“And yet, I am the God who forgives your sins, and I do this because of who I am. I will not hold your sins against you.”—Isaiah 43:25 (GNT)
It is with a heavy heart that I write this week’s post. I had one written but hadn’t finished it due to an unexpected health crisis of a family friend. After spending the past two days with him and having to make medical decisions that I wish I didn’t have to make, I feel as if I need to write about it.
My dad had a best friend from high school that has been like an uncle to my brothers and I. He has been a part of our lives since we were babies. With both parents deceased and no living siblings, when he retired, he chose to move to Texas to live near our family. He was closer to all of us than his blood relatives. My dad was like a brother to him.
After my dad’s passing 12 years ago, we have kept him a part of our lives. He is invited to our holiday get togethers, cook-outs, and other family celebrations. About a year ago, he asked me if I would be his medical power or attorney and if my husband would be his power of attorney and executor of his estate. While it wasn’t something that we really wanted to do, we know that my dad would have wanted us to do it so it was a way for us to honor him as well.
Little did we know that he would be diagnosed with a condition called Myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) in less than a year. On Saturday, I received a phone call from his next door neighbor that an ambulance was at his house taking him to the ER. By Sunday morning he was moved to ICU due to sepsis.
After a few hours, we were confronted with having to make some decisions on treatment options. None of them were good options…either do something that “might” help him but also go very, very, wrong and cause more problems or discontinue medical treatment and move him to hospice where they would keep him comfortable until his passing. Do we poke and prod his failing 83 year-old body and bring him more pain and discomfort that might prolong his life but not make him better? Or was it time to “let go and let God?”
We chose the latter. As soon as they took that mask off of his face and he could talk and communicate, he started to tell us his dying wishes. He was much more comfortable. The reason my heart is so heavy is because I have always known that he is agnostic. For years I have been praying that he find the Lord. Both a neighbor of his and I have tried to talk to him about it but I can’t say for sure that he will be reunited with Jesus and those that have gone before him.
My prayer tonight is that he live through the night, his heart be softened and that he realize that no matter what his past (which I don’t know because he is such a private person), God loves him and doesn’t keep a tally card. If he truly believes that Jesus Christ is the son of God who died on the cross for ALL of our sins, then he is forgiven. Maybe you have a friend or family member who also needs to hear this?Don’t wait until they are on their death bed because it may be too late.
I know there is a fine line of when to speak this truth and when to back off so that you not be a “turn off” to them, but I can’t help but wonder if I could have done more to share the love of Jesus with him. All I can pray now is God willing, a door be open for that to happen whether it is through me, a friend or hospital chaplain.
It is with a heavy heart that I lift Ronnie up to You. Soften his heart so that he hear the Good News. Open his eyes to the truth of Your Word….You are a God who forgives our sins, and You do this because of who You are. You do not hold our sins against us. I thank You that You give every one of us this free gift. Lead me and use me to share the Good News to those I love before it is too late. It is in the name of Jesus that I pray these things. Amen.
September Memory Verse
“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”—Matthew 6:34
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