Dad’s Sudden Death
Sunday, October 6th, 2019 my earthly father departed from us following a brief illness. In the days and weeks that have followed, I became increasingly angry with God – enough so, that it impeded my ability to pray. I wasn’t remotely interested in talking to Him. My flesh would not allow the very thing that my spirit knew I needed. I was truly conflicted.
To my knowledge, my dad was not a believer, and therefore presumed, unsaved. This was something I had a hard time digesting. How could such a selfless man, whom willingly raised me as his own, not know Jesus? The days prior to his death, his cognition was deeply affected by the un-diagnosed cancer that had unknowingly set up camp in his body. I am uncertain if he even knew I was there; and while I continually prayed for him, ministering to him seemed fruitless.
God, where are you???
God knew how much my dad and his salvation meant to me. For him to lose his cognition so suddenly, removed his ability to make the choice to receive Christ. Hence, my anger. Still, would he have chosen Christ had his cognition been intact? I don’t know. If he hadn’t chosen Christ up to that point, had he been made privy to his now terminal diagnosis, would he have chosen Him then? I’ll never know that either.
He was 68 years young and lived a full life until the day he died. Yet in the critical moments preceding his death and in the days and weeks after, I blamed God for his cognitive condition and as a result, inability to make a conscious choice to embrace our heavenly father. Why? Because God is in control. 1 John 4:19 says, “We love because He first loved us,” and in John 15:16, “You did not choose me, but I chose you…” God does not violate our will by choosing us and redeeming us. Rather, He quickens our hearts so that our wills choose Him. We owe everything to God’s grace. It’s literally by His favor and mercy that we choose faith.
God is Faithful, Always.
Still, God’s call requires an answer. Much like an invitation, it must be accepted or declined. Was my dad’s mind in the way of his heart? Maybe. Perhaps God’s sovereignty was at work, while dad’s mind was not. That was my prayer as I struggled to cope with his eternal destination.
It wasn’t until I sat down to write today, that the confirmation seemed clear. In my prayer journal, as I wrote of God’s sovereignty and my desire to know if God had opened dad’s heart to the gospel, the sun, which had been in hiding all day, briefly appeared and illuminated only those words on the page. I cannot help but to believe, what was intended for his eternal demise, God made good – with dad’s mind out of the way, had Jesus stolen his heart? I can’t be sure, but I will let the fact that I am now at peace, speak for itself.
To my family and friends whom took the time to pray for us, thank you. Your prayers are what helped us get through the long days, lack of sleep, and the ache in our hearts as we helplessly watched dad slip away; and in the days following his death when I simply could not pray. To Pastor David and my church family at Green Level Baptist Church, from the depths of my heart, thank you. You are the epitome of faithful servants, serving God’s passion – His people. I am grateful and forever changed, to have experienced your goodness. I love all of you.