Revelation 21:5 (NKJV)
John 14:6 (NKJV)
The Beginning, Part 4
I’m not sure which part of Revelation 21:5 struck me more, “ will make all things new” or “these words are true and faithful”.
John’s vision in Revelation 21:5 says, “Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me, “Write, for these words are true and faithful.”
There have been times when I’ve prayed for people who had cancer and it broke my heart. Two specific people come to mind. The first was a young woman in her 20’s. I met her when she first started coming to the healing prayer service I headed up. For months she came faithfully. Every person on the team had prayed for her in person at one time or another. We all prayed for her during the week as well.
During that time she was hospitalized several times and since I also did hospital visits, I prayed for her at the hospital. I prayed for complete healing for her. Even as she grew weaker and weaker, I believed God heard our prayers and would heal her. When she passed we all grieved her terribly. But what I noticed toward the end is that she grew less focused inwardly and she became more concerned about those of us who had prayed for her than she was about herself.
When she passed we grieved terribly. We missed her so....
Because of my grief it took time for me to see the truth. When she was near the end she didn’t surrender to the cancer. She surrendered to life, new life. She grieved for us because she knew we would miss her. But, she had her eyes fixed on Jesus. She knew God was going to make all things new for her. She looked forward to her heavenly body and sitting in the arms of Jesus.
Some time later there was a second person we prayed for when he had cancer. He was in junior high school. He battled cancer for a long while, and near the end of his life, he changed as well. I visited him in the hospital just hours before he passed over. I went to the hospital that afternoon expecting the room would be willed with family and members of the pastoral staff. When I got to his room, I was surprised to see he was alone. We talked for a while and I was preparing to leave because I knew he was tired. He opened his eyes and looked at me and he said, “will you sing to me?”
I’d never had anyone ask me that so I was surprised. I’d sang in church choir and I’d done duets in church all my life, but I’ve never considered myself a soloist. Only my kids heard me sing by myself; I had to ask God to give me courage. So, I asked him what he wanted me to sing. He said, “you know, church songs.”
I started with “Jesus Loves Me”. When I finished, he said, sing more. So, I started singing songs we did in worship at church. I sang to him for about an hour. Every time I stopped singing he would say, “sing more”. The music seemed to comfort him. He didn’t want me to pray. He didn’t want me to talk to him, he just wanted me to sing.
His dad came in and shortly after, and the senior pastor from church came in. I motioned to the pastor that I was leaving. I sat in the hall crying and praying for a long time after I left the room. I knew that the hospital staff had called the family in. I was told later that his mother was at the hospital as well, and she was with a host of friends who were helping her and praying for her. I’ve miscarried but I’ve not lost a child I’ve loved and cared for...I can’t begin to imagine what this mother went through.
He passed soon after.
Years later (following Seminary pastoral counseling classes) I realized the boy knew he was standing at heaven’s gates. He could barely hear the angels singing. That was why he wanted to hear the singing. He was resolved to seeing Jesus face to face. He wanted to be fully healed.
He was healed.
Now in this era, we experience healing when we pass. We are fully cared for by God. One by one we are healed. But according to John’s revelation, when the New Jerusalem comes God will make ALL THINGS NEW all at once. The earth and everything in it will be healed and made whole. Heaven and earth will be UNITED and all things will instantly be made whole.
I’m not sure why John followed his words about making all things new with “these words are true and faithful.” I do not believe it was a coincidence. Those words were clearly part of his vision.
John who received the revelation from God, also wrote that Jesus said, “ I AM the Way. I AM the truth. I AM the life” (John 14:6). I’ve thought about and quoted that verse a lot in my lifetime. It’s a verse that holds great meaning for me. When I struggle to see and know the path ahead, I remind myself that Jesus IS the way, and I cling to that. I do not know the way, but I don’t need to know the way. Jesus knows the way. That’s all I need to know. Look to Jesus. Jesus IS the way.
Whenever there seems to be a cloud covering what is not true and what is true, and I seek answers, I hold onto the FACT that Jesus is truth. If I am confused and feel unsure about what is right, I remember Jesus IS truth. All I have to do is look to Jesus and sit in silence with Him. That practice helps me to receive God’s truth.
Life, even in retirement can be confusing. Honestly, I worked for a corporation for the last 18 years prior to retirement, and I didn’t have to make many decisions about healthcare. When I retired, deciding which plan to go on was pretty overwhelming, and choosing which salespeople to listen to was even worse! I ended up spending a lot of time praying about what would be best for me long term. During that time I reminded myself that God IS in charge of my life because Jesus IS Life. That life begins here on earth...in the now. I rely on Jesus AS Life because He knows my future.
When John said in Revelation 21:5 that God is true and faithful, that is the truest statement I’ve known. I know that 100% of the time, I can rely on God’s faithfulness and truth.
Today’s Spiritual Practice is: Faithfulness and Truth
Sit with God and take in God’s faithfulness and truth. Let the Spirit fill you with the 100% reality of God’s promise.
In God, Deborah