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Two Sundays ago, I received a letter from someone who has read my book Walking Along the Narrow Path. It was handed to my beloved husband in church. It was from a relative of one of our sisters-in-Christ. She belongs to another Christian congregation and according to her letter, she got hold of my book when someone from our Church lent it to her.
She said she read the book in two days with her sister who was sick of cancer. They started to read on Holy Thursday and finished it on Good Friday. She said that after they finished reading, she prayed for me. The next morning, Saturday, her sister died. But she continued to write, “I loved everything you wrote in your book.”
I cried when I read her letter. Two things instantly came to mind: while I was busy tending our home and my blog, someone was busy dying; and, why did they choose to read my book when they knew the hour was near?
Stories like this reminds me of the fragility and brevity of life. It also reminds me to cherish each moment that I’m given and to thank the Lord for it. And once again, I was reminded that my complaints, even though most of them are silent, are selfish. I was hushed by this poignant letter and made me look deeper inside again. Often, we see other people and their good lives and we feel a tinge of self-pity, and tend to forget that there are others whose lives are excruciatingly hard and are enveloped with hurting and suffering.
These painful reminders make me realize that, really, the most excellent thing to do is to live in daily deep gratitude to God.
Going back to the letter, she said that her sister Analyn, though she could no longer read, knew everything about me and our family by the time they finished the book. They read the book in two days. Analyn died on the third day. She was already that sick. The Holy Bible is the most important book of all, nothing can ever substitute it (“The Word is God”, I love it with all my heart), why did they choose to read my book before she died? It pained me just to think about it.
Then I remembered, the last chapter of my book is Heaven is Waiting, and the opening verse is this:
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. (Rom. 8:18)
Then, I proceeded to discuss the promises of the Lord Jesus Christ in the Book of Revelations. Among the many Scriptures that I quoted in the book and in that last chapter, Analyn, though very sick, should have heard her sister read this:
And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away. (Rev. 21:4)
Since the letter-sender gave me her cell phone number, I asked if her sister had received the Lord Jesus Christ in her life and was baptized in water in His name, and she answered, yes, a few months before she died.
At that I was comforted by the thought that Analyn heard the promises of the Lord hours before she died, even just through my book, and I believe she was greatly comforted and felt the Lord’s love and embrace in those remaining hours.
It humbles me now as I ponder on all these things, how the Lord uses whatever it is in our hands for His glory and purposes, just as long as we humbly and sincerely offer it to Him. And through this, He has showered me yet again with fresh encouragement and inspiration to continue to do these things He has called me to do because I know that they are not in vain.