Yesterday after a day of teaching online 12 to 2, having meetings at the school 2:15 to 4, running a few errands and teaching online 6:30 to 9:30, I decided to unwind with a movie. I watched If I Stay. It is a poignant movie about a girl in high school who is in an accident with her family. The scenes go back and forth from important moments in her life and in the hospital after the accident going back and forth between staying or dying.
Memories of when I went through my health crisis in the 1990s came back. I will never forget that night when I was home alone and thought I was going to die. The pain was that bad. I was experiencing severe muscle spasms. It seemed the end was near for me after a two year ordeal. But then I prayed.
I prayed along the lines of, “if you want to take me to heaven, that’s okay but there are more people who need to hear about you and who need help.” When I finished praying, I felt the presence of Jesus come into my small apartment and a hand on my shoulder. The pain stopped. The next day I was at the doctor and finally got a diagnosis.
That experience gave me a whole new appreciation for what Paul wrote in Philippians 1.
For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body.
If I had died that night, it would have been great for me. I would have been in heaven. But in the 26 years since that time, Jesus has blessed me with touching the lives of many. I can see it was more necessary for others that I stayed.
Even now as I live with chronic illnesses, I can see it is necessary for others that I stay. It is in the Lord’s hands for my time of departure. Until then, there are souls that need to hear, fellow believers who need strengthening. and people to help.
Thank you for reading. God Bless.