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When death comes knocking

By Judith Victoria Hensley

Plain Thoughts

None of us expect to answer a knock at the door and find the Grim Reaper standing there. And yet, there will be a day in our lives when that final knock will happen. We will not live forever. I believe that when my days on this earth are complete, I will find angels knocking on my door who have come to escort me home.

A cousin passed from this earth this week, Sherry Smith, wife of Stanley Smith. My memories of her all include smiles and laughter. She found joy in life and in the simple things. I can only imagine that when her door was open to eternity and her escort was there to meet her that she laughed with delight on that journey of crossing over and was in total awe and squeals of wonder at her new home.

I’m not afraid of facing the end of my days. I’m more afraid of living and not doing all that God intended me to do in this life. I don’t want to get to heaven and see what I might have been compared to what/who I actually am. I spend too much time fretting about people and things I cannot change.

During the last few months of my life when I was facing health issues, I didn’t worry about myself or what the future would hold. When I heard the Spirit of God within me ask, “Judy, do you trust me?” I had no problem proclaiming that I did. I trust God with my life, my health, wealth, and even death. Most of the time I spent worrying during those challenging months was about my mom, dad, brother, son, and grandchildren. I could not be there for them in the ways they and I were used to. My ability to do anything for others became very limited during that season.

The same voice said to me, “Either you trust me IN ALL, or NOT AT ALL.”

What a shock! It was true. I could trust for my own well-being, but I found myself grieving about my mom and dad, in particular. If I wasn’t available to be there for them, what would become of them? God allowed me to experience exactly what would happen, even if He called me out of this life. He loves my mom, dad, brother, son, and grandchildren far more than I will ever be capable of doing because I am only human. God’s care for us comes in many forms.

My brother stepped up and covered almost all the doctor’s appointments. When he couldn’t, family and friends in the community made sure they were taken care of. Just as I never lacked someone to be with me for each of my doctor’s appointments and radiation treatments, God provided for me and for them. I have learned a lesson in trusting the faithfulness of God working in our lives.

None of us like to think of what our exit event will be that takes us out of this world. Perhaps it will be a car wreck, gunshot wound, fire, drowning, heart attack, cancer, pneumonia… the list of possibilities goes on and on. To those left behind, that final event is a memory for the rest of their lives. For the person crossing over, I don’t think it really matters to them at all as long as Heaven is their destination. I believe we shed this skin, this earth suit, with great joy and a sense of freedom we’ve never known before if we’ve made things right with God before we go.

When the final knock sounds on my door, I hope I will respond with peace and joy, knowing that I’ve finished my course, I’ve run my race, I’ve done what I was put on this planet to do, and am looking forward to the new adventure on the other side of that door.