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?”

be still and know…

I am sure that in the light of the devastating earthquake in Japan, people all over the world are asking, “Why?”.  This is the great eternal question – the one we will all ask, sooner or later.

Some will say that God did not send the earthquake, but perhaps God allowed it. Others might say that it is a result of our human misbehavior…..although since earthquakes happen along fault lines waaaay below the surface of the earth, I’m not sure how this would work. OR maybe this is a sign of the Second Coming of Christ!

Matthew 24:7, “Nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom.  There will be famines and earthquakes in various places.”

These are natural disasters that are just the start (vs 8, “all these are the beginnings of birth pains”).  And if this is so, then we should expect even greater catastrophes.   It is only after His return that we will clearly be able to see those signs.  Either way…..He’s coming back and I want to be ready.

These disasters, however, do prove that we live in a fallen world.  And it all goes back to the Garden.  When God made the world, it was perfect.  There were no earthquakes.  There were no famines.  It was perfect in every way!  Then what happened??

Thanks, Adam.  Thanks, Eve. Thanks for having our backs…..

God gave them the choice to obey Him and be blessed, or to disobey Him and die.  Guess what they chose?  Right…..

Genesis 3:17-18, “To Adam he said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat of it, “Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life.  It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field.”

Now all of creation is put under the curse by God, because of Adam’s sin.  So instead of the lion laying with the lamb, the lion is the lamb’s mortal enemy.  So when Adam sinned…..you sinned.  When Adam fell….you fell, and so did I.

I heard it explained like this:  Imagine there is a bus with a seat for every person on the face of the earth…it’s thousands of miles long! Adam is the bus driver and when Adam drove the bus over the cliff of disobedience, we all went with him.

BUT …. all these disasters call on us to be still.  Psalm 46:10, “Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in all the earth.”

How wonderful to know that even when the mountains give way, we can call upon the Lord….and be still.  We will not always understand why God does what He does.  And sometimes the most spiritual thing we could say is, “I don’t know”, because it is a confession of our weakness and revelation of God’s strength.

Let’s pray for the people of Japan.  We can either hurt with God or we can hurt without God.  If we turn away, it will only be worse.  Let’s linger at the foot of the cross….and pray for us all…