A couple of weeks ago I was awakened in the middle of the night as sometimes happens, by God, Who wanted to talk to me. He often does this as I think I tend to be so full of whatever is going on during the day that He can’t get through to me, so He catches me when I’m asleep and He can speak and I’m more able to listen. He woke me with a memory and a song. A few years ago, a dear lady in our church passed away during the church service. She had many medical issues, one of which was a heart condition. In fact, her medical problems were so many that she had many medical alert ID bracelets and necklaces on her in case of emergency. She didn’t drive, and she asked me to pick her up for church and take her home, which I was happy to do.
As we were in church we were in the worship and praise portion of our service, and the congregation was singing the song, “Wonderful Peace”, when in the middle of the song we heard a commotion toward the back of the sanctuary. Several of the nurses in our church rushed over to this dear lady to help her, and one came and spoke to my girlfriend, who happened to be diabetic and asked for some test strips, as this woman also had diabetes. She went over to help, and I continued to stay in my place singing. But the longer things transpired in the back, I grew increasingly concerned and went over to see if there was anything I could do to help. By this time the ambulance had arrived, and the paramedics were trying to assist her. She was completely unresponsive, and they were eventually able to get her onto a gurney and transport her to the hospital. While all this was going on in the back, the church was continuing to sing this old hymn. “Peace, Peace, Wonderful peace, coming down from the Father above, Sweep over my spirit forever I pray, in fathomless billows of love.” We were to learn later that this dear Saint had passed away. We knew that she had died in church, hearing the words of this old hymn, instead of at the hospital, which is what the medical team stated. She went from singing about God’s peace to experiencing it first hand as she saw the face of Jesus for the first time.
The interesting thing about all of this is, as I was talking to one of the nurses to who knew this lady’s medical history quite well, and was a good friend of hers, she made a curious statement. She said, our friend had once told her that when it was her time to go, God would let her know, and she was ready. On that very day, our friend came to church not wearing any of her medical alert identification. I began to think about when I had picked this friend up at her apartment. She was unusually quiet that morning, but I didn’t really think anything about it until later.
The words of the old hymn resonated in my heart on this early morning when God awoke me. I began to think of how awesome that must have been for her, not only to be singing about God’s peace, but experiencing it in it’s totality. She quietly slipped from here to glory in the middle of singing about her Lord. I knew God wanted me to Bible Journal on this song. I wasn’t particularly anxious about anything. We have been on vacation and have been having a wonderful time, so there was nothing that was worrying me or bothering me. But I began to look for the song in one of the many hymnals I have and pulled out the page from the hymn book and began to search for a Scripture to put with it. I came upon the verse, Isaiah 26:3, “You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you.” (NLT) As I did my journaling on this verse and hymn, I thought back to how peacefully my friend had gone to see Jesus. Those who were assisting her were not in a state of peace as they tried to help her, but the look on her face was not one of pain or concern. As the nurses and technicians were trying to help her, I remember thinking, “What a perfect song to be singing right now.”
It’s taken me a couple of weeks to get this finished, not because it is such a large task, but because we have been traveling quite a bit and visiting family, and I haven’t had the time to get it done until now. Again, I am up in the middle of the night, not because God woke me, or maybe He did, I don’t know. I’m in a little pain this morning, making it hard to sleep, but the desire to finish this page kind of haunted me, and I still am not sure what is so pressing about getting it done and this blog posted. All I know is, the memory of my friend hearing and singing this song as she stepped through the gates of Heaven, is a warm source of joy to my heart. She has been missed, but we wouldn’t want her to trade her mansion to come back here.
I don’t know if this blog is meant for someone who is going through a struggle right now, but I just want you to know, that God gives perfect peace in the midst of struggle when we put our full trust in Him. Whatever the problem, He has everything under control, He walks with you, He holds you, He loves you, and He can be trusted with your situation. You will find perfect peace in Jesus, just run to Him and let Him give you that “Wonderful Peace.”