Firsts and Lasts

My Prayer for You

Today, June 19, 2013, we celebrated the arrival of Benjamin James, our tenth and probably our last grandchild.  On September 18, 1996, we celebrated the birth of our first grandchild, Brandon Tyler.  I pondered the words first and last as I looked in the face of this beautiful little sleeping cherub. Just moments before I held Ben, he was safely inside his mother’s womb, unaware of the journey that awaited him.  And then, there he was, taking his first breath of air – the air which will sustain him until the day he takes his last breath of air.

There were those words again – first and last.

While celebrating this marvel of new life, my husband and I knew that in just a few hours we would be returning to the bedside of his terminally ill Dad.  Dad is already experiencing difficulty getting enough air to sustain him, and beginning the journey toward what will be his last breath of air.

Contemplating this 94 year journey that he has taken since his first breath on March 24, 1919, I thought of the coming of his last breath which is creeping ever closer. As we have spent the past several days with him, I think he has some serious questions about end of life issues.  It would seem so as he has shared a few questions with his family: “why is this happening to my body?” and “how long will this take?”

I met “Dad” almost 44 years ago when I married his son.  I gave him the name, “Pop” and so as I write this prayer, I am sharing it not only with Pop, but with other dear friends who may be facing these same questions.      By his own testimony, Pop, has peace with God, and has made sure his faith is placed firmly in the Christ of Resurrection.

I pray you will have peace, confidence, hope, and security.  I pray you will be confident – not fearful, because your hope is placed not in some fantasy, or anything other than the solid promise of God that “to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.”  Confident – not fearful, because those who you have loved and who will be left behind for a season, will be okay according to God’s Word, they will have sorrow and “weeping for a night, but joy will come in the morning.”

Perhaps in those quiet moments when you are awake and alone upon your bed, you have become fearful about what lies ahead.  Death is an uncharted personal experience only because we haven’t done it before, but God gives us His Word to help us navigate this part of the journey. He says, “fear not, I will never leave you nor forsake you”, He says, “Peace I give you, not as the world gives…let not your heart be troubled, I go to prepare a place for you that where I am there you will be also.  He promises that “ Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. (1 Corinthians 2:9)

I pray you will realize that you will not take this journey alone because those who have loved you during this time on earth will be here with you until you take your last breath.  We cannot make the journey with you right now, but God who was with you when you took your first breath, even knew you in your mother’s womb and formed you in secret,…He will be with you when you take your last breath and He will carry you immediately into the beautiful city called heaven which He has prepared for you. Go with confidence that we’ll be along shortly.

Fear not, Pop…because “The Lord is your Shepherd” and He is with you all the way.
Father in heaven, please let this prayer reach into the heart of Pop, and bring quiet assurance to his spirit, because you alone God, are the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the End, the first and the last. Thank you Lord, that you there for his first breath, and you will carry him Home when he takes his last.

                                                                        This I pray in Jesus name, -Amen


2 responses to this post.

  1. Ritchie, thank you for sharing those beautiful and comforting words.


  2. Posted by Ron Barrow on June 22, 2013 at 7:44 pm

    Beautiful Ritchie. Ron

    Sent from my iPad


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