Then, later on, she started to travel. In her 70s and 80s she started smuggling Bibles into Communist countries, just for the fun of it I guess. That's pretty cool, don't you think? A Bible smuggling Grandma? You just got to love what Jesus does to people. I'm sure that wasn't easy to smuggle Bibles. I'm sure there were dangers, bad things could have happened, but she didn't worry because she knew that no matter what, God would provide, and that even if bad things happened God would use them for good. He always does.
Well, several years ago Ruby got pancreatic cancer. Even then she didn't worry. Again, she knew that God would provide and she cared passionately about God's kingdom. She knew that even in her cancer she would get to be a part of God advancing his kingdom in her life and in the world. That's what he did. For starters, she ended up having almost no pain, which is very rare in pancreatic cancer. It's usually very painful. She kept on going into prisons and preaching as she had always done, even in her illness.
Also along the way she befriended a doctor and his wife. The doctor's wife had been divorced and some of her friends had shunned her because of that, but Ruby befriended them and showed them the grace of Jesus. As a result, this doctor made special efforts when it came to Ruby's case. In fact, when the doctor knew that Ruby had cancer, he went to her house on a Saturday morning, his day off, to tell her the news personally. Talk about God providing: when was the last time your doctor made a house call? When he told her that she had cancer, Ruby's response was to quote St. Augustine, `We don't know what the future holds, but we know who holds the future.`
During her illness her family and church friends were all around her taking care of her, and that was a huge witness to the non-Christian doctors and nurses who were treating her. In fact, the social workers and the hospice care providers were so impressed with the Christian community around Ruby that they told her they didn't need to come to her house any more, because the quality of her support group was so good. They said they had never seen a community like that before. So even in her illness, even as other people were taking care of her, Ruby was showing people who Jesus was.
During her last days, Ruby's daughters would take turns reading the Bible to her out loud. One of her daughters wasn't a Christian, but she would read the Bible to Ruby anyway. It was while this non-Christian daughter was reading the Bible that Ruby finally died. Now her family jokes that what made Ruby finally comfortable to die was hearing her non-Christian daughter read Scripture, that she could trust God even with her daughter's soul. It turns out that was a good trust because now that daughter is coming back to family and faith.
Now, was everything easy in Ruby's life? Absolutely not. She faced a lot of hardships but as her daughter told me, she always trusted that whatever it was she faced, she knew that God knew what he was doing, even when it was tough. The things that were most important to her were eternal and could never be taken away anyway so she didn't worry. She gave her needs to Jesus knowing that he would always meet her physical, emotional, and spiritual needs, and he always did. She cared passionately about what God was doing in the world and in her life, and knew that nothing could stop that, and that he would always bring good out of evil. Because of that she didn't worry, and now she has the ultimate healing, which is to be with Jesus forever.
So what are you worried about? How can you begin to decrease your worry quotient by investing in the things that can never be taken away? How can you practice trusting that God provides through prayer, through giving your worries to him, and then seeing him take care of your needs? How can you continue to involve yourself in what God is doing in your life and in the world, so that over time ''it doesn't happen all at once'', so that over time you will become worry free? The Bible says, `You will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord is the rock eternal` ''Isaiah 26:3-4''. And it is on that rock that we find rest for our worried souls.
By: Scott Dudley