Many messages give a beautiful portrayal of death being the glorious graduation of a long, dedicated life. But there is also a time to fight and to lean upon the promises of God:
“With long life will I satisfy him, and show him my salvation.” (Psalm 91)
I can think of another story by that revivalist and master storyteller R. W. Schambach.
He was conducting a crusade of several days in an assembly hall and he was approaching the end of the final service. Suddenly he could see a woman of middle age coming down the centre aisle with a look of grim determination and with a bundle in a blanket over her shoulder.
She blurted out, “Preacher I got no more time! My man is dying of cancer! Here, look.”
With that she lay down the bundle carefully and unrolled it to reveal a terribly gaunt but tall man clothed only in his pyjamas.
“Pray for him, that he might recover and soon. The doctor has given him only a couple more days. Now, man do what you’ve been called to do!” She added, “He is a Christian man.”
The ghostly shape in the blanket nodded and peered at Schambach through watery eyes. In telling the story Schambach interjected that it was one of those times when he had to determine whether he was sent of God “or just went”. He applied the oil. The prayer was short although impassioned. He called upon the saints in the hall to add their agreement to the petition. He then added, “God bless you Brother. Woman, take your man home and believe God no matter what you see. I expect you both to come back to another meeting and report.”
Schambach’s ushers gentled the couple out of the hall and toward their parked car…
I cannot now remember the interval, but another crusade occurred and a healing line was arranged after the praise and message. At one point a tall man approached Schambach, full and strong, and picked the evangelist up off the ground jumping around.
“Put me down, put me down, man! What’s gotten into you. I’m having a meeting here!’
You’ve guessed it. It was the man in the blanket, whole and well, and serving in Gospel ministry. He briefly told his story.
With that the broadly smiling evangelist interjected, “Pick me up, pick me up, man! We gotta dance!”
Never underestimate the power of a stubborn, faithful, praying woman of God.