A few days ago as I was driving, I noticed a sign posted on the front lawn of a church which read “God Has The Last Word”. My first thought was “I wonder what they are trying to convey here? Perhaps a reference to the fact the God has the power of Life and Death?” Then I began thinking what those words really do mean. Of course, the Creation as well as the cessation of Life are, in fact under the control of our Creator. But these words “God Has The Last Word” go so much further than this, if one takes a moment to really think about it.
One example that comes to my mind was when the doctors told my uncle he would never walk again. He had cancer more than once and the chemotherapy treatments destroyed over 80% of the nerves in his legs. So obviously, the brain could send the signals telling the legs to move but to no avail because those signals were no longer being received by those legs. There was little to no feeling there. You could punch him in the leg and he would not feel it. Well, I will tell you that a wise person would not tell my uncle, who was more my brother really, that he could not do something. He rather impolitely told the doctors what they could do with their diagnosis and declared he would indeed walk again. It took him over 2 years of self-therapy, over 2 years of standing up only to literally fall on his face in the living room of his home. When this occurred (and it did often) he would weep tears of frustration, of anger and bitterness and then he would get up and try again. And fall again. Finally came the day when he was able to, with a cane walk across the living room. He wept again but this time in happiness and the satisfaction of a great accomplishment. And when he walked, it was not a normal gait for the leg that carried some sensation had to compensate for the other leg which had none. He always would say, “Hey, I’m not ready for the 100 hundred dash but I’m doin’ the best with what I have!” I might add that this fine man walked for another 14 years before he was forced back into a wheelchair. I was surprised when he broke the news to me that he would be unable to walk much longer. You see, he had never told anyone that because of his irregular method of walking, he was slowly but steadily wearing down his hip to where it was bone against bone. Those 14 years of walking which he bought literally by his sweat and pain and courage, all during those years he knew it was only a temporary victory. That is how much he desired to walk once again.
“Well, that’s a moving story, to be sure!” you might say. “But it seems that your uncle was the one who had the last word”. I suppose one could say that. But Who was the One who gave him that stubborn, fighting spirit within that said “No! I will not let you win this one!” You see my friends, God had the last word in that situation for He gave the gift of determination and tenaciousness to my uncle. And because of this, Paul indeed had the last word within his heart. The difference between him and so many others is that he chose to fight for the right and the choice of having his last word.
Does our Creator have the last word in all situations? Of course He does. Even on those occasions where God has been persuaded to change His mind on an issue (and that has happened), it is still He who changed His mind. So, He simply changed the last word, as it were. I suppose the point I was trying to make here this evening is that this whole idea of having the last word is really a matter of perception, is it not? Perhaps having the last word is really nothing more than a concerted effort between God and ourselves. God can do all things on His own but chooses to work through us which is really kind of great to realize. What I mean is that since God is all-powerful and since He has the last word and since He chooses to do so through His children, we wield a degree of power. And that power used properly can change our world and all those in it. Think about it.
I trust that what I was trying to get across was understandable or at least relatable. Sometimes what is clear in one’s mind does not translate well through the finger tips. I thank you for muddling through this one with me and hope it blessed you in some fashion. May your day be full and rich with joy.
William J. Thompson, Jr