Tuesday, December 20, 2005

How can I pray...

1Thessalonians 4:13 But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve as do the rest who have no hope.

1Corinthians 15:19 If we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied.

Dear God! How does one pray for someone to die? We spend most all of our prayer time praying for healing, so how can I now pray for someone to die? He’s my Daddy for God’s sake… How God, how…

I have said - repeatedly - that I am “pro-life.” I have said, “I will not hinder God’s timing (by artificial means) but neither will I hasten it!” But now, God, how can I sit here day after day and listen to those short “puffy” breaths and wonder… “How long, oh Lord, how long…” I catch myself listening, and if they “falter” my heart sinks just a little…

How can I give him morphine and pain killers and keep wondering just whose “misery” I am keeping him out of… But, I know, God. I know, when I don’t give them, he is gasping for air, or gurgling like he is drowning, and he really is in agony. But I can’t keep from wondering, isn’t there more I could have done?

And while I’m at it - why am I not more “tore up”? Why don’t I cry more? How can I go about daily chores and walk by his bed as if he is just sleeping?

God! Do I really have this much faith, or am I calloused? Am I hard-hearted? Am I unfeeling? Surely others think I am, anyway.

Ever since Your gift of faith and grace in the death of my Mother, I’ve felt this way. And I know others don’t understand. I keep thinking that it’s like Paul says in Thessalonians and Corinthians - we just don’t grieve like those who have no hope. And, if this life is all there is, then yes, we are of all people, the most pitiful.

But then, I wonder - is that just my excuse - my rationale

I know, Lord, that without a pure undiluted miracle, he cannot get well. That lung cancer will continue to grow until it consumes his entire lungs. But still, I feel so - guilty - for wanting him to be taken “home.”

There, I can’t even bring myself to say it, God. How can I even say, I want him to die - that goes against everything I’ve ever been taught - against every prayer I’ve ever prayed. And yet, this is no life. But again, whose “misery” do I want him out of?

Father, I submit myself to You. I submit my entire being; my heart and all of my emotions. I submit my fear, my guilt, my grief, my impatience, and my hurt - for God, it does hurt - even if I am assured of the future; even if I am confident of his (and my) salvation; even if I know “in My Father’s house are many mansions…”

And so I will go along day to day and listen to those “short puffy breaths” for as long as You deem it necessary. And when they stop, I will bury my Daddy, and then turn my eyes toward heaven - For You are God, and You know what is best…

And, it is in the name of Jesus, the first-born of the dead, that I lift my struggle and my pain to You - in His name I pray - Amen.

December 20, 2005


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