Gwen’s story from The Difference Jesus Makes
The difference Jesus makes as we face death
I can’t remember a time in my life when I didn’t believe in God. We were brought up to believe and sent to Sunday School. But I was in my twenties before I made a real commitment to live a Christian life and was baptised. I had not realised the difference between believing in God and accepting Jesus as my Saviour. Making that decision really changed my life for the better.
I talk to the Lord about everything. ‘Prayer’ at the age of 86 years. Since the Lord took my dear husband Ron to be with Him in June 2012 God has been my Rock. I don’t know how people cope in times of trouble if they have no faith in a Loving Father. I tell Him all my troubles and ask for help. He never lets me down. He is always there for me. I know He loves me and I can be free to say anything to Him – no secrets: He knows them anyway.
Recently I have been diagnosed with inoperable cancer. Of course there is the initial shock when you receive news like this. But because I know that the Lord has been with me over so many years and helped me through many difficult times in my life, I know I can trust Him for the future.
Some people find it strange that I am not afraid to die. Why should I be? Jesus said to His disciples, “Don’t let your hearts be troubled. You are trusting in God, now trust in me. There are many rooms up there where my Father lives and I am going to prepare them for your coming.” (John’s Gospel chapter 14 verses 1-3 in the Living Bible) Well, I believe Him. Why would Jesus lie to me?
No-one seems to like talking about Death. We prepare for births, Christenings, weddings, and so on, but not for death. Everyone will die sometime – we can’t avoid it. Death has truly lost its sting for me. I am looking forward to seeing Jesus and my dear Ron, and all my loved ones who gave their lives to Jesus. I have read many books which tell of people who have had near-death experiences and one thing they have in common is the fact that when they return to earth they are always disappointed because heaven was so wonderful that they did not want to return to earth. Everybody wants to get to heaven but nobody wants to die!
It is hard to leave our family and loved ones. But I pray that I will see them all again one day. Yes, I am a little apprehensive about the final days of my illness. But I have learned to trust the Lord that whatever He allows in my life will work for my good in the end, even if it does not seem so at the time. The Bible tells me this and I believe it.
Think about it, we are never afraid of those people who we know love us and we trust ourselves in their hands. Because we are convinced of their love we are not afraid of the way they behave towards us. Even when we cannot understand the purpose of their actions we give them the benefit of the doubt because we know they love us and would do us no harm. Now if that is true of our human relationships how much more is it true in our relationship with God. 1 John chapter 4 verse 18 says, “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out all fear.” I know God loves me.
In the meantime I have the loving support of my friends and family who pray for me and who I know are always there for me. Jesus is truly worth knowing. He is worthy to receive our whole lives. If you give Him your life you will never regret it. Will you follow Him?
Gwen was one of the founders of North Springfield Baptist Church and she wrote these inspiring words in 2013 shortly before she died.