Death Bed Confessions

Today was a tough day for one of our families at Creekside.  Please remember the Daniel family tonight in your prayers.  It began about a month or so ago with the father of this family beginning to turn for the worse in his health.  Today all of the worry and thoughts came to a head with the news of lung cancer.  Though all indications had led to something terribly wrong, no one wanted to believe that the worst news would come.  It came for them today.

John was placed on a respirator this morning and the family was told that his right lung was completely wrapped in cancer.  To make matters worse, he only has one half of his left lung.  The family was called together and was told that he would probably not make it off of the respirator.  It was tough hearing that news with them.

There’s just some things one can’t learn in college.  I don’t remember a class I ever took that can help very much with questions like I received today.  “How can I make this decision to turn this machine off?” People don’t want to ever have to make this decision, but they had to.

I don’t know if I said the right thing or not, God only knows, but I responded what I felt in this case.  To me, John made this decision long ago when he decided to do some things that would ruin his health.  He knew that if he continued his lifestyle that one day this day would come.  So, in a very real sense, he made this decision for them.  No matter what they decide, he has no life of quality left.

When I arrived at the hospital, I prayed that God would give me an opportunity to talk with John about his soul.  I did get that opportunity.  Having the ventilator in his mouth prevented verbal communication.  I could only get a response by asking John to squeeze my hand.  I asked if he could understand me to squeeze my hand and he did.  I asked if I could pray for him and he gave a squeeze.  I then told him that I wanted to pray that God would forgive him from all of his past sins.  I asked if that was something he wanted me to do.  He gave a squeeze.  I told him that God did not keep time when it comes to salvation and I wanted him to have the same peace that I had in God’s ability to save me.  We then prayed.  Upon finishing the prayer, John gave me a gentle squeeze of the hand as if to thank me.  He then acted as though he was going to go to sleep.

I’ve been taught so many things about death-bed confessions–everything from offering the sinners prayer to it’s too late when we reach this point.  On this day, I believe that God can an will save this man in spite of his sin, as long as he trusts Jesus to do that.

As tough as it was to go into that ICU (The same one where my dad was on his death bed) and be with these wonderful people in their sorrow, I considered it one of the most sacred things I been honored to be used by God in doing.  People never forget when you spend time with them n these situations and I certainly will never forget this day.

Please pray for this man and his family as they deal with a tremendous amount of emotions right now.  There’s so much to the story that I can’t write about here, but I know this–God is God and I am not.  His love endures forever and Jesus died to save people from their sins.  Time has nothing to do with it.  It’s awesome to serve a God with that kind of love.  Praise him!!

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5 responses to “Death Bed Confessions

  • gregengland

    I’m glad you were there for John. I’ve had the same line of thinking with regard to someone kin to me. If he is awake, he is smoking and when the time comes that he is in a hospital room dying from his habit, I would have a difficult time trying to be compassionate.

  • Donna

    bless you for being there for all of them….and being Jesus to them.

  • Meowmix

    “God is God and I am not.” I’m glad He is God, and I know you are, too. Will pray.

  • Jon, the One-Armed Drummer « Keith Davis’ Blog

    […] to be asked to perform the funeral of a man I wrote about a few blogs ago.  That blog was titled “Death-Bed Confessions.” His name was […]

  • Laura

    Keith,
    We still love and appreciate so much your being at the hospital with us with Mark’s dad. It truly is a blessing to be with a family during times like this….both as a pastor/friend, and as the loved one. And remember….dying is as much a part of living as being born. You are a blessed man to be able to be a part of four of the most important days of people’s lives. Births, deaths, baptisms, and marriages. Thanks again for all you do! Love you guys!!

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