The lady is on her deathbed, it would appear. Her mind comes and goes, according to family members. Sometimes she is lucid, at other times not.
They called me. Would I come by the hospital to see her? The daughter said, “Sometimes when she is ‘with us,’ she seems troubled. Today she said, ‘There are some people I need to apologize to.'”
“We were hoping you could give her some peace.”
Since I was the family’s pastor many years ago, I knew some of the history. My feeling was that the lady was a genuine Christian although I sensed she had not progressed in spiritual maturity as she should.
In her hospital room I greeted her and we chatted. I said, “You have given your life to Jesus Christ, is that right?” The voice was weak, but she was nodding her head. She had. “And you love Him?” Again, yes.
“But you have not always been faithful.” She shook her head, indicating it was so true.
I said, “Neither have I. None of us have. We have all done a poor job of living for Him. That’s why we appreciate so much His faithfulness.”
God is faithful.
Even if our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and knows all things (I John 3:20).
That spirit tormenting us is not always reliable. Sometimes the memory of our past failures is relentless and threatens to rob us of our peace. That’s why it’s good to remind ourselves of the promises of God and of His faithfulness. He is a Promise-giver and a Promise-keeper.
Their sins and iniquities I will remember no more (Hebrews 10:17, quoting Jeremiah 31:34).
I have no trouble believing that on our deathbed, each of us can come up with names of people we should apologize to. No one has gotten by unscathed in this lifetime. There is none righteous, no not one.
Trust the Lord who saved you.
He’s got this. Our salvation depends on His keeping us. Not on our holding on tightly.
I’m remembering what my small grandson said. We were in his front yard and I was pushing him on the swing. Grant said, “Grandpa, sometime I would like to fly on a plane with you and Grandma and we could go see Uncle Marty and Aunt Misha.” I said, “That would be fine, Grant. We could do that.” He was quiet a moment, then said, “I would hold on real tight.”
In time, Grant would fly many times to many places. But he was to make the happy discovery that a successful plane flight does not require him to hold on at all, merely to enter the right plane and buckle up. The plane does the holding.
In a most unforgettable passage, our Lord Jesus said, I give them eternal life and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand (John 10:28-29).
The mother crossing the street with a small child does not leave the safety of the little one up to his holding her hand. She holds onto him. She’s the stronger, the wiser, the mature one. The child arrives safely because the mother held on tightly.
He that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord is your keeper… The Lord shall preserve you from all evil; He shall preserve your soul. The Lord shall preserve your going out and your coming in; From this time forth and even forevermore (Psalm 121).
The Lord is your Keeper.
You’ve got His word on it.
Rest in Him. Let the peace of God fill your life. Rejoice. And quit trying to second-guess Him. If He says you’re saved forever, do yourself a favor–and honor Him–by believing Him.
Amen and amen.