Sunday, August 7, 2016

Why Am I Here?

Dear Friends,

“Why am I here?” cried Minnie as she looked around her room in the assisted-living facility. It was a nicely furnished room and her family had carefully and lovingly surrounded her with family photos and the mementos most important to her. But it was not home. It was not her house that she so loved and cherished. “Why am I here..?”

It was a small family-run facility with only six bedrooms and Minnie shared the house with five male residents. No women except for the two attendants. She craved a hamburger and her sweet potato fries but the food served was healthy, Mediterranean-style, very low sodium and, worst of all, no sweets. “Why am I here..?”

The care-givers were kind and attentive but there was really no one there to talk to, and the frequent visits from family and friends were not enough to dispel the loneliness she felt when they were not there. The older male residents in various stages of physical illness and dementia were not good company. One who suffered from schizophrenia growled demonic, animal-like noises when he saw the cross near her door as he passed by her room. “Why am I here..?” 

Minnie was becoming just plain sick and tired of her mortal body. The emphysema making it more and more difficult to breathe. The congestive heart failure causing weakening and fatigue making it difficult to even move. Emergency trips to the hospital to stabilize her condition were becoming more frequent. Minnie was just tired of this mortal life. She had the assurance that all was well with her soul and knew that the time was near for her to walk through that veil and into eternal life with Jesus. Her prayers were no longer, “Restore my health, Jesus” but had become, “Take me home Jesus to be with You.” “Why am I still here..?” 

Then one evening she was sitting in the living room talking with a 72 year old recent arrival. His son had come to visit. Minnie began to talk with the man about Jesus and she learned that he was a “Christian” by his ethnicity and culture but had never accepted Jesus Christ as his personal Lord and Savior. She spoke to him about the promise of eternal life. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16

She asked the man if he would like to receive Jesus in his heart and he said, “Yes.” Minnie prayed a prayer of salvation and asked him to repeat the words after her. As Minnie prayed with her eyes closed, she heard him repeat the words but she also heard another voice. The man’s son was also praying the words asking Jesus into his life. The next day Minnie was having difficulty with her breathing and was taken to Kaiser Hospital. While she was there in the emergency room, she saw the paramedics bring in the man who had received Jesus the night before. He was again accompanied by his son. Shortly thereafter, Minnie left the hospital and went back to the home. The man did not. He died that night. This brand-new Christian believer took his last breath on earth and his next breath in heaven in the arms of Jesus. At that moment, Minnie’s question was answered. She told me that her daughter, Annette, said to her, “If you were here for only just one reason, that was it..”

“Why am I here..?” we cry. Why am I in this place, in this job, in this situation? Why am I here in this relationship? Why am I in this old, sick body? It is in our human nature to search for the purpose of our existence and the meaning of life itself. We were created by God. The very hands of God formed us in our mother’s womb and skillfully knit us together. Psalm 139:13-16 NLT And on all who are redeemed, the Creator has set His Name and we are created for the glory of God. Isaiah 43:7 That’s why we exist and that’s why we are here in this place. Our purpose on earth is to praise and worship God. We are to proclaim His goodness and accomplish His will for our lives. That was what Minnie did the night she spoke to the man. She simply did what she had always done. She didn’t sit down with an evangelistic gleam in her eye to save a sinner. She just praised God and proclaimed His goodness. And God did the rest. 

Wherever “here” is for you, God has placed you there to glorify Him and accomplish His will for your life. Minnie showed us how to do that. She loved and glorified the Lord not just by her words but by her lifestyle. She followed Jesus and faithfully prayed every day for her family and friends. If Minnie knew you, that meant she was praying for you! On August 2, 2016, Minnie went home to be with Jesus and I can only believe that the first words she heard from her Lord were, “Well done good and faithful servant.” Now Minnie can finally say, “Thank God I’m here!”  Amen?

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