May the God of peace be with you

Today’s readings are from Philippians 4:8-23 and Ruth 4

It is only the first of November as I write this reflection.  I am sitting at the bedside of my father in palliative care at Port Kembla hospital. He has a short time to remain on this earth and each day becomes more of a struggle as he battles mesothelioma.  I am grieving as I sit here, not just for his suffering, but for the fact that he doesn’t want to know who Jesus is.

What does Dad think about? His mind is still sharp and clear. We chat about the past, his early years in England, the war, his marriage, building our family home, his work and friends, current affairs and politics.  Are these things honourable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, excellent and worthy of praise? Yes of course, so many wonderful memories.  But do these things bring comfort and peace?

While he sleeps, what do I think about? I am thankful and grateful for the care he is receiving at this special place but I also feel a great and heavy sadness as I see his body suffering, and I am fearful for what lies ahead for him if he doesn’t come to know Jesus as his Saviour.  Then, as I re-read the passage, verse 11 reminds me that the author Paul says, I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.

How can I be content when I feel so low?  Verse 13 reminds me: I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.  My faithful Heavenly Father will support and guide me through any possible situation that I might face.  Over many years I have heard and learned about Jesus and have a clear blueprint to follow.  If I can put into that into practice, I know that the peace of God will be with me.  But what to focus on, what to practise?

I focus on Jesus and His love for me, His death for me and feel humbled and in awe.  I focus on prayer as the Holy Spirit guides my thoughts and groanings and know with certainty that I am being heard.  I remember the care and love people have shown me during this sad time and feel grateful and encouraged.

It is now the 8th of November. Today as I sat with Dad I read to him from John’s gospel.  I talked to him about Jesus and His love and sacrifice for all of us.  Dad lay unmoving, with eyes glued closed from medication, but I know he could hear me.  I can say, I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.

And my God will supply every need of mine according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.  To our God and Father be glory forever and ever.  Amen.

Dad – 16.3.23 – 12.11.13

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7 thoughts on “May the God of peace be with you

  1. Iris, I shed tears for you as I read this. So beautiful and yes inspiring and yet heart-wrenching. Have been praying for you since I heard your Dad had passed, and will continue to do that. So grateful that we can share in our community the highs and lows of our lives. Love Penny and all the Cross clan xx

  2. Wow Iris. Thank you so much for that very moving, window into your heart post. Our prayers are with you and Rob and the rest of your family. What a wonderful reminder of the peace we have in Jesus, and the great need that our own family has to hear about what Jesus has done. Your boldness in speaking to your dad about Jesus is inspirational.

  3. Wonderful trust in The Lord and God’s word through such sadness. Thank you for sharing & encouraging us Iris

  4. I too shed a tear as I read your post Iris. We weep with those who weep. I’m sure that Gods comfort is with you at this difficult time.
    When I have had to endure the heart wrenching time of a loved one dying and not knowing where they stood with God all I could do was trust that God can never make a mistake and that He and only He can see the heart of a person.
    I think I’m going to get lots of surprises when I get to heaven because I’m sure there will be people there whom in my humaness thought they wouldn’t be there. I can leave that up to God Who is perfect. I guess the reverse is also true, people who I thought would be in heaven won’t be there. I am thankful that we don’t have to carry that burden of not knowing where people we love will spend eternity, that’s Gods buisness and we can rest in that because we know our Father Who is perfect in every way. Love and prayers Connie xxoo

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