I sat next to his bed as he lay dying - for three days he had been
lost to us; no sound, no movement. Only the knowledge that he could
both hear us and feel pain - the massive brain infection had cut
off his ability to communicate with us but had allowed him to continue
His friends and our family had come and gone - saying
their good-byes with the knowledge that David knew they were there.
My beautiful only son, my firstborn, my answer to prayer after losing
three children in pregnancy. It had been such a hard two year struggle
against this awful cancer. So young - he was only a month shy of
turning 19. I named him David, which means Beloved of God, as
I dedicated him to God during my pregnancy in thankfulness for God
answering my prayers.
That morning the doctor had told us he could last another two
weeks or more in this condition. It cut into my heart as I knew
that this had been his worst fear come true.
His father, stepfather and I mourned that this could go on and we
agreed in prayer asking Jesus to take our son that day. It happened
to be Sunday so it seemed appropriate to ask God to give our son rest
on the day He designated for resting in Him.
Before I went to sleep that night at his bedside, I spoke with
David and told him I loved him. I asked him to go with Jesus
when He came for him and not to struggle and try to stay with me. I told
him it would only be a short time before we were together again in heaven.
I asked his father and my husband to try to stay awake as I felt that
God would honor our prayers but none of us could stay awake. By
10pm, we had all fallen asleep.
I woke in the night - somehow in my sleep, I had shifted halfway onto David's
bed. When I awoke, I was lying near him with my hands and arms upon his shoulder
I began counting the seconds between each of his breaths - one, two,
three... One, two, three...on and on for at least five minutes. He was
warm, another sign that he was doing well enough to last for
weeks. The doctor had told us that a day or so before he passed away he
would turn progressively colder as his circulation began to fail.
I was continuing to count in my head: one, two, three... One, two, three...
one, two, three, four, five... Back to three, up to seven.
Suddenly, his nurse walked in. I turned to her and said that I thought it was
time, that Jesus was coming for David. She used her flashlight to
look at him and agreed. She woke up his father while I woke up my husband.
For five minutes, we were able to hold David, love him, say good-bye and
remind him that Jesus was waiting for him with open arms. His
passing was so peaceful and the presence of God was like a warm
covering surrounding us. The moment David stopped breathing, I thanked God
for His faithfulness.
We gave glory to God for a time before turning aside. When I looked up at
the clock, fully expecting that it was close to dawn, I realized that it was
still Sunday, around five minutes to midnight. God had answered our prayer and
took David home on His day. In His mercy and love, he had awakened us so we
could be part of that time with David and to see that the peace of God in his passing.
In the last few months of David's life, God changed my prayer for my son.
Up until then, I had prayed that God would heal my son. One day, when
it looked as if David was on his way to recovery, my prayer changed.
I was upset because it seemed that I could no longer pray for David's
recovery but instead, my prayer changed to asking God to use David
to bring glory to Jesus Christ. In my frail human understanding, I thought
that meant that David would recover and become a minister or something
similar. In the time since David's death, I have come to understand why
God changed my prayer - He wanted me to pray for the right things rather
than for the things that I wanted. Once my prayer changed, God was faithful
to answer it - He is using David's story to touch individuals and bring
them home to Him. I'm so thankful that God is able to use our
experiences in this way.
When I think back to the time of my son's passing, while I have
so much sorrow in missing my child, I am also filled with love
and thankfulness that my Lord and Savior heard and answered
our prayers. I thank Him continually for His gift of salvation
and eternal life.
In the years since David's death, I have come to a new understanding
of God's love. While my son was ill and when he passed away, I
would have given anything to have been able to change places with
him. It tore my heart apart to watch him wither away slowly and
finally die. I now realize that this is exactly how God felt about
his children once they chose sin over obedience. We were doomed
to die and this was a source of unbelievable grief to our Creator.
Unlike me, who could not switch places with my son, God could and
would do so to save us. He chose his only-begotten son to come
to this earth to provide us with an escape from the consequences of
our own sins. He loved us so much that he sacrificed the most
precious one of all to unbelievable pain and death so that all of his
children would have the choice of eternal life over death.
I know my family will be together again in the not too
distant future. The only thing which burdens me is that there
are some people who may not be with us. My desire is that
of the Lord's, that all should be saved.
If you have not yet accepted Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior,
please think again. I so want my extended family to be with us
Along with the gift of eternal life, inner peace is a gift to all those
who accept Jesus. Everything in the universe is held in the span of
His hand. He knows how many hairs we have on our head. I know He will see
me through whatever trial is put in front of me.
If you would like to have this gift of salvation, peace, and eternal life,
it is yours for the asking. All you have to do is accept it. Please accept
it; I want to know that you will be in heaven with me. Just say this prayer out
loud and believe it in your heart:
Dear Jesus, I know that I am a sinner and can never do anything
on my own to remove my sin. I believe that You are the son of
God. I believe that You came to earth as a man, lived a perfect
life and died on the cross as a sacrifice for my sin. I believe
that You rose again on the third day. I ask You to come into
my heart and live within me, to wash away my sin, to make me
perfect in the eyes of God so that I can live with You eternally.
I thank you for answering my prayer.