This Is the Way; Walk in It

Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.” Isaiah 30:21

In hospice care and with only a few days remaining, our elderly friend was nearing the end of his battle with cancer, so we went to see him for what we knew would be the last time. Our visit with Bill and his wife Betty was tender and warm, though Bill’s energy had dwindled—when he did speak, it was only a whisper. At some point that afternoon, this thought silently, but certainly, came to me: “You and Betty will step away for a time, and Peggy will share the gospel with Bill.” I hadn’t experienced anything quite like this before, but the notion was so clear that I accepted it, waited, and watched. It wasn’t long before Betty said, “I need to go to the house to feed and walk the dog.” There it was, my cue! “Would you like me to drive you, Betty?” I asked. “Yes, I would like that.”

Now with only Bill and Peggy in the room, God continued to work. It was actually Bill who initiated the spiritual conversation! “I wish I knew if I was going up or down,” he said quietly, referring, of course, to heaven or hell. “You can know for sure,” Peggy said, and she proceeded to share in simple terms that eternal life is freely given to us when we receive it, trusting in Jesus’ sacrifice on our behalf and asking forgiveness for our sins. “Is this what you want?” she asked. “Yes,” he replied. They prayed together, and when they finished, Bill whispered to Peggy, “Tell Betty what I did.” Bill dies two days later. May he rest in peace; may he leap in joy.

God is working all around us all the time. So, why did He choose this moment to announce His plan to one person and then do it through others? I have no idea. Perhaps it was to clear the room for the sharing of His lifegiving gospel message and the gathering of one precious soul, or maybe it was so this story could be told for God’s glory and our hope. Certainly the entire moment exclaimed relationship!, for it was an honor to be part of it, even if my role was just to get out of the way.

Job’s friend Elihu once counseled him, “God does speak—now one way, now another— though no one perceives it.”1 I think he was partially right: God does speak, and He speaks in different ways. But can we perceive it? Yes, we can: we perceive His voice as He wills. So, draw near to Him, quiet yourself before Him, and listen for the voice that says, “This is the way; walk in it.”

Father, thank You for loving us so much that You speak to us. Quiet our soul, that we would be content to wait and ready to hear. In Christ we pray. Amen.

1 Job 33:14