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Hold Me Close
Photo: Siva Nadarajah
“Hold me close, Jesus,” I prayed anxiously. I’ve made prayer a part of my daily life since I was a young girl. I’d prayed for a sick dog, to find a lost shoe, or to make an “A” on a test. As I got older my requests turned more serious: a call to ministry, a godly husband, a healthy baby; but a recent prayer was bigger than all of these. I prayed for my brother’s life to be spared.

Six months ago, doctors said his cancer was inoperable and incurable. So I did what I’ve always done when I’ve had a problem—I took it to God. I took it with a mountain of faith knowing that He could heal Dan. As our family stood helplessly by him, we knew that God was our last and only hope.

No, Not Now

When the chemotherapy stopped working and it appeared that God’s answer was, “No, not now,” in my distress I became concerned about my future relationship with Him. Through emotional exhaustion I feared becoming one of “those people” I’d heard about. People who became angry and blamed God when He allowed their loved one to die. People who left Him, in bitter disappointment—staying bitter their entire lives.

In fear of losing Jesus in the middle of my grief, I prayed, “Hold me close, Jesus. Don’t let me blame or be angry with you. Don’t let me leave you when I need you the most.”

In the end, I didn’t need to worry. When my brother died three weeks ago, I ran to Jesus—not away from Him. I need Him more now than ever. To give up on God now would mean the Enemy had won. Cancer may have taken my brother’s life, but by God’s strength I won’t let it eat away at my soul.

When all is said and done, God will win the final battle for Dan—for all of us. Jesus and I are walking this sad road together. I can’t imagine walking it alone. It’s dark and lonely at times, even though I know others grieve deeply with me. God is my strength to make it through today. He’s my hope for tomorrow, for He’s promised I’ll see my brother again.

Today. Tomorrow. Hold me close, Jesus.

“He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart…” (Isaiah 40:11).

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By Nancy Canwell. Copyright © 2007 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines. Scripture take from the NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION ®.

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