Tuesday, July 12, 2011

An elderly cerebral hemorrhage survivor got in my face

This week I'm working with a smaller education conference in the southern part of Illinois. It's incredibly hot, and the church only has air conditioning in the sanctuary, which basically means I've been sweating like a dog for the last three days.  It's still been a great time.

Not long after I did my presentation on Logos, an elderly woman came up to me and asked if she could sit with me at my table.  She thought the software looked amazing and wanted to get it to help her get ready for Sunday School. 

"This will be a good tool for me I think. I love to learn and study God's Word, and don't take the opportunity to be able to do so lightly"

"I'm with you there mame," I said. 

Looking over the Logos form, she says, "You see, I'm a cerebral hemorrhage survivor. Most people do not survive that ordeal. But I did"
At first all I could respond with was eyes bugging out and a, "Whoooa!" But then I asked, "When did that happen." 

"A few years ago.  I was at church singing, leading the congregation. The song was 'It is well with my soul.' I was immersed in the song, tapping my foot, and enjoying the worship. When it was over I put the mic on the stand and walked to the front row to sit by my friend. No sooner had I sat down when it happened. I sat on the pew and just leaned over against my friend. She thought I was putting my head on her shoulder affectionately, but it didn't take them long to realize something wasn't right."

She continued, "I should have been dead. But the Lord chose to let me live through that. But He had  prepared me. How could I sing that song, live through it, and not think that God was blessing me?"

And then this little old woman leaned forward, looked me square in the eye, and said, "Because no one gets to die until God gives them permission. If we're still breathing then we're still working and still serving. No one gets to be done till He says so." 

Again, a little speechless, but I got out, "You're right. You are so right."

But then she got in my face! 

She leaned even more forward, pointed her finger right in my face, and said with both a grandmotherly sternness and a loving smile, "I hope you do know it young man. You are here for a reason - and God doesn't make mistakes. You need to keep going and do your best and love Him - no matter what happens. Because you aren't finished until He says you are."

I leaned forward and gave her a hug. 

She didn't know that for the last couple days I've been beating myself up over some stuff. I have a perfectionist nature, so when I don't feel like I did a good job at something my spirit is the punching bag and my perceptions the heavyweight boxer.  Add to this being exhausted from extra travel and moving, and my spirit has just been really low the last couple days.

But I think God was a little tired of my pity-party and self-loathing, so He sent this sweet woman over to set me straight.  

No one gets to die until God gives them permission.

Can't help but have proper perspective after that.

Come now, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit"—yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, "If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that." As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin. James 4:13-17

When peace like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to know,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

1 comment:

Nana said...

I totally agree with this sweet elderly lady.