I became a Christian when I was about 23 years old and it changed my life so much that all I did was want to tell people about how amazing Jesus is. This included my family. I have always talked constantly about things that I am passionate about and so, when I first became a Christian, Jesus was pretty much all I talked about. I loved God, I loved going to church and I’d made heaps of new friends and I loved spending time with them. This meant that I loved sharing with my family what I was doing with God.
For "Everyone who calls on the name of the LORD will be saved." Romans 10:13 (NLT)
My family did entertain my constant chatter about all the things I was doing with the church and my new friends but, I know that they were rolling their eyes and wondering what had happened to me.
If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by openly declaring your faith that you are saved. Romans 10:9-10 (NLT)
My dad spent the last few weeks of his life in hospital. I’m convinced that God talks to all of us all the time but that we don’t recognise his still, small voice. It was during this time that God really began to speak more loudly to my dad, not wanting him to pass away before accepting that Jesus died for him. Dad started telling us that Jesus had been sitting next to him and talking to him. He was pretty dosed up on morphine at the time and so, some people might suggest that he was high on drugs and hallucinating. However, I believe that God loves all of us so much that HE will do whatever it takes for us to have a revelation about what Jesus did on the cross so that we can spend eternity with Him in heaven. This is what I believe happened to Dad in that week; God was wooing him into heaven. This assurance certainly made thinking of my dad’s passing a little bit easier to deal with.
One Saturday, a week or so before Dad passed away, God reassured me in a really beautiful way. I was travelling in my uncle’s car and we drove passed the Methodist church in Colac. As we drove past, Uncle Keith (my dad’s older brother) told me that Dad’s family used to attend that church when they were kids and that my dad had sung songs to God there. In that moment, I felt Holy Spirit reassure me that my dad did believe in Jesus and that everything would be ok. It gave me that peace that surpasses understanding.
The following day was a Sunday and I decided that I really wanted to attend church. However, rather than going to the church where I had worshipped as a child, Holy Spirit prompted me to go to the Methodist church instead. I wasn’t even sure if services were still being held in this old church building but I felt led to check it out.
When I first arrived, I noticed a sign advertising a Pentecostal church service pointing towards a hall at the back of the church. I couldn’t believe it; how good is God! He obviously knew that a church that worships Him in the way I feel most comfortable was meeting at this venue and so He directed me to go there on this day rather than worshipping in the more traditional church where I’d grown up (and was married!)
This congregation made me feel welcome and I told them about my dad who was currently battling cancer in hospital. When the service was over, the entire church gathered around me and we spent about half an hour praying for my dad. It was a powerful time of prayer and I really appreciated it.
After church, I drove to the hospital to visit my dad and, as I was walking in the front door, the minister from the Church of Christ, walked out, gave me a wink and told me, “Your dad is good to go; he just prayed the sinner’s prayer.” This really impacted me because God showed me that, while I was praying and interceding for my dad in the local Pentecostal church, my dad was accepting Jesus as his lord and saviour with the local Church of Christ minister AT THE SAME TIME. God is so good!
For GOD so loved the world that He gave His one and only son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16 (NIV)
My dad passed away at about 2am on 24th December 2006. This was a difficult time for our family and I remember feeling God’s presence during this time providing peace and comfort to my family members. When we woke up on Christmas morning, one of the first things that Jadzia said was, “Papa is lucky that he was invited to the best birthday party ever!” This was such a blessing and reassured me that Dad was in fact at home, with Jesus, in heaven. I also recall Holy Spirit showing me that Dad was now reunited with his mum and dad in heaven and that he was happy and enjoying meeting up with his parents again. It certainly provided me with the peace that surpasses all understanding that the Bible describes. If I felt myself starting to feel sad because Dad wasn’t with us on Christmas Day, Holy Spirit reminded me that he was in heaven celebrating Jesus’ birthday with Him and that he was probably having the best day ever with his mum and dad.
Thank you so much for reading this post! It was a painful time in my life but I am so grateful that my faith made it a little bit easier.