Plea for Help

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"O LORD, don't rebuke me in your anger or discipline me in your rage. Have compassion on me, LORD, for I am weak. Heal me, LORD, for my bones are in agony. I am sick at heart. How long, O LORD, until you restore me? Return, O LORD, and rescue me. Save me because of your unfailing love." Psalm 6:1-4

Two of my friends are dying. We've been praying for their healing for some time. This past week their families were called upon to make what we've learned to call "end of life decisions." It's a difficult place to be, even for believers who are looking forward to eternity with Jesus.  I know. I've been there twice. 

Oh, how I wanted them healed. I know total healing is to be with the LORD, but I wanted them back--back the way they were when they were healthy.  In that time, Psalm 116 became particularly comforting.

"I love the LORD because he hears my voice and my prayer for mercy."
Because he bends down to listen, I will pray as long as I have breath!
Death wrapped its ropes around me; the terrors of the grave overtook me. I saw only trouble and sorrow.
Then I called on the name of the LORD: 'Please, LORD, save me!'
How kind the LORD is! How good he is! So merciful, this God of ours!
The LORD protects those of childlike faith; I was facing death, and he saved me.
Let my soul be at rest again, for the LORD has been good to me.
He has saved me from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling.
And so I was in the LORD's presence as I live here on earth!
I believed in you, so I said, 'I am deeply troubled, LORD.'
In my anxiety I cried out to you, 'These people are all liars!'
What can I offer the LORD for all he has done for me?
I will lift up the cup of salvation and praise the LORD's name for saving me.
I will keep my promises to the LORD in the presence of all his people.
The LORD cares deeply when his loved ones die. 
O LORD, I am your servant; yes, I am your servant, born into your household; you have freed me from my chains.
I will offer you a sacrifice of thanksgiving and call on the name of the LORD.
I will fulfill my vows to the LORD in the presence of all his people--
in the house of the LORD in the heart of Jerusalem. Praise the LORD!"

If we live long enough, or if the Rapture doesn't occur before then, each one of us will go through the emotional transition we call death. We'll shed this earthly "tent" we've inhabited. Our spirits will soar to the joyous union with Jesus that he has promised us for eternity.

Until that time, when we are called to stand aside and let our loved ones "go home," may we be comforted by the knowledge that God is protecting them from something worse, and that He is overjoyed to have them Home.

"Good people pass away; the godly often die before their time. But no one seems to care or wonder why. No one seems to understand that God is protecting them from the evil to come. For those who follow godly paths will rest in peace when they die." Isaiah 57:1-2
"The LORD cares deeply when his loved ones die." Psalm 116:15

May God's words comfort us when we suffer...for ourselves or for our loved ones.

by Marilyn Allison