As I think back to this time three years ago, I am so grateful that we had the opportunity to speak out words of love and hope to our girl in her last days with us. Some people continue to wonder how we survived through that time. How do you speak out those final earthly goodbyes to your mortally diseased child without totally collapsing? This week’s Psalm (23) gives us some wonderful answers. Just like He promised, we know that the Good Shepherd strengthened us all to say and do the things necessary to make this final journey with Beth in the most honorable way we could. Nothing was left undone or unsaid and we see now what a blessing we were granted. The God who promised to be close beside us through Death’s Valley was present and crying with us. We were all aware of this truth, despite the awful load of pain.
While the conversations described in Heartbreakingly Beautiful were the last ones Beth was able to have with us, right until the final weeks she surprised us with little words that popped out. She was able to say, “I love you” to us a few times, even if just mouthing the words. I remember that her first word on this earth was “dad” and it turned out that her last word in this life was “mum”. Once, as I sat with her during this time, I told her that she was absolutely amazing. I did not expect a response but she mouthed to me, “You are.” All these words were precious last gifts from our daughter.
Words are so powerful aren’t they! The Bible tells us in Proverbs 18:21 that the power of life and death are on the tongue. Whether or not we are granted the blessing of actually speaking out our final words to our loved ones, we have the opportunity right here and now to BE Speakers of the Word – the most sacred words of all.
In recent weeks we have been thinking about what it means to BE Hearers and Doers of the Word. In recent years, I have been challenged not just to hear the Word and obey it – but to also speak it out!
The Word of God is powerful, living and active (Hebrews 4:12) and for those of us who have been blessed with tongues to use, we are invited to open our mouths, join in the chorus and let those words of life flow out! I believe that the most valuable gift we offered to Beth in her time of need was speaking out loud the words of Scripture. Jesus Christ, the Word of God (John 1:1-5), is constantly speaking over and into our lives – and His words are life indeed!
There are many words we can say in times of crisis. There are many good and beautiful things that can be said during times of great sadness and these can certainly bring a measure of comfort. But when we choose to BE Speakers of the Word, we choose the better way, the sacred way that sows eternal life into our own lives and into the lives of those who are willing to hear. These words arm us with all we need to journey through the mountains and the valleys of life. Yes, the mighty words of Scripture introduce us to THE WORD and at the end of the day, He is all we need!
“May the words of my mouth and the mediations of my heart be pleasing to you, O Lord my rock and my redeemer.” (Psalm 19:14)
Songs to encourage you:
The Word by Jordan Worner
Say Goodbye Sanctus Real
Books to build you up:
Praying God’s Word by Beth Moore
Praying the Names of Jesus by Ann Spangler