Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. Psalm 23:4
For those of you who may have been on a distant planet for the last decade, Justin Bieber is a singer. Actually, Justin Bieber is a very rich, very successful singer who has grown up in front of large crowds, screaming teenage girls, and adults who don't quite manage to see what the big hubbub is all about.
Although he seems to be getting things under control, his public life has not been without a stumble or two.
Even so, recently Mr. Bieber received a glowing report from the mother of a nine-year-old girl.
It seems that last May Mr. Bieber took time out of his busy schedule and paid a visit to Kaylee Drew who was suffering from acute myeloid leukemia. Stopping by the girl's hospital room Mr. Bieber made that girl feel, at least for a while, first-rate. Drew's mother wrote, "I need to make sure you know how much you made her happy."
The mother shares, at the end, when Drew was unresponsive, a Justin Bieber song played into her earphones managed to make her smile.
Now I have to admit, Justin Bieber's songs don't get my feet to tappin' and my hands a-clappin'. That being said, I have to applaud and appreciate anyone who manages to brighten the last days of a dying child.
If that is the case for a rock star who paid a one-time, short-term visit to Kaylee, what ought to be the world's response to the Savior?
You know, when Jesus enters an individual's life, it isn't for a stolen moment or two. No, when Jesus comes, He comes to stay.
That is why, over the centuries, He has been by the deathbeds of the rich, the poor, the young, the old, the parents, and the children. He has been there when death came quietly, and He was there when death gave a long-time warning. Jesus was there when the dying individual was alone, and He was there for the person surrounded by a host of family and loved ones.
But there's more to be said about the Savior's presence when a person dies.
We need to remember that when the physician is helpless and the medicine is ineffectual, Jesus is doing some of His best work. He who died so we might be forgiven and adopted into God's family of faith is there to take us through the valley of the shadow of death. He is present to assist the dying and comfort the mourning.
He is there -- and because He is -- when death comes calling, we need not be afraid.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, the time is coming when I will leave this world. May I be comforted by the knowledge that at that time I will not be alone. On that day the Savior will take me to a reunion in heaven that will never end. In Jesus' Name I give thanks. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries
To Download Devotion MP3 to your computer, right click here and select "Save Link As" or "Save Target As" or "Download Linked File As"