I came upon Mr. Isaac during an evening shift at the care home where I was a supervising nurse. He was visibly in great distress. With wide-eyed terror he told me, “Tonight’s the night, nurse. Tonight he’s coming for me.” He motioned towards the window. “Can’t you see him sitting there?”
“Who?” I asked.
“Satan. He’s coming to get me. I’m trying to cling to Jesus, but I don’t know how much longer I can hold on. And if I let go, he’ll get me.” He shuddered.
Realizing this need went beyond my nursing skills, I called Mr. Isaac’s pastor. He talked with him kindly, read the Bible to him, and prayed with him. Still, Mr. Isaac could not be comforted.
“Tonight I want you to drop into Mr. Isaac’s room every 15 minutes,” I instructed my care aides. “Hold his hand and talk to him. He has to know he’s not alone.”
Whenever I could, I’d check on Mr. Isaac myself. But he was no better. Nothing we said or did helped him achieve peace of mind. Totally exasperated, I grasped his hand firmly and blurted out, “Mr. Isaac, the way I’m holding onto your hand, that’s the way Jesus is holding onto your hand. And he will not let go.”
When I returned to the ward some time later, one of the aides asked, “What did you do? Mr. Isaac has been sleeping ever since you left.” I too was puzzled.
Since I was just about to start a leave of absence, I did not see Mr. Isaac again until two years later. By now he was blind and in the last stages of throat cancer which made swallowing and speaking difficult. Sitting down beside him, I took his hand in mine, and said, “Hello, Mr. Isaac. How are you today?”
His face lit up with sudden recognition. “Nurse,” he croaked. “Jesus is still holding onto me, and he will not let go.”
And He didn’t. Not long afterward, Mr. Isaac died peacefully, knowing that he was going right into the arms of Jesus.
God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” Hebrews 3:5
For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you. (Isaiah 41:13,NIV)
Story by Helen Grace Lescheid