God wants the treasure that He is within us to spill and shine out from our lives. That of course is humanly impossible. That is why David spoke of the power of the Holy Spirit within him (2 Samuel 23:2) in his final words; so we echo Paul's words of the precious Spirit of the Living God within us. It is God's grace and power through His Spirit that is our only source of strength to live and die this way (2 Corinthians 4:7).

Let me share a contrast between two women at the end of their lives.

The first looked only at herself. As she ended life she remembered what she had and lost and was drowned by her own troubles, grief, and losses. The second had just as many troubles and sorrows and losses-but saw each of them through the lens of God's Word. What a difference it makes to see our life as God's plan that we willingly submit to day by day.

The following poem was found among the personal possessions of an elderly woman who had died in a nursing home in Great Britain in the 1940's. A nurse, packing up her possessions, found this poem. The quality so impressed the staff that copies were distributed to all the nurses in the hospital.

 

Grumpy Old Woman

What do you see nurse, What do you see? 
What are you thinking When you look at me?
A grumpy old woman, Not very wise,
Uncertain of habit With far away eyes.
Who dribbles her food And makes no reply;
Then you say in a loud voice, "I do wish you'd try."
Who seems not to notice The things that you do,
And forever is losing A stocking or shoe...

I'll tell you who I am, As I sit here so still,
As I move at your bidding, As I eat at your will.
I'm a small child of ten With a father and mother,
And brothers and sisters Who love one another.
A girl of sixteen, With wings on her feet;
Dreaming that soon, A lover she'll meet.
A bride soon at twenty My heart gives a leap;
Remembering the vows That I promised to keep.

At twenty-five, I have young of my own,
Who need me to build A secure and happy home.
A woman of thirty, My young now grow fast,
Bound together with ties That forever should last.
At forty, my young ones Have grown up and gone;
But my man is beside me To see I don't mourn.
At fifty, once more...Babies play 'round my knees;
Again we know children, My loved ones and me.

Dark days are upon me, My husband is dead
I look at the future, I shudder with dread;
For my young are all rearing Young of their own,
And I think of the years And the love I have known.
I am an old woman now, Nature is cruel,
'Tis her jest to make old age Look like a fool.
The body, it crumbles, Grace and vigor depart,
There is now a stone Where I once had a heart...

I think of the years All too few, gone too fast,
And accept the stark fact That nothing can last...


A touching poem, but more than that - a life with the wrong focus. Now see a second woman we meet early in the spring of 1905. Songwriter Civilla D. Martin (1869-1948), who writes:

"My husband and I were sojourning in Elmira, New York. We contracted a deep friendship for a couple by the name of Mr. and Mrs. Doolittle - true saints of God. Mrs. Doolittle had been bedridden for nigh twenty years. Her husband was an incurable cripple who had to propel himself to and from his business in a wheel chair.

Despite their afflictions, they lived happy Christian lives, bringing inspiration and comfort to all who knew them. One day while we were visiting with the Doolittles, my husband commented on their bright hopefulness and asked them for the secret of it. They read us this verse:

 

Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father in heaven. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don't be afraid; you are worth more than sparrows. (Matthew 10:29-31)

Then, Mrs. Doolittle's reply was simple: 'His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.' The beauty of this simple expression of boundless faith gripped the hearts and fired the imagination of Dr. Martin and me."