Pauline Sadler, age 89, married 69 plus years to Geary Sadler, died Saturday (July 26, 2008) night at 8:45 (eastern standard time) was/is the mother of my best friend and wife of 32 plus years, Faith.
Pauline was precious, Godly, strong, a person of powerful convictions, and unwavering in her love. She is the person my dad had in mind when he would talk about "her face is set toward heaven like a flint!" That was Pauline, her singular desire was to be like Jesus Christ in every area of her life. She was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer some 8 weeks ago and knowing that her father died of the same and how her father died caused some anxiety in Pauline's heart. Pancreatic cancer is vicious, swift and severe, the pain is excruciating, the stomach wrenches in spasms, the body burns with fevers of exceeding 104 degrees, in a word, it is horrible!
I asked her how she managed her fears and she smiled and told me of the countless Psalms she had committed to memory and said, "John Mark, if I can bring my mind to focus on the content of the Psalm my fears go way." Listen, when she paid attention to the Psalms she could not pay attention to her fears and they would subside। She truly exercised what St। Paul described in Philippians 4:8 "brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is worthy of respect, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if something is excellent or praiseworthy, think about these things…" And you know the God of Peace kept her heart and mind free of those fears।
Maybe you have heard that FEAR is best understood as False Evidence Appearing Real and that the word FEAR appears about 365 times in the Holy Bible and that most of those occurrences are statements such as; "fear not", "don't be afraid", "you have not been given a spirit of fear." Someone told me that God put that in Scripture because we should not be afraid but I think they are there because HE knows that each of us will face fear in this world. Pauline faced her fears with grace, love, and the EXCELLENCE of TRUTH…in the face of LOVE and TRUTH, fear wilts and is no more.
Days like these calls upon our faith because our faith is the only sensible thing we possess…it is during these times my mind is drawn to some gospel songs and I sing them over and over, maybe you remember as well:
"Known only to Him, are the great hidden secrets
I fear not the darkness when my flame shall dim
I know not what the future holds but I know Who holds the future…
It is a secret, Known only to Him…"
And then, there is the one that is part of this BLOG'S title…
"Just think of stepping ashore
and finding it Heaven,
of touching a hand and finding it God's
of breathing new air and finding it celestial....
of waking up in glory and finding you are Home..."
That is what Pauline did tonight…she stepped ashore and found the shore was heaven, she touched a hand and discovered that hand was God's, she took a deep pain free breath of air and to her delight it was celestial and she woke up in Glory found she was HOME!
Pauline, tell my mom and dad, "Hello" from their son, and I will there soon!!
--- John Mark Trent, PhD