I Know Him: My Anchor

The school system in a large city had a program to help children keep up with their school work during stays in the city’s hospitals. One day a teacher who was assigned to the program received a routine call asking her to visit a particular child. She took the child’s name and room number and talked briefly with the child’s regular class teacher. “We’re studying nouns and adverbs in his class now,” the regular teacher said, “and I’d be grateful if you could help him understand them so he doesn’t fall too far behind.”

The hospital program teacher went to see the boy that afternoon. No one had mentioned to her that the boy had been badly burned and was in great pain. Upset at the sight of the boy she stammered as she told him, “I’ve been sent by your school to help you with nouns and adverbs.” When she left she felt she hadn’t accomplished much. But the next day, a nurse asked her, “What did you do to that boy?” The teacher felt she must have done something wrong and began to apologize. “No, no,” said the nurse. “You don’t know what I mean. We’ve been worried about that little boy, but ever since yesterday, his whole attitude has changed. He’s fighting back, responding to treatment. It’s as though he’s decided to live.”

Two weeks later the boy explained that he had completely given up hope until the teacher arrived. Ever thing changed when he came to a simple realization. He expressed it this way. “They wouldn’t send a teacher to work on nouns and adverbs with a dying boy, would they?” (Bits and pieces, July 1991)

That story reminds me of what the apostle Paul said in II Timothy 1:12, “I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day.” You will notice in the first part of this verse that Paul did not say “I know in whom I have believed.” Paul made it very clear that in addition to possessing an accurate understanding of the person and work of Jesus Christ, he knew Him in a deeply personal way. He saw his impending death (II Timothy 4:6-8) as “the door through which he would be ushered into the presence of the One he had come to love and know so well.”

As a preacher, I have talked and prayed with many people near death. I have observed many emotions from fear (terror) to joyous anticipation. Even among Christians, I’ve seen some die more triumphantly than others. Believers who show the most confidence at death are those who have a deeply personal relationship with their Savior and Lord. Like the Apostle Paul, they can honestly say, “I know whom I have believed.”

Our intimacy with the Lord will grow stronger and deeper each time we can study together like we will today during our worship hour. Please take the time before worship and read Hebrews 6:9-20. Let’s be sure to bring our bibles with us when we come to Bible Study and Worship. You’ll be glad you did (II Timothy 2:15, I Corinthians 4:1-2).