A call came from a family whose elderly patriarch was entering his last hours on earth. And none of the staff pastors were in town. As I loved both the gentleman and his family, I was asked to go – to go into new territory and sit at the side of a dying friend. And go I did, clutching my Bible as a weapon against my fear of the unknown of my responsibility and his fear of the unknown of the dying process. He had no fear of death, this man, as he was anxious to go; to end his earthly suffering and be with his Lord and his beloved wife. I prayed over him, that the end of his earthly journey would be quick and that his entrance into Heaven would be glorious beyond comprehension. I then began reading scripture, inserting his name in places to make it more personal –something someone did for me at a difficult juncture in my life.
It was a strange moment, shifting from the role of student to the role of teacher, but it was a holy move, this transition, one that’s modeled over and over in the Bible. Some of us are more comfortable remaining always as a student, but doing so precludes our own growth as well as the chance to mentor another. Some of us are hesitant to guide others, perhaps because of a lack of confidence or perhaps we’re afraid for others to see our tears or our mistakes. And sometimes, perhaps, we don’t want to teach another because it’s not convenient, or it’s too time consuming.
But if Godly people hadn’t taken the time, hadn’t spoken the words, hadn’t prayed for me, hadn’t given me the freedom and encouragement to explore my calling, I would not have been able to provide this compassionate support where it was needed.
Did I feel equipped? No.
But as a dear friend says, God doesn’t always call the qualified, He qualifies those He calls.
Was I frightened? Sure.
But “God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love and self-discipline.” (2 Timothy 1:7) and “…God, who began the work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.” (Philippians 1:6).
Thanks be to God for all those who have and all who will pour into the lives of His servants, that His Kingdom will grow until every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.
Administrative Assistant/Facilities Scheduler/50+ Coordinator/Hamilton Trace Worship Coordinator