'Give me life through Your word.' Psalms 119:37 NLT
Jane Johnson Struck set out on a frigid winter evening to deliver dinner to the family of a friend who had died. Snarled in traffic and juggling an already overloaded schedule, she was feeling sorry for herself - and irritated when she arrived and found nobody home. Using her mobile phone to let them know she'd been there, she was dumbfounded when the answering machine kicked in and a familiar voice started singing: 'Grab your coat, collect your hat, Leave your worries on the doorstep; Life can be so sweet on the sunny side of the street.' It was her friend Annie, the one who died after a prolonged battle with breast cancer, leaving three kids and a grieving husband.
Struck writes: 'People who'd been touched by Annie's larger-than-life personality, perseverance, and testimony in the face of gruelling and unfair circumstances, hadn't expected to hear her voice on the machine. Her indomitable spirit amazed me...she'd talked openly about her prognosis, yet never hesitated to give God glory for the grace and peace she experienced. She knew that life with Jesus, come what may, was a walk on the sunny side of the street.'
The Psalmist prayed, 'Give me life through Your Word'. Struck continues: 'As I listened to Annie's voice on the machine...even in death God used her life to challenge me. I drove home pondering how He illuminates the darkest journey...how pity parties keep me from savouring life's sweetness...then asking forgiveness for my selfish attitudes. It was a powerful reminder that one day life will be complete on the sunny side of the street...in Heaven, where there's no darkness, disease or death.'
SoulFood: 2 Chron 35-36; 2 John; Luke 18:18-30; Ps 119:161-168; Pro 22:17-19