Palliative Care – The Last Struggle’s Testimony

Our daughter, Holly, has gone to be with the Lord.

Sitting at the bedside of a loved one during their last hours on this earth is often a very difficult experience.  That your love one will no longer be present in this life is hard enough, but one often has to face, even with the use of calming/sedating medication, their loved one’s struggle.  Often there is a struggle with breathing,  like they are holding onto life for all it is worth. Those watching say to their loved one, “Its OK to go” and even pray that the Lord take them soon, trusting that they will then be at peace.  Why is such struggle so common even among those who have a certain hope in eternal life with the Lord God, who loves them? Why such struggle?

Is it because of fear of what is to come?  With some it could be, especially if they have not paid attention to the love of the Lord Jesus Christ?  In Holly’s case, she has expressed trust in the love of the Lord, to the point of looking forward to being received into His presence.  Such trust makes struggle based on fear of what is to come make no sense.  So why the struggle?

According to the Bible we were not created to die. Mankind was created to live, being created in the image of the eternal Lord God.  God “breathed” life into man.  All was very good. (Genesis 1-2)  Mankind was created to love forever, to love the Lord God and to love their fellow mankind.  To love is to stick with another, no matter what and forever.  For Mankind to learn this love, God gave man a choice.  Love would choose to follow God and not eat the forbidden fruit.  Man chose to turn away from love.  They ate the fruit in rebellion against God.  (Genesis 3)  As God promised would happen, sin entered into the heart of man and man has passed a sinful heart down from generation to generation.  Push come to shove, far to often, although we know what is right, we instead do what is wrong.  The Bible says,  “Through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned” (Romans 5:12)  Sin is in us.  The Bible says, “The wages of sin is death.”  (Romans 6:23a)  Mankind, who were created alive and good chose to sin and death resulted.  Death, our last sting, is not natural.  We were created to live.

Some in the world would have us believe that death is a natural part of life, a part of the life cycle, something that is better to accept and even to celebrate.   In the Bible, death is described as the “last enemy.”  (1Corinthians 15:26)  Often, to make death seem more peaceful and natural, artificial means are needed.  The ultimate in this approach is a quick and quiet death of euthanasia.  An injection, and one drifts off into peaceful sleep.  At least that is what we are told. I suspect that even with this method of death a struggle is seen.  In palliative care we use drugs to try to settle the struggle down.  I do not believe it is wrong to use drugs in this way, but the fact that we often feel we need to is a testimony of how great the struggle.

It may appear that in death Satan gets the last laugh.  But this is not the case.  The Lord God, our creator, did not give up on mankind and leave them to death.  Not only did the Lord God not leave death under the control of Satan and evil.  The Lord stayed in control.   The creator, the author of every person’s life, also remains the finisher. (Psalm 139)  And, even in the beginning, He had a plan to destroy the power of death.  One born to the woman would crush the head of Satan, while the most Satan would do is to crush this Promised One’s heal.  This is the promised in Genesis 3:15.  The story of this promise unfolding is woven through the Old and New Testaments of the Bible.  The climax is the crucifixion, death, resurrection to life, and ascension into heaven of the Promised One, Jesus Christ.  A story I highly recommend that you immerse yourself in.

In the last struggle to live, seen at death, there is a testimony that we were not created to die but to live.  In the faith that comes as a free gift from God, a faith that leads one to believe in the glorious promise of life eternal in a new heaven and a new earth, there is a testimony of the Work of God.  This testimony includes the fact that He has not given up on us to leave us to die eternally.

Each of us has to go through our part in the struggle.  We can not really carry the struggle of someone else for them.  But Jesus can.  The Bible teaches that through the Holy Spirit, Jesus lives in those who believe.  Living in us He can truly carry our struggle with us and for us.  He can walk through this struggle in the valley of the shadow of death with us.  He knows the way because he has gone through it before.   This is what Holly has.  Her testimony invites you to cling onto this same hope.  Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you too will be saved from death to Life.

We rejoice in the Lord God, that He gave our Holly this faith.

________________

The following post is a testimony of what the Lord God gave Holly and Jeff the opportunity to say for Him.

I believe – A change of Life, A most comforting Eulogy
“Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who trusts in Him” (Psalm 34:8)

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2 thoughts on “Palliative Care – The Last Struggle’s Testimony”

  1. May the God of all comfort strengthen and comfort you in the loss of your dear daughter. I have been and will pray for your family and Jeff and his family.
    Thank you for writing this blog post. I now understand better why there can still be a struggle at the end even though one would know and was looking forward to be with his Saviour.

  2. Dr.and Mrs Kenyon , I just read your thoughts concerning the going of your daughter’ and l rejoice in what you said ,and l pray the Lord may comfort in the days to come .

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