|Bad News courtesy photobucket.com|
I answered the high-pitched telephone ring only to hear a dreadful message.
“Tell Robert that his Uncle Nathan is in a coma, at the Livermore Hospital and is not expected to live;” blubbered the voice on the other end of the line.
I sent up a quick prayer. Instantaneously, the Lord told me what to do. A few minutes later, Robert walked in the door, home from work. As I delivered the message, he was already on the phone calling his step-dad about making a visit to the hospital. I knew he was in a hurry so I quickly shared with Robert what the Lord had told me to do; then he left.
That evening when he returned I asked him if he had done what I asked him to do. He replied, “No, because the Lord told you and not me, so I only prayed for him.”
Early the next morning, I telephoned my Mother-in-law, indicating that I would be over in a few minutes to pick her up to visit her brother in the hospital. She agreed and off we went.
Before we arrived, I knew I had to caution my mother-in-law, “We are not going to worry about how things look, but we are going to believe God.”
Nathan’s sunken eyes caught our attention as we entered the room. An eerie yellow cast had enveloped his skin. He didn’t stir. (The air was thick with hopelessness as death hovered.)
I stepped to the head of his bed and spoke,
“Nathan, this is Hazel, Bobbie’s wife. I am here to deliver a message to you.”
I heard myself, with a voice, firm and commanding. The words fairly rolled out with bold confidence,
“I believe Jesus loves you! Open your heart and invite Jesus to come in. Just say, YES and Jesus will hear you - - say YES now!”
I waited maybe 5 seconds, then I raised my voice and with authority I said,
“Nathan, OPEN YOUR EYES!”
His eyes began to flutter and slowly opened. A creepy yellow tinge also engulfed his eyes. He looked directly at me, so I asked him to say, “I love Jesus.” He repeated those words just as the nurse entered.
“What is going on here?” the nurse asked, demanding to know! She continued, “I am here to fill out his death certificate.”
“Maybe you should just take his pulse and give him something to eat,” was my immediate reply.
I nudged my mother-in-law and whispered that we should leave, because we were done here. As we took the elevator down to the main floor we saw her other son, waiting to go upstairs. I told him that he should go on up, and that everything was alright now.
Uncle Nathan was released, and spent the rest of his life serving the Lord in his quiet way. He was still a bit sickly and not able to attend church, but several people continued to minister to him prior to his death. On one of our visits to Nathan, he told us of a black chaplain who came often to see him. Nathan’s remark about this black man was, “He looks just like Jesus.” We smiled.
At his funeral, it was obvious that the minister who performed the service did not really believe in heaven or hell. This left confusion among his family members.
One of his daughters asked me where her father was. With confidence, I was able to declare to her that he was in Heaven with Jesus. She breathed a sign of relief because, in her heart, she knew this was true.
Psalms 116:15 Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.