I have been researching family history on the web lately. It made me get out my Mother’s bible in search of obituaries and other information. This bible was actually my Grandmother’s. She received it on February 26, 1986 and later gave it to my mother when she was terminal with cancer.
During that time, I would see Mom reading her Bible, marking pages, etc. Back then, I didn’t know much about the Bible, didn’t know much about salvation, heard people talk about being “born again”, but thought they were hokey. One day at our apartment before Mom passed, she told me she wanted me to have her bible. When Mom passed, I took the bible, flipped through it and looked at the contents (obituaries, funeral cards, greeting cards), but never “read” it.
Today, as I look through it, I am finding little pieces of paper marking pages with writing on the slips of paper of scripture verses. There are quite a few. I am just now reading those verses today, over 25 years after she passed. I knew they were there awhile back, but really didn’t take the time to read them.
She would read these scriptures over and over. Her cousin, Norma, had sent her a little book with these scriptures written down, so Mom looked them up and marked them. I can only assume, she prayed that one day when she was gone, I would open this Bible up and read the scriptures as well. She likely prayed I would find my way. She likely prayed I would be ok. See, I was 19, living with my Mom in a small apartment because my Dad had left and my brothers had their own lives and kids to support. It was just her and I.
As I began to read these scriptures she marked, I could almost feel the emotions she was likely feeling; alone, scared, worried, even fearful. But it was not about where she was going. It was about me and her family that she would leave behind on July 26, 1989.
See, she never once told me just how serious her cancer was, she didn’t cry all the time, she didn’t let me see her emotions. I was probably in great denial that she was terminal. That word never even came up when I was around as she was doing her best to protect me. I can still see her smiling at me sitting in her rocker with her Bible in her hands, as I sat looking at her thinking I had several more years with her.
Tears are falling down my cheeks even as I type these words, missing her, but most of all rejoicing in the knowledge that sometime before she passed, she took the next step, prayed the sinner’s prayer, accepted Jesus’ will for her life and is with the Almighty even now. And, I will see her again because I took that step as well. I am not perfect, not by any means, but I listen and heed the Holy Spirit’s guiding, that still small voice that some call the conscience…that’s God!
So, as I sit here, getting ready to face my day at work, I read some of these verses. The very verses my Mother read every day while she was waiting on her homecoming! Can you even fathom that?
Joshua 1:9 “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go!”
Psalm 5:1-3 “Give ear to my words, O Lord, Consider my groaning. Heed the sound of my cry for help, my King and my God. For to Thee I pray. In the morning, O Lord, Thou wilt hear my voice. In the morning, I will order my prayer to Thee and eagerly watch. For Thou art not a God who takes pleasure in wickedness; no evil dwells in Thee. The boastful shall not stand before Thine eyes. Thou dost hate all who do iniquity.”
Psalm 56:11 “In God I have put my trust, I shall not be afraid. What can man do to me?”
Psalm 3:25,26 “Do not be afraid of sudden fear. Nor of the onslaught of the wicked when it comes. For the Lord will be your confidence. And will keep your foot from being caught”
Isaiah 12:2-3 “Behold, God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid. For the Lord God is my strength and song. And He has become my salvation. Therefore you will joyously draw water from the springs of salvation”
There are many, many more verses marked, but you see a trend. God will not leave us, He is our salvation and we don’t have to be afraid.
She read these, knowing and trusting that He would meet her when she breathed her last breath and that there was nothing to fear. I like to think that God allowed her to see that His will would be done in me. I know she prayed for all her kids. I am so thankful she did. It worked in my life.
Thank God for praying mothers.
Mark 16:16 “He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned”
My Mom’s cousin, Norma, marked in this Redi-reference the “Plan of Salvation” She also wrote down “Steps of Salvation” in her own handwriting. She ended it with the Sinner’s Prayer. This will always make my heart burst with happiness, because I know that my Mom read these verses daily, and prayed this prayer.
It’s a blessing in disguise that years later, I am looking through her Bible again and really reading these verses that gave my Mom hope, strength, and peace in her last days. My prayer would be that these same verses provide for myself and my family as they faithfully did for her.
I love you, Lord. You indeed hear my prayers. You are here with me right now! Praise your Great Name. Give my Mom a hug and a kiss from me, and thank her for me for being faithful to the end – just like you are faithful, to the end.