One day I drove to a local hospital to visit an elderly woman who had been diagnosed with a terminal disease. As I pulled into the hospital parking lot, I reminded myself that my goal was to minister to her in any way possible.
When I entered her hospital room, she motioned for me to pull a chair close to her bed. We chatted a few moments about life as a patient, then she said, “I suppose you know I’m dying.”
I nodded and waited to see what else she might want to say.
“I’m dying,” she said, “and I want you to know that’s okay. Ever since the doctor told me, I’ve been thinking back over my life. And you know, I’ve seen my share of things. I’ve lived through depressions, war, sickness, the death of my husband, and other hard times. I’ve watched my children grow up and make lives. I’ve loved and worried over my grandchildren. I’ve had more fun than I ever expected to have. I’ve learned—sometimes the hard way—to trust God.”
She paused to catch her breath. “So, I want you to know I’m ready to die. I’ve lived my life in the company of God. Now, I’m ready to see what comes next with God. And you can tell anyone who wants to know that I said so.”
Her testimony stunned me. We talked a little more and shared a prayer. As I drove away from the hospital, I realized that I went to minister to her, but she ministered to me. I went to bring her comfort, but she comforted me. She gave me an unexpected but greatly needed word from God.
Sometimes we only discover why God sends us on a journey when we reach the end of it.
When has God surprised you with an unexpected insight, challenge, or blessing at the end of a journey?
Lord, thank you for the unexpected results you send our way when we go where you send us. Amen.