Bob was one of the groomsmen in our wedding. He and my husband, Doug, go back to high school days. In the last 15 or so years, they lost contact. Bob moved. We moved. We tried to find him but couldn’t. Finally, in late August Bob called. He and Doug arranged to have coffee on Monday morning. Sunday evening Bob’s son called with a message. His dad had a massive stroke. He was on life support.
Instead of meeting his friend at the coffee shop, Doug met Bob in ICU.
On the way to the hospital, Doug prayed for an opportunity to speak with Bob privately about eternity. As so often happens when death is near, God took over the comings and goings of family and staff. Doug spent 20 uninterrupted minutes alone with Bob.
In that 20 minutes, Doug prayed over his friend and assured him that Jesus was with him. He told Bob he could respond to Jesus in his mind, that he didn’t need audible words. Doug felt God’s presence with them. That hospital room became a sanctuary. .
That was Tuesday. On Wednesday, Bob died.
Doug grieves the loss of a long-time friend. It’s always painful to lose people who share our history. He looked forward to seeing Bob again, laughing with him over their mis-adventures and fishing trips. He wanted to catch up on recent happenings. Instead, God appointed Doug to take His message to Bob.
Bob’s death was no surprise to God. He brought them together so that one who knew could share His message with one who didn’t.
When death knocks, God answers. He moves close to the dying. One last opportunity to receive Jesus is all many people need. Like the thief on the cross they believe with their last breath.
We go through most of life with little understanding of how much God loves us. How much does He love us? Enough to insert Himself into our last moments. Enough to have the last word. Death never has the last word. Always and forever that honour belongs to the Heavenly Father. It’s a triumphant word! Full of love and life.
The last few words of the Bible record these words of Jesus: “Come. Is anyone thirsty? Come! All who will come and drink, drink freely of the water of life.” (Rev. 22:17)
God’s last word to Bob was this – “Come.” It’s the only word that matters. The only action that ushers us into God’s house where we’ll live forever with Him.