The week before my grandmother’s death, I had the privilege to be at her bedside. Her body was fragile and weak. She was heavily sedated and in and out of consciousness. She was unable to clearly communicate with anyone. At times, her mouth would move, and sounds would come out – but no words. I sat there holding her hand with tears streaming down my cheeks, telling her that I loved her. I couldn’t say it enough.
One afternoon, it was just the two of us. My father and aunt needed to do a few things and left the hospital. As I sat there in the quiet, my grandma’s eyes were open. She appeared to be alert and tracking my voice and movements. At times, she would be agitated and moan in pain. I felt a spirit of fear in the midst. I started praying out loud that God would give her rest and peace. I reminded her that He does not give us a spirit of fear but one of power and strength, and I also verbalized the promise in Scripture of His perfect peace – a peace that is different than the world around us, a peace to calm our hearts and to keep us from fear.
As I continued, she settled and grew quiet again. The cycle repeated for about an hour. When my father and aunt returned, my broken voice was singing, “It is Well with My Soul.” My father sat down in the recliner behind me. My aunt stood across my grandma’s bed from me. Soon thereafter I could hear my daddy’s voice, and my aunt joined in. My grandma was calm and at peace.
Although I knew my grandma only had a few days left on this earth, I left the hospital that afternoon rejoicing in the Lord.
What a tragedy it is to watch a loved one die. No matter how short or how long the suffering, there is always pain. There is always grief. But this particular day, the Lord reminded me of His peace. I drove the 45 miles back to the city, my windows rolled down with the sun on my arm and the wind blowing, worship music bursting through my speakers. And as I sang “How Great is Our God” by Chris Tomlin, tears strolled down my face. Goosebumps formed on my arms. I felt the strong presence of the Lord. I was grateful for it. It comforted me. He eased my fears. He gave me peace.