I have been getting so many requests to read this email that I sent out to our prayer team on Tuesday- that I decided to just post it and direct people to the blog - God is so gracious.
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
Thanks for praying. Just got back from Brian's not long ago - he was sleeping. I tried to wake him several times and he wouldn't wake up. So I sat - as I often do when he's sleeping - and prayed next to him on his bed. I read some cards that were hanging on his wall that he received recently from friends and family at Easter. And prayed some more.
After 15 minutes or so, I tried to wake him again and he wouldn't really even stir. So I asked God what He wanted me to do - I know there is not much time left for Brian. Could I possibly just leave without talking with him one more time about the Lord.
God seemed to prompt me to just talk - so I did. Brian got the un-edited advanced preview of my sermon for this Sunday. The story of the prodigal son (or should I say - the story of the Loving Father). The son ran away - left his father, disgraced his father, sinned against his father - but in the end decided to come home - and ask for forgiveness. The father received him with a compassion and grace that didn't make much sense. After telling him the story (with much greater detail of course) Brian still hadn't opened his eyes.
I leaned in and said 'Bro - we've talked about this a lot before - but I want to ask you again before I go today - are you ready yet to receive this forgiveness from a God who loves you beyond words.'
He gave me a vigorous nod.
He was finally ready.
He reached his hand over to mine - and holding his hand I prayed that God would extend mercy and grace to this prodigal who finally decided to come home. With full assurance I invited God to pour peace and love and forgiveness into his inner man. I prayed that in however many days remain for Brian that he would live them with vigor and passion for his new found savior. And I prayed that his two little boys might some day find the same gift of salvation that he received today.
I asked him if he had prayed with me and he gave another vigorous nod. I talked to him a bit more knowing that he was listening. I sat for a while and then before I left - I reminded him to tell his boys again today how much their daddy loves them.
I have been emotionally wrecked all afternoon. I had to pull over several times on the way home. God is so gracious.
- His concern for each individual sinner is so huge. I'm convinced that He delayed Brian's passing to allow him to have a criminal on the cross kind of salvation experience.
- His faithfulness to the 26 years of ongoing prayers from a loving mother is amazing.
- Our works have so little to do with God's gift of salvation.
- The nod of a head was a massive step of faith for this resistant soul - and it was all God needed.
- The party in heaven that commenced today played out in my mind as I pulled away from their house. There is a big banner over the seat of honor at the party that has Brian's name on it- the celebration is for him today.
I wanted to update you because I know you were praying. Thank you for that. I love the God that we serve.
If you have kids - hug them extra tight when you see them next - or send them a card or email if they live far away. Pretty soon two little boys are going to be trying to figure their way through life without their dad...I can't conceive of it.
Thanks for your prayers.