Published September 12, 2017

Shelia Shares
"Finishing Well"

"The battle is over and the victory has been won. My brother-in-law Wayne Miller died this morning around 3 a.m. He's heard the words, ‘Welcome Home Thou Faithful Servant.' He is with Jesus, but pray for Levina and Vicki and the family, as they cope with change and loss. I'm praying for God's blessing of comfort and peace and strength."

That was my post on September 2, 2017, on Facebook. Wayne had been a part of our family for almost 51 years. (Their anniversary would have been September 10th.)

Wayne had a great sense of humor. You could always count on him for a story. He cared about people and could talk to anyone. No one was a stranger to him. He was a reliable and good worker.

He wasn't shy about his faith. He knew Jesus and would share Him with anyone – Christian or non-believer. And what he believed, he lived.

When we saw Wayne at my siblings' get-together in July, he was in pretty bad shape. He knew he had cancer and that it was spreading beyond control. He had already been through surgery, radiation and chemo. His body was weak, but his inner strength was unbelievable.

One time, as I helped him into the house to go lie down, he asked about my son and daughter-in-law. He told me he prayed daily for my daughter-in-law and her unborn baby. He also said he prayed daily for our son, since he knew from personal experience how difficult it was to lose an unborn child. (What would have been our first grandchild was lost before birth. Wayne and Levina had lost three children.)

When Wayne would wake in the middle of the night, fighting the pain, he would pray for every member of our family by name. He would "pray around the world." I will miss those prayers.

That July Sunday, we had our own church service with brothers and sisters and extended family. We sang together and shared together. We prayed together. In fact, we gathered around Wayne and Levina to pray a blessing on them.

When Wayne spoke, it wasn't to tell us how unfair God had been. He confirmed that his situation was bad. We understood it was not what he would have chosen.

He told us that he wanted to finish well. He knew people were watching how he would cope with a "bad deal." He wanted them to see that he truly believed to the end exactly what he had always professed. The Bible was true. He knew Jesus would see him through. He knew there was a heaven waiting and that he was going there. He wanted us to pray that he would be strong spiritually to the end.

His Christian maturity was evident in being more concerned about his witness for Jesus Christ than about his personal pain control.

None of us knows how we will face death. Wayne had a firm foundation laid on Jesus Christ. He had built on that foundation for many years with Bible reading, prayer, testimony and faithful living. He remained strong.

We will miss Wayne. How blessed we were to have him as a part of our family. We know we will see him again – and it won't be long. Tell Jesus "hi" for me, Wayne. I'm coming, too.

- Shelia

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