:30 over breakfast. It was always joyous, comforting, and special for both of us. This past year, when we could no longer come together, I sent Lutheran Hour Devotions to AnnaMae each Wednesday. Our phone visits also stopped about four months ago. During that time I heard nothing about her.
God’s timing is ALWAYS right “on time.” Today, as the health care provider walked with me to AnnaMae’s room, she told me that my dear friend is dying. I was not quite prepared for this sad news. The picture of my friend will be forever remembered by me. She was on oxygen, gasping for air, unable to talk or even open her eyes...but she could hear! The caregiver assured me of that.
In the brief amount of time I spent with AnnaMae, I sang four hymns to her, beginning with Jesus Loves Me. I shared the Good News of the Gospel that Jesus is preparing her place in Heaven where she will be with Him. What a joy it was to be able to share that peaceful, joyful, reassuring news with her, probably moments before her death.
As AnnaMae dies with Christ, we believe that she will also live with Him.
My final words to her were, “Dear friend, AnnaMae, Jesus loves you and we’ll get together again when we meet Jesus in Heaven.”
(AnnaMae went Home to Jesus, about two hours after I visited her. She was 99 years old.)
PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, please give each of us the peaceful, joyful reassurance that because You live, we shall also live - with You forever and ever. In Your Name. Amen.
Faith Action Step: Sing Jesus Love Me with your family, friends, and especially those who are close to the end of their lives.