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God knows us best

BY PASTOR DOUG GIVAN

He lay on the couch in his home, literally dying, as I sat there conversing with his wife of over 30 years. He has suffered multiple health issues and is receiving hospice care. His wife talked about the details she had organized and the work that goes into caring for him. We discussed what she would like for his service, about how the family has been advised and the dynamics therein. Their affairs are in order and they are simply waiting.

It’s hard just sitting there waiting, she admits. She does not mind the work it takes to care for him and she deeply appreciates what a hospice company can offer. She would not have it any other way. She says she respects her vows and will not shove him off to a nursing home “to be cared for by strangers.” She wants to be his caregiver until the end, she says, and adds “I am the one who knows him best.”

I understand that feeling and the related issues. We see it every day as we care for our patients and families in the hospital. To them, we are the stranger even though we get to know and love them. Even though we have shared personal stories and know each other’s names, etc., we are still strangers to one another.

There may be lots of strangers in our lives, but it is wonderful to know the One who knows us best. Our God knows us to our heart, mind and very soul. There are many Bible passages that attest to the depth our Creator knows us, loves us and is with us.

I like Jeremiah 1:5: “Before I formed you in your mother’s womb, I knew you.” God knows us best and loves us the most.

“God loves” is such a wonderful two word verse to hold close. God loves this couple, and God loves you and me - as we live this life, waiting for our turn to go to the Great Beyond.

God knows us best.

Doug Givan is a pastor in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America and lives in Crawfordsville.