Hope in death

Last year I lost a friend and a brother. When I saw him in early December 2012 he wanted his blood pressure checked and said he had been sick for 2 months and wasn’t getting better. He seemed mystified as to the cause and keep exclaiming about how fatigued he was. He’s lost a lot of weight and I was shocked at how small his voice was. Now mind you, it was still morning and he had just arrived from the mountains on the back of a motorbike so may have been a bit hoarse from that. I checked his BP which was high. He said he’d been to the village clinic up there and they had checked his blood for cholesterol, sugar, etc and put him on BP medicine/ He told me all his symptoms and I thought it sounded like hepatitis. Later that day I went to town and got some vitamins and some herbal liver thing and more BP medicine. A few days later he went to town to see a doctor and had an ultrasound and a chest x-ray. He had multiple abnormalities – enlarged liver, intestines, prostate and aorta – so I was a bit unsure as to what might be the underlying problem.

I left a week later and sometime after that he was hospitalized for a week. They gave him intravenous antibiotics but it didn’t seem to do anything so the doc sent him home and said he couldn’t do anything more  for him. He told the sister that the test results showed a “hole” in the liver and the upper intestine.

By January he’s not eating, but having pain attacks day and night. The No people don’t hold back when they are in pain. So it means everybody else in the tiny house is involved in the attacks. I suggested they ask the clinic for pain medicine but he said he’s tired of medicine made by man’s brain and will just trust God to do what He is going to do. Can’t argue with that I guess.

A month later….
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He continued to decline. Various people had visited, some even strangers who came because of a mutual friend. Many brought some herbal or other “medicine”. He dutifully tried them all though none helped and some seemed to even make him worse. Near the end he was having more pain attacks and was unable to eat. He became very agitated and spoke of fear of dying because of his sins. I texted some verse references to his sister, verses speaking of God’s love, His provision of forgiveness for all who confess their sin and believe in Him. Jesus has promised that whoever believes in Him, though he die yet shall he live.  God doesn’t lie, His promises are true, if we confess our sins He is faithful and just and will forgive us. It’s a promise. His sister read those passages to him in their language. Somehow, they sunk deep in his heart and he changed. It was as if all he had heard in church over the years finally made sense, he finally understood. His family says the change was dramatic. He was calm and peaceful. And several times over the last few days of his life he marvelled that there is nothing more mportant in this life than trusting in God. It was a very difficult death for the family seeing a strong healthy man in the prime of life whittled down and emaciated in such a short time. But his testimony during his last days was a bright and shining hope in the midst of an otherwise unendurable situation.

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