Precious Lord, Take My Hand

March 28, 2019
by Joel Jongkind

Last summer, a good friend died after a very long illness. We had attended the same elementary school. I had forgotten about her until I met up with her some thirty years ago. We became good friends, and we visited back and forth a lot.

At some point some years ago, she experienced the onset of Parkinson's disease, and as her health deteriorated, she asked me if I would conduct her funeral service. We discussed the kind of service that she wanted and which Bible texts to use. One of them was her baptismal text:

Matthew 6:19a,20a – Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth … but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven. (NKJV)

Over the years during our friendship, we learned that her first husband had been very ill for a considerable number of years. They had four relatively small children when he first became sick. It was in the days of few social services, and she had to work hard to keep things going. After a number of years, he died, and she was a widow for many years. During those years, she often rebelled, she told us, but then, she always remembered:

Psalm 46:10a – Be still, and know that I am God. (NKJV)

It gave her time to reflect and to accept the situation that she found herself in, and it gave her peace.

After quite a few years, she remarried. She and her new husband had a good life together. But their life was not without its disappointments either. One day, she received word that her oldest son had suddenly died at the age of 40. Later, she got word that two of her brothers had also died suddenly.

As time went by, her illness became more debilitating, and she was slowly becoming less able to do much of anything. She spent the last year and a half of her life in a long-term care centre about 45 kilometres away. Her husband was at home doing well. He came to see her every day. But one week, because he had a bad cold, he had not been to see her for a few days. A neighbour, wondering why he had not seen him, went to check and found him dead on the living room floor. He had died of a heart attack.

I went to see her, and she reminisced about the tragedies in her life. Then, she quoted the verse from Psalm 46 again. She lived for another six months, and I visited her often, talking about our childhood and our faith. One of the last times when I visited her, she mentioned that she wished that the Lord would take her home, and I read to her the hymn, "Precious Lord, take my hand".

    When my way grows drear,
    Precious Lord linger near,
    When my life is almost gone,
    Hear my cry, hear my call,
    Hold my hand, lest I fall.
    Take my hand precious Lord,
    Lead me home.
           – Thomas A. Dorsey (1899-1993)

Shortly after that, the Lord did call her home. I don't know if she laid up treasures on earth or not, but her life certainly showed that she laid up treasures in heaven.

In the middle of life's tragedies, being still and knowing that our loving God is in still in charge can really bring us peace. Are you laying up such treasures in heaven?

Prayer: Our Father, there are times when we are confronted with the illness or death of a loved one. When we are, we pray that we will always be assured of the fact that You are with us, and that You will lead us home. We thank You in Jesus' name. Amen.

About the author:

Joel Jongkind <austria67@bmts.com>
Meaford, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    May it be so, Joel.


    Thank you, Joel. She had a great testimony.


    Beautiful absolutely beautiful! Thank you sharing this.
    God bless.


    Joel, thank you for sharing this touching devotional with us. God is indeed good… all the time! Blessings.


    Your friend had tremendous faith which is a great example for us all, Joel. Thank you for sharing and God bless!


    Thank you!! I really was touched with your story about your friend. I sincerely pray she is reunited with those she lost before.


    My goodness that is quite a pileup of bodies! Undoubtedly important to someone specific today who will read it. Lovely hymn. Thank you.


    I appreciate your devotion, Joel. How great to be able to call on our Lord at all times, to take our hand.
    Blessings to you.


    Dear Joel Jongkind,
    Thank you for a devotional from the hearts of persons; yours too, in writing it.
    Keep writing.


    Pastor Joel,
    This devotional was such a timely message of personal ministry to me and I want to say thank you so much for sharing it with us. God Bless!


    Good morning, Joel,
    Thank you always for your devotionals. I am in a situation where I need to remember, “Be still and know that I am God”. Thank you for reminding me of those words.


    Thanks, Joel. Many have to suffer much on this earth. Thank God for their faith. We have someone in our congregation right now who is losing her battle with cancer after fighting for a long time. Thank God for her faith and that she has laid up treasures in heaven. Blessings.


    Dear Joel, I thank you for your many devotionals. I just lost my brother suddenly and I use the verse “Be still and know that I am God” many times in my life to comfort me and give me hope. He was not sick but now gone. Thank you for continuing to share from your heart. I will pass this devotional along.


    Oh, my goodness, Joel. When I saw the title of your devotional, I was compelled to stop and read it right then!
    My husband had a fatal heart attack while we were on a cruise ship recently!
    There are a few reasons your message touched me but a couple of days ago, I found a video saved in my ‘albums’ of him singing & playing “Precious Lord”! I don’t think the printing of your devotional today was ‘coincidence’.
    Thanks for sharing!


    Joel, such a touching devotional. Thank you for sharing!


    Joel:
    Thank you for this devotional. It has meant so much to me because last week my sister-in-law shared with me that she thought I had been very sarcastic and cruel to her for a very long time. This was very hurtful as I would never intentionally hurt anyone. Then this week I listened to a devotional about Be Still. Then yesterday I read some prayers and one of them was Be Still. Then today I randomly chose a devotional and it was yours with Be Still and know that I am God.
    I can see that God is working in me by helping me to be still and let him do the healing and letting go.
    Thank you, Joel, for your continued diligence in writing these devotionals.
    Blessings.

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