Today, You Will Be With Me in Paradise

three crosses

Are you ready for your Final Divine Appointment?
Do you know where you are going?
I would like to share a story of a patient who based her end of life treatment on her faith that the Kingdom of Heaven was near.

Three crosses on a cloudy day

Luke 23:43: Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”

This sweet elderly lady had been brought in by her family after she developed severe back pain. She was alert, but her blood pressure was dropping despite aggressive intravenous fluids for support. After quickly assessing her and obtaining imaging studies my fear was confirmed that she had a ruptured abdominal aneurysm and her diagnosis was fatal. She and I discussed her diagnosis, and that the only option was surgery. But her chance of survival was low as she had many other medical problems.

It was then that she asked me, “What would you do?”

As you can imagine in the Emergency Department (ED), it is not uncommon to see patients who are dying, and we have difficult conversations about end of life treatments. These situations are obviously very emotional requiring compassion to speak the truth and impacted dramatically by faith.

In these decisions, many patients will ask doctors the tough question, what would you, if this were you or your family. In an article by Dr. Ken Murray called, “How Doctors Die,” he points out that doctors typically chose a less aggressive end of life treatment plan because they know the limits of modern medicine.

Patients and their families, for many reasons, have a false perception concerning medical interventions. There is an expectation that there are no limits to what we can do. This creates a situation in which people may elect aggressive therapy when survival or recovery is impossible.

The conversations changed after I came to know Christ and would not only include all treatment options, but also praying for the patient and family.

In this case, it opened the door for me to ask if she knew Jesus.

She said she knew Jesus, but was afraid. She asked again, “What would you do?”

I explained that it is not out of pride or arrogance that I have 100% faith that Christ will greet us in the Kingdom of Heaven. It is in my brokenness and by God’s grace He tells us do not to be afraid for He will be with us.

Isaiah 41:13: For I am the LORD your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.

Psalm 23:4: Even though I walk through the Valley of death, I will fear no evil for you are with me. Your rod and your staff comfort me.

Given the situation, I told her I would prefer to let Christ take me home, rather than undergo medical procedures that would prolong the inevitable. As I held her hand, with tears in our eyes, she said she was ready, and she quietly went to be with Him.

I know I will see her again in the Kingdom of Heaven.

Do you know Him?
As he told the thief on the cross and his disciples…
John 14:1-4: “Don’t be worried. Don’t be afraid, for I go to prepare a place for you, and I will take you to be where I am.”

Do you know where you are going when you die? The Bible promises that when the time comes, you’ll have no reason to fear for as a child born of God, you’ll be with Him… heading home to the Kingdom of Heaven

I personally do not fear death, but I fear the “Death of the Message” we have been given and the responsibility to share with the lost.

Come, join us at Teach To Transform in the hard places where we will proclaim the powerful name of Jesus Christ.  In the time we have left, let’s bring as many home as we can.

three crossesFor His Glory,
Tom

 

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