when death knocks on your door…


When the responsibility of turning off life support for my young son was placed upon me, it was obviously the hardest decision I have ever had to make.  Questions like, “But what if….”.

I’m not even going to entertain all the questions here, because as parents, I’m sure you can only begin to imagine the pain.

During those 37 minutes of agony for us all, God was already scooping up my 15 1/2 year old angel and holding him, all the while comforting me, as we kissed him for the last time.  His older brother and I lay in the bed next to him, and his protective dad stood close by, watching for any sign of distress.  He had assured me that if Clay had shown any signs of suffering,  he would demand they intubate him again.  So, he stood with clenched fists and tears streaming down his face as we waited for the certain to happen.

We whispered to him, reminding him we how much we loved him, and then Jesus quietly took him home.

We were never alone.  The spirit of Jesus was everywhere in that small hospital room.  It wasn’t ugly, it wasn’t loud….it was actually sweet.  Yes, we were devastated and immediately wondered what to do next, but the spirit of God kept us moving……kept us breathing…….and never left our side.

In the next few hours, we drove to a funeral home we picked out and made all the necessary arrangements.  Jesus was with us.

Next we went to the cemetery and found the most perfect gravesite under a beautiful tree.  Jesus was with us.

He never left our side and He hasn’t left me since.  When I am hurting, he is there.  I can look to His Word and find comfort in the scriptures.  I am reminded of the pain that He suffered on the cross, and I know He understands.

Yes, I cry a lot.  Yes, I miss him dearly.  But knowing at this precise moment, his crippled little body is whole, helps me put my own selfish desires aside and leap for joy!  Hallelujah!  I WILL see him again!

1 Corinthians 15:55  “O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?”

Are you feeling alone?  Have you placed your trust in our gracious Lord?  He wants to stand with you.  He wants to comfort you and He will uphold you with his righteous right hand.

Here are some steps to inviting Jesus into your life.  His grace is free and He is faithful and true!

First, realize you are a sinner (Romans 3:23 “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”)

Second, recognize Jesus died on the cross for all our sins (John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that he gave His only begotten son, that whosoever believeth on Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”)

Third, repent.  Confess you are a sinner and need His grace. (“Acts 17:30 “God commands all people everywhere to repent)

Fourth, receive Jesus into your life!  (Rev. 3:20, “Behold I stand at the door and kock.  If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in.”)

Pray this prayer with me, “God, I know I am a sinner and need Your forgiveness.  I believe that You died for my sins.  I want to turn from my sins and invite you into my heart and into my life.  I want to trust You as Savior and follow you as Lord.  In Christ’s name, Amen.”

If you have prayed this prayer and truly asked God into your heart, then God has forgiven you and adopted you into His family!  Death has no power over you anymore! “O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?” You have a place reserved in heaven to live for eternity!

A quote from Billy Graham’s book, Death and the Life After, “I’m not afraid to die, for I know the joys of heaven are waiting.  My greatest desire is to live today in anticipation of tomorrow and be ready to be welcomed into His home for all eternity.  Will you be making the journey with me?”

a time to repent…

Selections From Psalms 32:1-5 & 51:7-17

When I kept silent, my bones became brittle from my groaning all day long. For day and night Your hand was heavy on me; my strength was drained as in the summer’s heat. Then I acknowledged my sin to You and did not conceal my iniquity. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD,” and You took away the guilt of my sin…. Purify me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.

Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones You have crushed rejoice…. Create a clean heart for me and renew a steadfast spirit within me…. God, You will not despise a broken and humbled heart. (HCSB)

David never thought this day would come. He never would have believed he could fall so far, stoop so low. The prophet Nathan’s words burned like an acid bath. “You are the man!” Rocked on his heels, hands to his chest, the real David returned. In repentance.

Look At It This Way
There is confession. There is repentance. And there is a difference. David confessed. He admitted his mistake. That’s half the battle. But repentance is the tough part. Confession finishes its work in a moment. Repentance takes a lifetime. Repentance means facing the same temptation again.And again. And again. And again. And saying no every time. And when you slip and say yes, it means getting back up – and saying no again. It’s a painful path, a bruising battle, but every other road is a lie. Repentance is the only way home.

Sometimes, alas, sin even prevails over us, and we are forced in deep anguish to confess that we have fallen beneath its power. Who among us can say, “I am clean, I have not sinned”? Still, a temporary defeat is not sufficient to effect a total subjugation. Sin shall not have dominion over the believer, for though he falls, he shall rise again. The child of God when he falls into the mire is like the sheep that gets up and escapes from the ditch as quickly as possible; it is not his nature to lie there.

The ungodly man is like the hog that rolls in the filth and wallows in it with delight. The mire has dominion over the swine, but it has none over the sheep. With many bleatings and outcries, the sheep seeks the shepherd again, but not so the swine.

Every child of God weeps, mourns, and bemoans his sin, and he hates it when for a while he has been overtaken by it. Sin has an awful power, but it has no dominion; it casts us down, but it cannot make us take delight in its evil. – Charles Spurgeon

A Final Thought
Repent of it today. That sin. You know the one. That one that overtakes you no matter how fast you run. Satan will laugh and say you can’t be trusted. And you know he’s right. But God can.

This devotional is courtesy of the One Minute Bible for Men of Character.