After 41 years of married life, the Lord Jesus in His wisdom took my darling home, to be with Him and with all those who have died in Jesus. God has used this to work His work in me in a new way. One morning. late in May 2011, Marie found that she couldn’t finish getting dressed. She called out to me three times. She would never do this normally knowing that I was spending time with Jesus as was my practice. I went in there to find her half paralysed. We did not know what was wrong. Several days later after a biopsy was taken, we were told that Marie had a terminal brain tumor. The first week in hospital, she kept repeating like a stuck record – This is for the glory of God! This is for the glory of God! This is for the glory of God! Her face was filled with peace and a wonderful sweet hue of the glory of God. During this time she had no pain.
We had ten blessed weeks together; she was either in hospital or home; the last week we spent in a town we had visited just a few years earlier.
After that first week there was pain, there were tears, and crying out to the Lord Jesus for both us and our children. Yet there was also a great peace and hope. It was very hard for the children, as at least one of them felt that their mother was the glue that held us all together. There were many hidden things going on in the hearts of all, some of which came to the surface in due course.
One of the Scriptures that the Lord Jesus put in my heart was – In His (the Lord’s) there is fulness of joy. This has been a great comfort for me knowing that Marie has no lack of joy, and there is no growing weary of it. She loved Jesus very much. All her questions are answered in Him.
One day while she was in bed- much of the ten weeks were spent in bed because she couldn’t remain seated let alone stand for any length of time – she reached out with her left hand and called mightily to Jesus; Jesus save me! Jesus save me! Jesus save me! It was so beautiful to hear and see. It was as if she could sense the nearness of Jesus her Saviour.
If there is someone out there who is suffering, or afflicted, or is overwhelmed by the burdens of life or a great burden of sin – call out to Jesus the Son of God. Call out to Him while you can! If you call upon Him with all of your heart in truth He will not let you go under but will show you His great salvation.
The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ has used this which happened to us all in a most remarkable yet simple way. Who can know the ways of the Lord? His ways are past finding out. All His ways are just. When we finally start walking His ways, oh the pleasure, of the love, the greatness of the Lord becomes more and more real to us.
Except a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies it abides alone. But if it dies it brings forth much fruit. Marie died and her death is bringing fruit. But I had to die afresh too. Die to certain vain things which were tenaciously holding me captive though I did not want to accept that.
Since Marie’s passing onto to glory, heaven and Hell have become more real to me. The way of holiness (one of God’s ways) has become ever more important to me. The certainty of eternity is ever increasing, and the brevity of life is more stark. The desire to honour our Lord Jesus is so pronounced in my heart and soul – he who does not honour the Son honours not the Father who sent Him. The name of Jesus seems to be ever present on my mind and lips. It is quite apparent to me that my heart has been renewed in the love of Jesus. For some years I had been concerned about some things in my heart and was sure that there was a lack as to that first love for Jesus which if not present was something quite spurious to Jesus – You have left your first love He warned the Church at Ephesus. Repent! And do the first works. If not I will spue you out of My mouth. These words are words of mercy and truth. Words of kindness and love. Hard hitting words. Words that leave no room for compromise. Words that will come to pass. Oh the kindness of God.
It has taken the Lord Jesus to take away the love and life of my heart, my darling, the covenant wife of my youth in order to awaken my first love afresh for Jesus. He who loves father or mother, (and wife or husband), any dear relative more than Me is not worthy of Me, said Jesus.
Oh my friend, you who read this simple testimony. Where is your heart? How much do you love the Master who laid down His life for you that you may not perish but have His resurrection life? How much do you love other things as I have done instead of being hot for Jesus? If you died today, how would He find your heart – divided in affection? Or would He find your eye single and your body full of His light? Would He be ashamed of what He saw in you and be dissatisfied? Would you be ashamed and find yourself somewhat bare before His piercing pure gaze?
Today if you will hear His voice – do not harden your heart as they did in the wilderness and perished and did not enter into His rest which was prepared for them. Give up all to Jesus. Give all your burden to Him. Call upon Him in truth with strong crying and tears, not crocodile tears, but tears of genuine repentance, just as Peter did who raced out and wept bitterly after having Jesus look into his eyes whom he had just denied three times.
Jesus, He is strong to save. He will restore the broken water pots, the broken hearts He will heal, the bruised, battered and shattered lives and marriages He will mend. All authority and ability has been given to Him. Listen to what Mary the mother of Jesus told the servants at the wedding in Cana of Galilee – Whatever He tells you to do, do it. Do it with gladness and humility. Know that the Lord He is God and that there is no other Saviour. The ways of the Lord are more than can be counted or measured. He knows how to arrange all things to His satisfaction. And to our benefit if we will but trust Him. He longs for you. Time is short. Behold – soon the Bridegroom will come!