By Nancy Virden (c)2022
(Continued from Part 1)
Inside, I recognized who was holding the door shut. Filling the room from corner to corner and ceiling to floor, God’s presence felt so thick it was almost heavy. Walking was a little like wading upstream. I sat, peacefully aware that the fullest presence was over dad who seemed to be asleep, and the rest emanated from that source. God was answering my prayers and having the last conversation with him.
This was the most important moment of dad’s life.
What did they talk about? Did Jesus intercede saying, “Father forgive him because he knows not what he is doing”?
The thief on the cross came to see no hope outside of Jesus. Relinquishing pride to God’s authority, he ceased mocking and told the other criminal to stop it too. In honest confession, he said, “We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve.”
Did dad confess too, “I am getting what my deeds deserve”?
Several minutes passed. Then as easily as I assume it had come, the presence of God lifted. The atmosphere of the room returned to normal, dad breathed heavily, and I was left with praise and a question.
“God,” I said, “You have my trust no matter what. But are you willing to let me know for sure? Did dad say yes to you?”
Picking up my Bible, the pages fell open to Micah 7:18-19. I read:
Where is another God like you, who pardons the guilt of the remnant, overlooking the sins of his special people? You will not stay angry with your people forever, because you delight in showing unfailing love. Once again you will have compassion on us. You will trample our sins under your feet and throw them into the depths of the ocean!
What a lovely description of God’s willingness to forgive the guilty! The line, “You will not stay angry with your people forever, because you delight in showing unfailing love” excited me. You see, God reached for the thief on the cross and my dad because his delight is showing unfailing love. Once again, God proved his compassion.
Then I knew dad had repented in faith and said “Yes” to God’s Son and to his mercy.
The thief on the cross 2000 years ago did that when he finally said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”
Jesus answered him, and no doubt my dad heard it too, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”
Today’s Helpful Word
2 Samuel 22:31
God’s way is perfect. All the LORD’s promises prove true.
If you are feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, in the U.S. call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or for a list of international suicide hotlines, go here.
If you are suicidal with a plan, immediately call 911 in the U.S. or go to your nearest emergency room. In the EU call 112. (For other international emergency numbers, go here ). Hope and help are yours!
Always the Fight Ministries (ATFM) has been displaying compassion for those fighting mental illness, addiction, or abuse since 2012. Nancy is the founder and voice of ATFM and openly shares her emotional resurrection from despair. NOTE: Nancy is not a doctor or a mental health professional, and speaks only from personal experience and observations. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental or behavioral health care.
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