Miss Virginia’s last breath brought Jesus Christ and salvation to a big, worldly sinner!

She came to Jesus Christ on 23 July 2006, bowed her knees in shame and repentance, requested the undeserved gift of grace by the LORD God, accepted the gift of shed blood by her Savior Jesus Christ to pay for her sinful nature, and at 8:00 p.m., entered into her death through the baptism of Jesus Christ. As she descended into the waters, her thoughts and control were focused on Him in faith, knowing that when she died, that death would come to the sin that controlled her body, and when she arose from the waters, she would be resurrected as a new believer and follower of Jesus Christ. When she was resurrected from the waters, we greeted a sister and new daughter in Christ with hugs and tears, and then had a great celebration on that really good day!

But when no one was looking, I snuck away to a quiet place, and shamefully reflected on my own human frailties, and shivered to think how things could have been so different if I had not followed my Christ’s instructions to the letter. How close I came to failing Jesus Christ, her and myself! How important it is for Christians to do as their told, and not how they feel! How little I am for my discomforted spirit and how great our LORD God is in his provisions to the faithful! And how great and faithful a little old lady, who lay on her death bed, with a fragile and searching soul held firmly in her hands, bringing the gift of one more soul to Jesus Christ at her last breath.

When I met her last year she was horrible. She came from a place different from mine, and her focus was on things that were repulsive to me. She was carnal and loose with the ways of the world, with knowledge of dark things that a girl of twenty-two should never know. Her tough life reflected in her ways, and she was controlling and headstrong as a result. To avoid hurts from coming to her, she would manipulate people and times, to perform to her demands. And if her nature and ways were not bad enough for me to handle; it got even worse!

She loved one of my children, and he loved her, and they were married. The only thing in our favor was they lived clear across the United States, which spared the face to face conflict that was destined to come. But it got even worse!

She started writing letters demanding to be accepted as part of my family. She tested our faith daily, as letter after letter demanded our attention to her and her ways that she flaunted continuously in front of us. She had the advantage of holding our son’s heart, and she had the techniques of the worldly to ensure our compliance. Letter after letter we wrote of our faith and our lives. We told her that our world was different from hers, and explained in great detail over the months to come the ways that we lived, worked, walked and loved according to the Word of God. She took the same opportunity to explain in great detail in her return letters the way she lived, worked, walked and loved according to her worldly ways.

Our invitations to come up to our Kingdom resulted in hard-hearted invitations to come down to hers. Our conflicts even got
worse than this!

Soon her letters became more demanding and abrasive. She wrote us that she had a right to be accepted in our inner circle, and for us not to do so, reflected badly on our faithful walk with Jesus Christ. She began a campaign of spitefully using us and our faith to force us to go to places we did not want to go. At the height of all our troubles, we were left with no more words. We had written so many letters telling about our love for Jesus Christ, and His love for her. We had encouraged and pleaded and prayed and talked over and over and over to her about the things of spiritual life that she had never considered or known, and she rejected them with a stubborn forcefulness each time.

To make matters even worse, our son and her moved back home, and we were stuck in the face to face conflicts that had been brewing for so long. In desperation, we considered and measured all things, and determined we had no recourse but to search the Word of God, examine Jesus Christ’s teachings in the minutest details for a solution to this exasperating situation, and follow them to the exacting letter.

Matthew 5:43-48

“43 ¶ Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. 44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; 45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? 47 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more [than others]? do not even the publicans so? 48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” (Mt 5:43-48 AV)

And that’s what we did. We prayed and prayed and prayed for her and us, day after day. We even shared our dilemma with our friends, and asked for their prayers to be added to ours. Month after month we prayed. Our conflicts of natures were so great, that contact between us stopped. Soon a year had passed, and no solution or salvation was in sight to the problem with her.

One month she accepted a job at a nursing home close to where they were living. Her duties as a nurses assistance required her to perform the menial and back straining tasks of patient care, but apparently left time for her to have interactions with the patients from time to time.

And that is where Miss Virginia, the most wonderful and strong Christian I have ever known, entered her life. Miss Virginia was dying. She had a large family that would gather around her day after day, grow nervous at her continuous prayers and praise to God and leave, to return again and again to be there when she died.

Each day, after the family left Miss Virginia’s side, she would be summoned to her bed for their talk. Miss Virginia would tell her stories from long ago that were always sprinkled with faith and surety of the wonderful Grace of God. The faithful servant of Christ would delight her with stories that connected them to each other’s natural stubbornness, and their familiarity of relationship grew tight. They knew each other, and they understood each other, and they began to love each other.

She would hurry to work every day so she could hear more of Miss Virginia’s wonderful stories, and learn more about the Savior Jesus Christ, that Faithful Virginia loved so much. As the witness of Christian faith by Miss Virginia increased in the perfect timing of God, the lost and sinful girl began connecting her stories to our own letters of witness we had written to her over the year.

Suddenly, her blind eyes cleared, as the Spirit of God lingered and called her toward Him. She finally understood our words, Miss Virginia’s words, His Word, and saw it all come together in a great big ball of faith that was planted within her the moment her eyes could see. She was humbled and hungry, and eagerly ate the milk of faith as Miss Virginia gently guided her through the requirements of the Walk.

Soon after her eyes were opened, Miss Virginia began the final dying process. Her family gathered around her bed that night and said their goodbyes. Miss Virginia blessed each of them, then asked for her to come to her side for one last time. She entered into the quieted room, and the frail lady moved over in her bed to make room for her to be near. Miss Virginia grasped her hand, looked deep into her soul, and giggled. She asked what she was giggling about, and Miss Virginia whispered, “I’m gonna get to see Jesus Christ, before you!” The moment of delightful and intimate sharing was intensified as their hand grip tightened, and the Spirit of God washed through the room and enveloped her in His Truth and Love. At that very moment, Miss Virginia left her body and entered into her home prepared by Jesus Christ Himself, with a repentant sinner in hand and ready to accept Him as her personal Savior.

HOW SELFLESS AN ACT OF GREAT FAITH! Miss Virginia had brought a lost soul to the cross of Jesus Christ in the face of death itself, and her last breath was used to bring glory to Him! PRAISE BE TO GOD!

The next day, she came and testified of her great faith and praised God for His enduring love, and asked us to baptize her quickly, before she lost too much more time in serving Him and bringing glory to His Name, as she had been taught by a dying old woman who loved deeply enough to bring her to the One who loved us all!

Praise God from whom all blessings flow. Praise Him all ye creatures here below. Praise Him above ye heavenly host. Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost!

Amen.