I want to offer praise for what has transpired in our family over the last few days. On Saturday we ended our vacation in Wisconsin with Sally’s family. On our last morning
at her Uncle’s cabin on the banks of the Chippewa Flowage, Sally’s Aunt Betty Lu, 88, prayed to receive Christ with Sally and me. It was a beautiful, still, morning at the lake and Sally and I had just gone kayaking. The lake was like glass. When we came in, Aunt Betty Lu came down to the dock, walking very slowly with her cane.
She had just read the book, “Heaven is for real,” and was excited about it. She had also become involved in church for the first time in her life, since her husband’s death a couple years ago. We got into a wonderful conversation with her and asked if she had an assurance about heaven. She said she was “working on it.” Sally and I both shared our testimonies and explained the Gospel. Then we asked if she wanted to be sure about heaven and say a prayer with us to receive Jesus. She said yes. It was a beautiful moment the Lord orchestrated.
Then we drove four hours to Appleton to stay with Sally’s other aunt, Cosette, who is 90, before we flew out the next morning. I”ve been praying for Aunt Cos’s salvation for many years. After dinner at her house, we got into a discussion about spiritual matters, and we all acknowledged this visit might be our last together. I told her that with Jesus, we could see each other some day in heaven. Again we shared our testimonies and dealt with a few issues she had before she prayed to receive Christ with us as well. Hallelujah, Lord!
Sunday we flew back to Orange County. It’s hard to believe the best was still yet to come. Monday morning was my 56th birthday, and I woke up filled with gratitude that I could wake up next to a woman I love, and that I could see God moving in so many ways in our family. Sally and I lingered in bed, praising God and praying for the family and one another. Then I drove to the Upper Room and continued to worship.
That night my parents came over for dinner. I’ve prayed for my dad for many years, uncertain of his salvation. He just turned 80 and we’ve been concerned about his health.
My son Sam, and his friends, Ethan and Doug, were also at the table. We talked about Doug and Ethan’s upcoming mission trip. I talked about a miracle healing that was posted on Godreports by someone on a short-term mission trip. Sally and I shared the story of Betty Lu praying to receive Christ, and how the book “Heaven is for real” had impacted her. I began to feel increasingly bold as I saw the conversation heading in a certain direction.
I turned to mom and dad. I told them how important it was for us to know that no matter what happened, we would see them some day in heaven. “Do you have that assurance about heaven?” I asked. Mom expressed her certainty. Dad muttered very quietly, “I’m a believer,” but acknowledged his doubts about heaven.
Sally asked the classic question, “If you were to die in an accident tonight, and appear before God, if he asked you why you should enter into heaven, what would you say?” Dad couldn’t answer the question. He said, “I don’t know.” Again, we shared our testimonies and explained the Gospel. Sally’s eyes filled with tears as she shared how her father prayed to receive Christ two weeks before he died. She looked at my dad and could see his eyes brimming.
I asked if he wanted to pray to receive Christ and he said yes. Sally got up and stood on his right side, with her hands on his shoulders. I got up and stood on his left side, with my hands on his shoulders, and asked him to repeat after me. He repeated every word of my prayer — I tried to cover every base.
It was a wonderful moment to mark in time, and the best birthday present I could have been given. Sally and I received answers to many, many years of prayer, all within a short time frame. What a wonder! At the 11th hour, when I”ve almost despaired of praying any more, God moved with power. Yes, He did.