Last weekend it was our turn to do the Sunday service at the nursing home where my father resides. At the end of the meeting, as I looked around at all the people who had assembled to worship, my eyes focused on an elderly husband and wife sitting together. The husband had some kind of breathing apparatus and probably was on a feeding tube. I was strongly prompted to comment on the fact that a person’s physical condition does not hinder them from being ministered to by the Lord. My husband followed by sharing a testimony told by a former pastor of ours. The pastor was visiting, on a regular basis, someone who was in a coma. Every time he visited he would speak to the comatose person as if he could hear. One day the person woke up, and came out of the coma. He told the pastor that while he was in the coma he heard every word that the pastor had spoken to him.
After the meeting, as I went around the room to talk with the residents, I met a young woman whose husband was also a resident. She told me he was in a coma. Neither my husband or I realized this man was in a coma when we shared what we did. She also told me that she had to “fight” for her husband when he became ill. Now I don’t know the details, but when she said that we were talking about feeding tubes, life support, etc. Her husband didn’t seem to need any assistance in breathing (perhaps he did when he first became ill) but I think we can safely assume he is getting his nutrition via a feeding tube. She told me that she grew up like me, a Roman Catholic, but that she was now attending a Christian church. After the service my husband shared God’s Word with the man and prayed for him. Time. Precious time. This man was given more time. Time in which he may come to know the Lord.
Quality of life. How often have you heard that phrase? When the “world” uses it they mean the quality of life in the flesh. But there is more to a human being than just flesh. There’s quality of life in the Spirit, and that’s much more important. Life in the Spirit takes priority over quality of life in the flesh. But the “world” does not consider these things, nor are they able to if they are not born again of God’s Spirit.
My father’s roommate is unresponsive and on a feeding tube. His wife told me that if she did not allow the feeding tube she would be killing him. This very sweet woman and her husband are Jewish. She has allowed me to give her several bible tracts over the years, and just recently she allowed me to pray for her husband. She hugged me after I prayed. I then took the opportunity to speak a little about Rabbi Nicodemus and the new birth. At least they both had an opportunity to hear. Can we, as Christians, see a purpose for this man to still be alive?
Then there’s the question of resuscitation. What if an elderly person is resuscitated? Does that mean that they will live another fifty years, or one hundred years more? Obviously not. What if someone is put on a feeding tube. Does that mean they will live forever? Of course not. But it could give them just a little more time for the Lord to minister, especially if there is not an assurance of salvation. I ask, what’s the rush? What is the rush? I do realize every situation is different, but the more I see, the more I am convinced, that people are playing God in deciding who lives and who dies. Strong words? Perhaps. But maybe not strong at all when consideration is given to where a person will spend eternity.
1 Corinthians 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
Job 33:14 For God speaketh once, yea twice, yet man perceiveth it not.
Job 33:15 In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falleth upon men, in slumberings upon the bed;
Job 33:16 Then he openeth the ears of men, and sealeth their instruction,
Job 33:17 That he may withdraw man from his purpose, and hide pride from man.
Job 33:18 He keepeth back his soul from the pit, and his life from perishing by the sword.
Job 33:19 He is chastened also with pain upon his bed, and the multitude of his bones with strong pain:
Job 33:20 So that his life abhorreth bread, and his soul dainty meat.
Job 33:21 His flesh is consumed away, that it cannot be seen; and his bones that were not seen stick out.
Job 33:22 Yea, his soul draweth near unto the grave, and his life to the destroyers.
Job 33:23 If there be a messenger with him, an interpreter, one among a thousand, to shew unto man his uprightness:
Job 33:24 Then he is gracious unto him, and saith, Deliver him from going down to the pit: I have found a ransom.
Job 33:25 His flesh shall be fresher than a child’s: he shall return to the days of his youth:
Job 33:26 He shall pray unto God, and he will be favourable unto him: and he shall see his face with joy: for he will render unto man his righteousness.
Job 33:27 He looketh upon men, and if any say, I have sinned, and perverted that which was right, and it profited me not;
Job 33:28 He will deliver his soul from going into the pit, and his life shall see the light.
Job 33:29 Lo, all these things worketh God oftentimes with man,
Job 33:30 To bring back his soul from the pit, to be enlightened with the light of the living.