Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Facing Mortality

In those days Hezekiah became ill and was at the point of death. The prophet Isaiah son of Amoz went to him and said, “This is what the Lord says: Put your house in order, because you are going to die; you will not recover.” 2 Kings 20:1

In the middle of the night, I felt Josh’s hand on my shoulder about the same time he said, “Mom.” Even grown children wake Mom when they’re sick.

I learned thirty years ago, when I first became a mother, to rise when summoned. It’s what moms do, right? J

How many times have you been awakened by a 3:00 a.m. phone call, knowing it can’t be good news? Dread fills you even before you become fully conscious. A big deal always ensues during Presidential elections as to what each candidate would do when they receive that infamous 3:00 a.m. phone call of impending disaster.

But what happens when God summons us home? As Christians, we joyfully look forward to that day.


Yes, but…if we’re honest, as mere humans, sometimes we fear death—or perhaps the moments preceding it.

I read a book a few years ago, "The Last Lecture," by Randy Pausch. It’s not uncommon for professors to give a speech framed by their impending hypothetical death. However, Pausch, a computer science professor, had recently been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer when he was scheduled to speak. He didn’t have to imagine what his final lecture would be because he gave it. Later published, it’s a beautiful book, full of humor and inspiration that he left as a testament for his small children about how to live.

“We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand." --Randy Pausch

So what would our response be if God actually told us how our days were numbered? I’ve heard some terminally ill people characterize it as a gift. Each day takes on more meaning, tastes sweeter, and time is no longer wasted on the trivial. Let’s take a look at Hezekiah’s response.

Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the Lord, “Remember, Lord, how I have walked before you faithfully and with wholehearted devotion and have done what is good in your eyes.” And Hezekiah wept bitterly. 2 Kings 20:2-3

That sounds more like what my response might be. J I’d like to think I’d be noble, but in all honesty, I can’t swear on a stack of Bibles I would.

Don’t ever be afraid to go to the throne of God boldly, even weeping bitterly, over a seemingly insurmountable problem. God can handle our human frailties. After all, He made us. He always reaches out and touches us with His comfort and mercy. And sometimes He honors the request for healing and longevity. Other times, He takes people to heaven to heal them. 

So, how did life turn out for Hezekiah?

Before Isaiah had left the middle court, the word of the Lord came to him: “Go back and tell Hezekiah, the ruler of my people, ‘This is what the Lord, the God of your father David, says: I have heard your prayer and seen your tears; I will heal you. On the third day from now you will go up to the temple of the Lord. I will add fifteen years to your life. And I will deliver you and this city from the hand of the king of Assyria. I will defend this city for my sake and for the sake of my servant David.’” Then Isaiah said, “Prepare a poultice of figs.” They did so and applied it to the boil, and he recovered. 2 Kings 20:4-7

Your needs might be serious, maybe even like Hezekiah or Pausch faced. Or they might seem minor, like Josh’s illness, yet they’re dragging you down. No matter the problem, God cares. I care. If you’d like prayer, please leave a comment or e-mail me confidential requests. Would you take a moment while you’re here to lift up those folks on the prayer list at the top of the blog? Several are battling cancer or facing family crises.

I recently joined a blog with 25 other writers called Stitches Thru Time (Whether it's a conversation with a friend, a word that is penned, or a craft that is made, everything we do leaves a stitch in the fabric of time. Join us as we investigate the stitches of the past and present...). I’ll be posting there once a month. Click here to read my devotion posted on Monday and then take a few moments to look through the other posts. You’ll enjoy devotions, craft lessons, historical posts, giveaways, author interviews, and more. There’s a little bit of something for everyone. I’ll be posting there once a month. Thanks! J

God bless,

©Laura Hodges Poole


  1. Such a timely post for me, Laura. We are in my mother-in-law's final days. We are counting each day with her now a gift, enjoying her company while we can, and celebrating her life lived so very faithfully to the Lord. She faces death so gracefully, much as she faced life.

    1. I'm glad the post was a comfort to you. Death is a tough thing for all involved. I will continue to pray for your family during these difficult days. Your mother-in-law sounds like a wonderful lady.

  2. Oct 1st marks 5 years since my dad went Home. His journey to Heaven left some amazing last impressions on me. I worked as an RN in a busy ER on night shift. I was used to death.
    But nothing could prepare me for my fathers.
    One thing that struck me was how well he handled it. Once he comprehended he wasn't going to live, he handled it with more grace than I would have. He showed so much love (even though his speech and eye sight had gone).

    Your post sort of reminds me of what I posted on Monday.

    1. I imagine handling a stranger's death is very different than a loved one. I think it's great when a person is able to show grace despite what they are facing. People like your dad are an inspiration to everyone. I haven't read your post yet, but I will. It's neat when God places similar thoughts in separate heads. I look forward to seeing what you wrote.

  3. Hi Laura, I really valued your reflection, thank you.

    I would really appreciate your prayers. I have been unwell for sometime and have made my peace with it, knowing God's plan is perfect, but lately one condition has become so hard to manage. I'm so thankful for God's help, carrying me through the storms. I'm seeking our Lord's face for His help and healing in His hands of grace. Thank you :)

    1. You're welcome, Anita. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your prayer request. I'll be praying for God's healing and comfort in your life. God bless you.