There are some times when I read the Bible and I just have to step back and go "wow!". Hebrews 11 is one of those places. If you begin reading it, you'll find a list of heroes there and descriptions of just what they did. It builds and builds, and each one leaves you wondering how in the world did those early believers stay true to God, given what they went through for Him. It ends with this:
We have stories of those who were stoned, sawed in two, murdered in cold blood; stories of vagrants wandering the earth in animal skins, homeless, friendless, powerless—
38 the world didn't deserve them!— making their way as best they could on the cruel edges of the world.
39 Not one of these people, even though their lives of faith were exemplary, got their hands on what was promised.
40 God had a better plan for us: that their faith and our faith would come together to make one completed whole, their lives of faith not complete apart from ours. Hebrews 11:37-40 The Message
"Making their way as best they could..." seemed to me to fit the life of Marie Rice. I only met her a couple of times, but the last time I did, she was suffering the effects of terminal cancer, and yet, she was alive in Christ. Her faith in her time of struggle was just amazing. Even in the last couple of days, as this life dimmed and the life promised her by Jesus came into focus, she kept reminding those around her of how good God is.
Her brother Larry and her husband John were sitting beside her bed and struggling with the thought of losing her to death. As believers do, they turned to God and John said to Larry, "all I can say is what a mighty God we serve."
At that moment, Marie, who they thought was in a coma, said "Then say it."
Marie passed away Tuesday. The family will gather tomorrow night for the viewing of her body, and Friday they'll meet and her pastor will put it all into context and help the family see their path in the days to come.
Friends, Marie knew where she was going. Like Paul, she was convinced.
38 I'm absolutely convinced that nothing— nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow,
39 high or low, thinkable or unthinkable— absolutely nothing can get between us and God's love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us. Romans 8:38,39 The Message
Now Marie is with those heroes you can read about in Hebrews 11.
And you know what?
She'll fit right in.
Grace and peace,