Thursday, August 7, 2008

Death of Father (we can trust God, even in death)

Let me mention something I wrote down soon after the death of my father several years ago: “My mother and I were with my stepfather when he died Wednesday at 3 P.M. I spoke Sunday morning three times in a church in San Jose, California. Margaret and I then drove south, eight hours to Indio, arriving at my mother’s house, then to the hospital by 11 P.M. Margaret was able to get some sleep as I helped my sister, Pat, with dad all evening. At 95 years of age, he was still strong, fighting the pneumonia in his lungs, thrashing throughout the night, pulling out his tubes, ripping off his oxygen mask, and crying out in pain. I held him through the night, his head resting in exhaustion most of the time on my arm. Monday, Margaret sang for dad through much of a hymnbook, and we prayed and read Scriptures at various times through the day. It was a difficult but great day. Tuesday morning (after speaking to a nurse of Christ and the wonderful difference between reincarnation and the resurrection), a little Mexican Christian hospital utility man stopped my mother and me in the hallway, took our hands and said, “I am praying for you. Remember God always accomplishes His purposes. He is in control. You can trust Him!” What a tremendous assurance and encouragement. (Later I discovered that this man, Jesse, had been in prison for 30 years and was gloriously converted when someone shared the gospel with him soon after being released.) Margaret and I were able to share the gospel with several in the hospital. People seemed to be extremely open to kindness and the Word of God or especially hard and bitter. A passage of Scripture that has been very encouraging these days is Psalm 138:8, ‘The Lord will accomplish what concerns (us).’ He is in control of each aspect of our lives for our good and especially for His glory!”

1 comment:

gracie said...

Psalm 138:8 is so beautiful, and a perfect verse to remember in every case where I might be tempted to doubt God's sovereignty, or lose hope of my sanctification.
I am so grateful for how God has used you and your wife - so many messages and mentions (John Piper etc.) that have allowed me to look forward to these later years (now 54)
Grace,