Remembering Carol Coskery – Two Messages

Carol’s Help
(Psalm 121, Preaching: Pastor Stephen Magee, August 8, 2014, Amesbury, Massachusetts)
[121:1] I lift up my eyes to the hills.
From where does my help come?
[2] My help comes from the LORD,
who made heaven and earth.
There is something majestic about the mountains. People have looked to them for help, but we all need help that cannot come from the tallest peaks. We need help from heaven and from heaven’s God—the Lord, who made heaven and earth.
[3] He will not let your foot be moved;
he who keeps you will not slumber.
[4] Behold, he who keeps Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.
We need a God who has the knowledge to understand all our needs and the power to save us. Then we need something more. He must have the love to do whatever is necessary to bring us to our eternal home. Carol Coskery found such a God and Savior in Jesus Christ. When Carol could not walk or speak as she once did, when she could not keep herself alive, her Lord kept her, and brought her safely home.
[5] The LORD is your keeper;
the LORD is your shade on your right hand.
[6] The sun shall not strike you by day,
nor the moon by night.
Jesus was Carol’s keeper—not as if she were just a pet. Carol was a child of God through faith in Jesus. There was a time in her life when worship was something she allowed her children to attend, but which was not something she desired for herself. Eventually she changed her mind about that. She saw that the Lord’s love for her was personal and deep. She believed.
[7] The LORD will keep you from all evil;
he will keep your life.
When Carol found the true Jesus of the Bible, the cross, and the resurrection, she found a Savior who could keep her from all evil and grant to her eternal life. She never turned away from Him.
[8] The LORD will keep
your going out and your coming in
from this time forth and forevermore.
But more than that, she knew that He had never turned away from her. On her final day, Sunday, August 3, 2014, after ninety years, Jesus came for her, to take her soul to His home in heaven. His care for her was not only for her going out and coming in on planet earth between 1924 and 2014. He did care for throughout her days here below, but He had something more for her.

Carol gave herself in faith to the One who gave Himself in life and death for her. She was able to approach her weakness and death with this confidence—that the Lord Jesus, would keep her forevermore. She found help from the God who is far above even the most glorious mountains.

True Christian Endurance – In Memory of Carol Coskery
(Hebrews 10:32-39, Preaching: Pastor Stephen Magee, August 10, 2014)
[32] But recall the former days when, after you were enlightened, you endured a hard struggle with sufferings, [33] sometimes being publicly exposed to reproach and affliction, and sometimes being partners with those so treated. [34] For you had compassion on those in prison, and you joyfully accepted the plundering of your property, since you knew that you yourselves had a better possession and an abiding one.
Carol Coskery was a daughter, sister, wife, and a mother. She was also a teacher and a friend. She loved her garden, her crafts, her home, and her nation. Above all, Carol Coskery was a Christian. She cared about the Word of God, the suffering people within her church and beyond, and the glory and honor of her Lord.
Though she did not face exactly the same intense opposition that is described in the opening verses of our passage, she did face suffering, and she endured as a woman of faith. Through injury, illness, and the hard work of recovery, Carol remained faithful to the Lord. She knew what it was to be enlightened by the Holy Spirit. She cared about others who faced difficulties, and she prayed for them. She loved her home, and she was able to spend her final days there, but she also knew that she had a better possession and an abiding one.
[35] Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. [36] For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised.
In this way Carol joined so many throughout the world and throughout the centuries who have run the race and have endured through trials with confidence in Jesus. The author of this letter tells his hearers that this way of life, Carol’s way, has “a great reward.” Carol knew about heaven and was looking for it, but even though she suffered decreased mobility and the indignity of having her food reduced to something that most of us would rather not eat, she still wanted to live. She felt that there was more remaining for her with her family and her church on earth. She endured well until the Lord called her home. Now, because of Jesus, she has gone before us to a place that is far better than her house in Salisbury.
[37] For,
“Yet a little while,
and the coming one will come and will not delay;
[38] but my righteous one shall live by faith,
and if he shrinks back,
my soul has no pleasure in him.”
Carol lived out her ninety years. Still, it was only a little while when compared with eternity. Once she came to the clarity of faith, she continued in it, despite every challenge and hardship. She did not shrink back. She knew the One who died and rose again, and she stayed with Him.
[39] But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who have faith and preserve their souls.
What about you and me? Will we follow her simple life of faith with patience even if people have to help us to go from one room to the next? Will we live as followers of Jesus? Be inspired by all the saints who have believed and lived, and continue in simple faith to the very end.