Wednesday, September 3, 2014

What will be your legacy?

          In the political world we often hear the term legacy overused. As Obama's term moves to its end, everyone is speculating about his legacy. Each of us leaves something behind after we are gone. It may be good or otherwise. Have you considered what your legacy will be. I have to admit, I have been too busy trying to keep up with God's plans for me to even consider what my legacy would be. But a member of a former church left a great legacy 
Bessie, at age seventy five, was one of the happiest people alive. Each Sunday morning she would stand up in front of the church and gives thanks to God for all He is doing in her life. Each morning she opened her eyes and praised God for another day. When you met her on the street she seemed to bubble with joy and excitement. It seemed totally out of place for someone dying of an incurable cancer. She had accepted her condition and knew it was only a matter of time when her eyes would be closed forever and she would greet Jesus in heaven.
Bessie was regularly taking Chemo-Therapy which left her tired and it was difficult for her to get about. On a morning after her treatment at the local hospital, Bessie came into my office and literally flopped into the visitor’s chair. There was something different today. This was the first time I had ever seen her sad. She seemed almost depressed. My mind began to race with thoughts of bad news from her doctor, “Would we be planning a funeral in the next few days?”
Heaving a deep sigh of resignation, Bessie spoke very subdued, “I have just come from the cancer ward. There are so many patients and their families who are confused, worried, and desperate. It is so sad. My heart is breaking for them and I don’t know what I can do about it. I feel the Lord is calling me to pray for them, to cheer them up and to minister to them. But I don’t know how or what to do.”
“It sounds as if the Lord is calling you to your life purpose. And who knows, maybe you have come to this position for a time such as this.[Esther 4:14] Maybe I can help. The chaplain at the hospital is a friend. Let me make a few calls.”
The chaplain was very helpful but told me we would have to get further permission.
“Bessie, the first thing you need is the permission of the hospital. The hospital has strict rules about who can approach patients in treatment rooms. They have had some bad experiences with well-meaning people. You need to go see the chaplain and he will take you to see the Director of Patient Services who is the only one with the authority to give permission.”
A couple of days later Bessie burst into my office with a big grin on her face. “They told me I could do it.” She paused and looked confused, “But, what do I do now? Where do I start?”
I had not given it a lot of thought but the Spirit gave me the plan. “Here is the plan. You want to follow God’s lead. Go and sit in the chemo room. Just relax and look around. Soon the Holy Spirit will point out the one to whom you are to minister first. When you approach them He will give you words to say or maybe your presence will be enough. Continue to do this as long as you feel strong.”

Bessie began to see God work through her as she ministered to hundreds of people over the next couple of years. The patients and their families would look forward to seeing her. After two years of powerful, spirit-led ministry Bessie succumbed to her own cancer leaving behind a legacy of, cancer survivors, thankful families, amazed doctors and nurses, and a treatment room that had been transformed from a deathly cell into a place of hope, joy and thanksgiving even in the midst of sorrow and uncertainty.

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