I listened carefully as my friend described to me the findings of her recent medical workup.
The past couple of years have been a battle with cancer. The cancer is gone but side effects from chemo and an unexplained anemia ravage her life.
Before she gave me the latest report this friend told me how grateful she was for the Presence of the Holy Spirit and His amazing kindness to her.
She then reported that the doctors have now found a chronic disease that is both painful and difficult to manage.
Yet, she was more interested in telling me how thankful she was for God’s timing then in acknowledging the burden of the new illness.
She said, “Isn’t God good that he waited until I was old to get this disease. If I had gotten it as a young mother I would not have been able to work and raise my son. Now I don’t have anyone to take care of but myself”.
As I listened, I quietly wondered why she wasn’t upset that she had this illness even now. How does she see battling a chronic illness in old age as mercy?
In my memory, I replayed a conversation with this friend from maybe 40 years ago.
I was leading a Bible Study in a hospital where we both worked as nurses. One day, after faithfully attending the study group, she told me she was resigning to take a different job.
Knowing she had not yet surrendered her life to Jesus, I told her I was sorry I had told her about Jesus as our Lord and Savior.
She asked, “Why?”
I said, “Because you know everything you need to know to be a believer but you have not responded to God?” “You would be better off if you had never heard”.
She said, “Oh, I will give my heart to Jesus. I’m just waiting to be good enough”.
I then said, “No, I haven’t been clear in my teaching. You don’t wait to be good enough. You come as you are and He then makes you good enough through the finished work on the cross”.
Well, then, she said. “Let’s pray now”.
That was then and this is now. This friend, who is nearing 80 years old, is a testimony of faith through aging eyes. I am humbled by how gratitude shapes her perspective.
I am so glad that back then I introduced her to Jesus.