Before I fall asleep, I worry that I won’t wake. That my heart will stop as I sleep soundly. I worry that my wife will turn over to a body without air, without life, without the good morning whisper as my hand covers hers. I worry that if I fall asleep my family will be taken from me. I sometimes shed a tear before my eyes close that my son’s hair will no longer brush my face as I hold him tight in my arms. That my wife’s lips will never touch mine, and that her “Jessica smell” I love so dearly will turn to dirt six feet under. I worry that God will take me again, and this time for good. I worry as the ceiling fan spins above my motionless body that I am not fulfilling His purpose for me. That I am letting Him down. I want so badly to carry out His plan. I also want to be with my family longer. Yes, I saw a glimpse of the other side. A gold beauty. A figure so beautiful and striking. A type of gold I have never seen before. A type of figure that I have never witnessed before. Draped in some sort of gold cloak. Almost as if it was armor, but not. I never saw the face, for the face was hidden from the cloak draped of gold. Why wasn’t the figure’s face shown to me….I have no idea. Yes, I might have seen an angel or even God, but still I don’t want to go yet. I am excited for Heaven, but not yet. I don’t want to die tonight next to my wife. I want to wake to see another day, to watch my son grow big and strong. I want to have more children with my wife. I want to spend everyday with my wife dying next to her with old age as our children’s children have children. I want to live longer Lord, to carry out Your plan for me. Your plan working through me. I want to live longer Lord, to help others live longer. I want to live for You this time around. Not for me.
I wake! My eyes slowly open almost as I am scared to look. I guess it’s a win, win situation. I am either going to see Heaven or my wife. Both Heaven. Both beautiful. So what am I so scared of? My wife is right, she told me the other night as I was having a little but of a panic attack before bed (I have been getting these lately). She said, “If anything baby, you should feel more confident and less scared of death than anyone, for you have been saved by God to be on this planet for a reason”. “Wow, I guess you’re right babe,” I said as I sat on the edge of the bed, feeling the wires in my chest. “It’s called faith baby, faith that God wants you here, with me, carrying out His love and word through you”. My wife said to me in her sweet calm quiet voice that I fell madly in love with in summer painting class at College of the Siskiyous in Weed, CA. She gave me a hug, I brushed my teeth with hope in my heart, and then without panic….fell soundly asleep having faith I would wake to see another day on this earth.
Knowing my heart can just STOP and kill me in a blink of en eye at anytime, well….It’s scary. But through faith and the Lord, I am dealing with it much better. Faith is easy. Surrendering to faith is hard. I have faith, but to fully put your life, your heart, and your future in faith is an action through your mind and body that you have to work on and constantly pray upon. Here are my two messages for you, my reader. First, get saved. You don’t have to punch in a time card for a year or two before feeling like you “got it” or that you “understand”. You don’t need to understand anything besides the simple fact that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins. If you truly believe this, with all your heart and soul, and you speak these words in church or out, then my friend….you are saved by the good Lord. I will tell you the single biggest hurdle I overcame to become saved, and that is understanding that I DON’T GOT IT! I thought I had it all the time. “I got this,” I would always say to myself. I would even tell God that, “I got it”. I thought that I would have to prove to Him that I was good, work on some of my bad sins, and show Him that I can do it without Him before I accepted Him. Boy, was I dead wrong. I never did show Him. I never “got it”. I never did it. My sins only got worse and the snowball only got bigger. My attempts were weak and timid. My strength was soft and my approach was half ass while my fear of life and my deepest sins kept winning and conquering my every move. The devil was kicking my ass! Then, my Pastor Brett from Athey Creek Church in West Linn, OR said in a sermon one day, “If you think you got it….YOU DON’T!”. Accept the Lord into your life and you will have more strength than you ever knew was possible. God is strength. God is your sword. Through God you can conquer the devil and destroy your sins.
My head was turning, as my whole world turned upside down. How can this be? I can get saved and accept God into my life while not succeeding? Not doing good? I can accept God and be saved right smack in the middle of a time period where I am sinning hard within my darkest of sins? I don’t have to prove anything to God? I can stand up, in front of Brett and the entire church and say the words with Brett, word by word, with full meaning and 100% belief and passion……and I can become saved?
So I stood and spoke the words. My wife cried as she sat next to me, hands in her face followed by her hands locking together palm to palm. Tears filled my eyes, as I layed my sword down, and grabbed the Lord’s. I realized at that moment, three months before I died at the Portland Zoo that only through God I am strong. Through God and God alone I can conquer the devil while speaking His word as my sword to kill all my sins with faith, hard work and time. I pray to become the best man I can be. I pray to live life without sin. I pray to walk as close as I can in Jesus’ shoes. I pray that God gives me another day.
God is Good.