Nancy: I’ve seen these older women, some of whom are bitter, cantankerous, ornery . . .
Anne: Which is why little, old ladies get kicked around, because we don’t have an image of a godly, older woman who is an example to others and who walks with Jesus and has joy in her heart.
I love the verse in, I think it’s the 78th Psalm. I wouldn’t want to swear to it. It’s the left side of the page, if that will help you. It says that she will not rest until she has taught the younger generations the works of the Lord, proclaiming that God is good (see v. 4).
Nancy: Yes, it is Psalm 78:1-4
Anne: I think if we can proclaim, if we’ve even become paraplegics, our legs don’t work, our arms don’t work, if we can still speak, we can do that.
Nancy: Anne, talk to us about beyond aging, death itself. You have a chapter in this book, The Gentle Ways of the Beautiful Woman, and it’s a chapter about being equally at ease with life and death. You don’t read many chapters in books today about how to face dying without fear, with confidence in the Lord.
Anne: This chapter says that one of the keys to that is getting to know the Lord one-on-one. If everything in your life has been the group, everything is the family, everything is church, everything is multiple, if we are not used to being alone with the Lord . . . death is a one-on-one thing. The group gets cut out. The family gets cut out.
The dearest ones around you get cut out in that experience. He must be supreme. He’s got to be priority one or it would simply be too painful to be cut off from the others as something that’s going to happen, but it would be more painful.
Also, it would be so unfamiliar to us. We would not know how to handle one-on-one experiences with the Lord the way sickness is. No matter who loves you or how much they love you, they cannot take your sickness for you, and you realize you’re one-on-one with the Lord.
This is what either brings glory to that situation or it’s just a bad-news thing. I mean, pain is pain, but Jesus is the transforming power. He makes all the difference.
Okay, you tell us to learn how to live in constant readiness for death. What does that mean, and how do you do it?
Anne: Well, for one thing, you do it simply because if we’re twenty years old, Jesus may come, and He will just come in an instant and snatch up believers to be with Himself. So all of us must be ready for that moment.
If it does not come, if He chooses to wait so that we do experience death, then we need to be in constant readiness for that.
I’m thinking of the 139th Psalm that says “All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be” (v. 16). And if He has planned a long life or a short life, it’s the quality of the life that counts. It’s living it with Him. It’s being in readiness to go or to stay.
Paul says, “To me to live is Christ, and to die is gain” (Phil. 1:21). And then he tosses that around in Philippians chapter 1. He says, “Well, I’d really rather go, but I may have to stay for the sake of ministry for a while.”
I kind of feel that way. I am so excited about dying. I kid you not. Maybe I’ll go so fast I won’t know, just from one to the other. But however God has planned for it, if it’s through pain, well, hey, I’m not the first, and God will give grace.
Somebody said, “Do you have dying grace?” I think somebody asked Charles or John Wesley this. And he said, “No, but I’m not dying yet.” We have the grace that we need for the moment that we’re living.
Nancy: And the fact is, for every one of us, soon, in light of eternity, we will face death.
Anne: Sooner than we think.
Nancy: We need to be living in constant readiness, not just for the dying process or moment, but for what comes beyond that. That is the moment when we’ll give account to Christ. We will face Him, and I know, Anne, that you want to face Him with joy.
Anne: It gives motivation. We’re not going to be here forever. Our unsaved neighbors will not be here forever. We need to say what we need to say now, not later. We need to live “as dying men to dying men,” Wesley said.
to see the whole radio transcript go to Nancy Lee Demoss website and look up radio program for Nov. 29, 2013. Nancy Interviews Ann Ortlund who has written the book : THE GENTLE WAYS OF THE BEAUTIFUL WOMAN.