She could no longer get out of bed on her own. Her moments of lucidity had disappeared. Her breathing was deep and labored. Her face looked tense. The end was near, but not near enough. All I could think was have mercy, Lord.
Mom was in her final days on hospice. Her life was coming to a close. The hospice nurses did an outstanding job helping us understand what she was going through and how to keep her comfortable. However, that didn’t make it easier. Watching her decline was difficult to watch to say the least.
In some respects it went very fast. Within six days she went from begin able to walk on her own to bedridden and then dead. All I could do was pray for God to have mercy.
The final couple of days were long watching her struggle to breathe. I couldn’t understand why God wouldn’t just take her home. Why did her body have to shut down slowly and painfully? I know I’m not the first person to ask these questions. What really is mercy in cases like this?
Mom lived into this scripture:
Surely your goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord
forever. (Psalm 26:6 NIV).
While she lived into Psalm 26, my heart was crying out Psalm 130.
Out of the depths I cry to you, Lord;
Lord, hear my voice.
Let your ears be attentive
to my cry for mercy. (Psalm 130:1-2 NIV).
Each day her breathing would become more labored. On day two of unresponsiveness, I begged God to take her home. I couldn’t see a purpose in her suffering. I will never know the purpose, but I do know there was also blessing in that time together.
Four sisters spent days together reconnecting, caring for their mom, hearing stories, laughing and crying. Each of us were able to find a blessing that had come through that time. It took Mom’s passing for us to be able to look back and see blessings, to see the gifts that were in the moments when we were crying out for mercy. One of those moments was watching Mom take her last breath and peace wash over her face. There was healing and strengthening of relationships. There was blessings found even in the time and date of her death.
I was reminded to look for God in all moments. Sometimes the gift isn’t immediately apparent, but I need to keep looking because it is there. God’s mercy is real. It was there. I just needed to keep looking for it.
How have you seen God in times when you are asking Him to have mercy? Where you able to see the gift? Share your experience here and breathe life and bring hope to others.