We hear statements like: “working yourself to death”; “worrying yourself to death”; “scaring yourself to death”; etc. Did Mom PRAY herself to death?
A Simple Life
Life was simple for us on the farm where I grew up in northern Wisconsin. It was so simple, that by the time I left home we still didn’t have running water in the house. We might have been poor when it came to money, but as a child, my parents made me feel rich with their love.
My parents also loved the Lord, and sought to raise my sister and brother and me to follow Him. I don’t know what happened, but as I approached my mid teenage years, I became very rebellious toward my parents.
Although Dad was big in stature, and “as strong as an ox”, he suffered from asthma. Mom had neither the size, strength, nor health to discipline me as I needed during those turbulent years. Thus I became more than they could handle. My loving parents never deserved the physical and verbal abuse that I began to pour out on them.
The Power of Prayer
Mom knew the power of prayer. In the midst of my rebellion she told me many times: “Frank, I’m praying that even if it means the Lord taking me, that He will get a hold of you and bring you to Himself.” I didn’t give what she said much attention—until the morning of December 24, 1976 (a week before my seventeenth birthday).
That morning, as I entered the living room of our home, I found my mother lying dead on the floor. I stood by her in shock. Then reaching down, I gently shook her. With tears streaming down my face, I said over and over, “Mom, I’m sorry. I’m sorry Mom. Please forgive me.” She didn’t hear me; I’d waited too long.
As medical personnel carried my lifeless mother by me on the stretcher, her words came to me: “Frank, I’m praying that even if it means the Lord taking me, that He will get a hold of you and bring you to Himself.” That evening, all alone, I surrendered my life to Jesus Christ. My life was never the same after that.
If you’re praying for someone, don’t give up. Like my mother, the Lord may take you Home before you see the answer to your prayers. I will be eternally thankful for a mother who didn’t give up on me, who recognized the power of prayer.
Franklin & Lynette Knoop are nearing their thirty-sixth wedding anniversary. Almost thirty of those years have been spent serving with Village Missions—most of them at the Balsam Bible Chapel in northern Minnesota.