Offering Hope and Encouragement in the Midst of Sorrow

                                           Heart Attack

The words underlined in Jim's Bible spoke to his understanding of life. "Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away." James 4:14

It’s December 31st and I am sitting here thinking about how fast this year has gone by. It was a year this past November that Jim went to heaven. It seems like yesterday. It still doesn’t feel real. I know that Jim is no longer here but his memory is always with us. He would want me as well as our children, to be strong. I want to share with you what is sustaining me and my children. 
Jim loved to visit his family in North Carolina every fall. I used to go with him, but in the last few years I stayed home because my dad could not be left alone. Jim didn’t mind the 12 hour ride and this time he took our dog Bernie for company.

He got to North Carolina and had a wonderful time with his family and grandchildren. On November 6th he started heading home. He called me around 5 :00 P.M. from his cell phone and told me that there was a license plate in front of him that read Joshua1:9. I looked it up for him while he was driving, read it to him, and he thought it was really nice.

He called later at 8:30 and said he was tired and he was going to stop and stay overnight at a hotel. He called me the next morning (November 7th) and told me he was not feeling well. He eventually was admitted to a hospital in Martinsburg, Virginia for a heart attack. He lived for 2 weeks and he needed a new heart. He was never unconscious, was talking and after 7 days he was walking around. We spent 2 weeks together in the hospital. We laughed and had a good time.  We never talked about him not making it. He didn’t want us to think that he would not be here. The doctors did tell us that he was very sick, but each day he seemed to have gotten better. But on November 21st Jim passed away. We never got to discuss Joshua1:9, and I actually forgot about it.

It was Christmas morning (2002) and my brother in law Jerry called to say hello. He was telling me how Jim liked the verse Joshua 1:9. I got so excited when he said it because I remembered how Jim saw that license plate on the road. I quickly got my Bible and noticed that it was circled. It read, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go”. I knew right then and there that the Lord had Jim see that scripture verse so he would always want me to be strong. I also believe that Jim liked that verse so much that the Lord used it to help him in the hospital. A few months later, I was in the kitchen and I was looking at the newspaper clippings and some cartoons that Jim stuck on the refrigerator. There was a book mark that was underneath one of the articles and the only thing that you could see was my name LINDA on the top of the book mark. When I pulled the book mark up, I couldn’t believe what was on it. It was Joshua 1:9, written out. The book mark was on the refrigerator for over 2 years and I never knew that the scripture verse was on it! I also had bought a series of music that is called “God Will make a Way”. I never played the bonus CD and when I did, they sang the scripture verses of Joshua 1:9.

I know that some of you are reading this and wondering how this could be? I know that it was God that wanted me and my family to have this verse so we can lean on God and believe how real the Lord is. I don’t want you to think that I am strong on account of my own strength. I have my days but knowing that God is sovereign and that He does have a plan for us helps me each day to remember that everyday is a gift and that we are here for a reason. I would rather have Jim here than in heaven, but I am learning more each day that we don’t have control over what we wish we could change. It is still painful for me as well as other family members and friends that Jim is not here .We do grieve but we grieve with the confidence and assurance that we will be reunited again!!!1Thessalonians 4:13- reads, “But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve, as do the rest who have no hope.”


                        James 4:13-17 (KJV)

Go to now, ye that say, Today or tomorrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain:

Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.

For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.

But now ye rejoice in your boastings: all such rejoicing is evil.

Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.