All Things Are Yours

1 Corinthians 3:21  •  6 min. read  •  grade level: 6
Every possible glory is ours: relative blessedness, for we are children; associated blessedness in union with the blessed One, for we are the bride; official nearness and glory, for we are kings and priests; human blessedness, for we shall be perfect men after the image of the second Adam; corporate blessedness, for we shall joy together; individual blessedness, for we shall have a name which no one knows but he that receives it; and we shall have the fullness of the Holy Spirit dwelling in us, unhindered by these poor bodies. J.N.D.
I was asked one day to go and see a poor old woman who had for many years lived quite alone. "And now," said her neighbor, "she is dying alone, and I have my children to mind, and can only see her once a day."
Circumstances prevented my going just at once to see her, but those two words, "dying alone," rang in my ears and seemed to haunt me from day to day. To live alone appeared to me sad enough, but to die alone seemed the very depth of human misery. I was young, but had known sorrow, and had stood by several deathbeds. I had watched the last breath flicker out by the bedside of both rich and poor, but none of them had died alone. My own friends were surrounded by every luxury and comfort; everything that love could plan to make the sick-room cheerful and smooth the dying pillow was done by cheerful hands; and many cherished ones softly glided in and out with words of comfort and sympathy. I had stood, too, by the dying beds of the poor, and had watched with admiration how every nerve had been strained to provide comforts for the sick one out of the hard-earned wages; and kind neighbors were ever ready to come in and share the weary night-watch. But now a new phase of suffering presented itself-one I had not heard of before. And I oft repeated those dismal words, "dying alone!" Death on the battlefield amidst the dying and slain, or death in the crowded wards of a hospital, seemed comfort to me compared to this, and I even prayed, "Lord, may I never die alone."
Nearly a week after this I found myself on the way to see the poor creature I did not even know by name, but whose circumstances called for my deepest sympathy-"dying alone!" It was a very low door by which I entered a very small dark room; the window, but one pane of glass, scarcely giving sufficient light to show distinctly the few objects in that chamber; and it was with a feeling akin to awe I went up to the low bed in the corner and gazed upon that aged woman dying alone! It was a calm and pleasant face, though much furrowed and wrinkled by care and years; her silvery hair was parted upon her brow, and her white cap and sheets showed no signs of neglect; yet she was dying alone!
"Sit down, Miss," she said with a kindly smile; my neighbors told me you would come some day, but I thought likely I would be gone home before you came; but now I hope you have brought me some good word about the Lord."
"I have His Word in my pocket," I said.
"Ah! that's well; His own Word is better than anything we can say. Read for me please."
As I turned from passage to passage of the blessed Book, her aged eyes beamed, and her whole soul seemed to drink in the precious words; and as I prayed with her before leaving, she joined with me in every petition. As I parted from her, I expressed my surprise that she could be so full of peace and joy when dying alone.
"Christ is with me," she said, "and when you have known Him as long as I have known Him, and proved His love as long, you will not wonder. I've known Him more than twenty years, and I've lived much of that time alone with Him; and now I've been dying these six months past, alone with Him, for few come to see me, and there's few I care to see, for I've Christ always with me, and there's no solitude in that."
I came away from that humble dwelling with very different thoughts from those with which I had entered it. God had a new lesson for me through His aged saint. Her calm face and joyful answer, "Christ is with me," opened up to me depths in Him hitherto unknown; for though I knew Him as my Savior and Friend, He was not as yet everything to me. I saw this aged servant of Christ many times after this, and learned from her what I believe I have never forgotten. One day she told me that she had asked the Lord, if it were His will, that someone might be with her when she breathed her last.
"Why?" I asked, thinking she was dreading to die alone.
"Because, if no one saw me die, they would not know I was as happy to die as to live; for Christ is with me now, and shall be with me then, and I shall be with Him forever."
Each day, as I left her, I saw she was passing quickly to her desired haven. She had few earthly comforts save those the Lord privileged me to take her; yet she was full of joy and thankfulness and unclouded peace.
One day I knocked as usual at the door, but got no answer. "Oh," I said, "has she died alone?" With breathless anxiety I opened the door; her hands were clasped, her lips moved in prayer. I stood in silence till her eyes opened and she saw me.
"You've come to see me die," she said. "Sit down. If it was not for others, I would rather be alone with Christ, but you'll stay till the end."
Then in thoughtfulness for me she said, "Oh, but you are young, and you may not like to see anyone die."
"Yes," I said, "I should like to be with you." Pointing to her well-worn Bible she said, "Read once more the last verses of Rom. 8"
"For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."
As I closed the Book, I was about to ask her if I should pray. I observed a slight movement of the eyelids, she gazed upwards, a radiant smile lit up her features, and her happy spirit was with the Lord. I knelt and closed her eyes, drew the sheet over the pale face of death, came out, locked the door, and having made a few arrangements with her neighbor as to her remains, I returned home.
The lessons learned in that little room were precious to me. Dear reader, have you learned anything from reading this simple account of one who was truly satisfied with Christ? Can you say, "This is the Christ I have got. He is everything to me, if called to live alone; everything to me if called to die alone. A Christ who is above, and beyond, and over every earthly circumstance-a Christ who thoroughly satisfies my heart?"