Yesterday was hard.
Over the last month I have watched my husband fight through the worst kind of pain as he battles stage four colon cancer.
He had pain suddenly attack him, and was in and out of the hospital four times in the last month. They worked tirelessly to try and get his pain under control. He was on every kind of pain medication they have. They loaded him up, yet still couldn't get the pain under control.
Finally, last week he was sent home with a 50 mcg fentanyl patch and pills to manage the pain. That seemed to keep it under control, but the effects of narcotics change a person. Pain changes a person.
After a few days he realized that the pain seemed to have subsided and he lowered the patch to a 25 mcg dose. He kept that on for a day and still had no pain. He decided to get rid of the patch completely and see how he felt. He took it off and stopped the pills, he had NO PAIN! Thank you Jesus!
He has been on heavy duty opioids for the last month, both through iv's, patches and pills. While a month isn't super long, we still expected some minor withdrawal symptoms. I was not expecting it to be as bad as it was.
Yesterday was the worst of the withdrawal. My husband was so emotional and completely overwhelmed. He had so much anxiety, panic and fear. He had chills, trouble breathing, throwing up and was completely tormented.
I write all this for one reason though. The worst thing for him was the fear he had of being alone. He was scared. He didn't want me to leave him, otherwise he was overwhelmed by the terror. He wanted me right by his side.
I did my best to comfort him. I prayed with him, read bible verses and encouraged him. I told him that this was not going to last, and that he would feel back to himself very soon. He said he felt trapped inside his body. I have never seen him have so much anxiety.
It struck me really hard when I saw how scared he was of being alone. It was complete fear, that to me, was unreasonable because he wasn't really alone. It really made me think. The devil is such a liar, trying to scare Dustin with fear of loneliness, even though it was so far from the truth.
The Bible says that our God will never leave us or forsake us. (Deut. 31:6)
I don't think I have valued that scripture as much as I should. It's one of those verses that is casually quoted so often that it can lose its meaning.
The truth is, as believers, we are never alone. We always have the companionship of the Comforter, the Holy Spirit. Just because we don't acknowledge him often doesn't mean he isn't there. Many of us have taken him for granted.
Yesterday, I caught a teeny, tiny glimpse of the pure horror people encounter when they die without Jesus.
Think about the person you love more than anyone in the world. Is it your spouse? Your kid? Your parent? Imagine that person slipping into eternity, never to be seen by you again. Imagine if they never saw another soul for all of eternity.
Imagine how terrified they would be to face the horrors of hell ALONE. Completely separated from every human and worst of all, Jesus. The person you love would be so scared and you wouldn't be able to comfort them or help them, nobody would.
God is love. Perfect love casts out fear. I was able to hug and comfort my husband, speaking God's word to him and praying for him. The Holy Spirit was right there with us, comforting both of us.
Imagine if Dustin didn't have that? Imagine if he truly was alone, slipping into eternity completely and utterly hopeless and alone to be tormented forever. Without God there is no love, therefore fear cannot be expelled.
Hell is a place full of fear and no help. It's a hopeless place of terror and eternal loneliness. There will be no companionship or comfort in hell.
We need to get a grip on this reality. People slip off into eternity every minute of every day and many of them are going to a place where they will be terrified and tormented for the rest of eternity.
Dustin and I talked about this yesterday. We were both sobered by the reality that so many people die without Jesus. They die alone, and spend eternity scared and tortured.
All the struggles and what we have gone through suddenly slipped away from my mind. I became consumed with gratitude for what Jesus has done to save us from hell and the grave. There aren't enough words to describe how thankful I am that Dustin knows Jesus. There is nothing in this world that is more important that knowing him.
Your salvation is not something you can do alongside other people. Your salvation is between you and God. It is a decision you must make to follow him- alone. Nobody gets to come with you. They have to decide alone too.
If you don't know Jesus, but you want to, its very simple. He loves you. He died for you. He rose again on the third day for you. He took the punishment of hell for you. Will you accept him? Will you say yes to his sacrifice? Will you let him save you?
If the answer is yes, just talk to him. Tell him to come into your heart and life. Turn away from your old life and follow him. It's not complicated. It is not a religious program. Its a relationship with someone who loves you more than anything.
You will never be alone again, not for all eternity.
Pray this prayer,
"Jesus, thank you for dying for me. Thank you for taking the punishment for my sin. I accept you as my Lord, and the Savior of my spirit, soul and body. Come into my life and make me new. I turn away from my old life and follow you from this day on. Amen."