Friday, February 18, 2011

God's Fingerprints

Wes's dad has been suffering from dementia for the last year. The year has been a hard one. Personally, I think dementia is the most horrible thing in existence. But, I guess that's just my opinion. He passed away this week after a long, hard struggle. The one thing we've seen through it all, especially this week, are the fingerprints of God ... how God has been working silently, mysteriously, miraculously in the background. Seeing those fingerprints and experiencing God's work has been encouraging and comforting for our family. In fact, it's meant so much that I've just got to share it.

To begin with, we went to visit his dad on Monday night. We were told that Bert's kidneys had shut down and that he would experience incredible pain. They weren't lying to us. When we got there, he was really hurting and the doctors weren't able to figure out the correct dose of morphine to help him. So, we began praying ... and asked for people to pray with us. By early Tuesday morning, those wonderful doctors had been given the wisdom by God to be able to figure out what was needed to keep Bert comfortable and calm. Not only was it a blessing to know his pain had been controlled, it was a tremendous encouragement for us. A fingerprint of God.

On Monday night, when Bert was in extreme pain, we had no idea what to do for him. He was in such misery and our hearts were breaking. All we knew to do was to pray. Once we mentioned the name of Jesus, Bert grew calm and still and peaceful. As long as we prayed, he was at peace. Even through the muddled mind of dementia, even though the throes of agony, Bert responded to his Lord and Savior. A fingerprint of God.

Wednesday morning, we were told that it was just a matter of hours before God would take him home. So, our family gathered around so that we could be there with Bert when he began his new life in eternity. We were there for a few hours and it was getting near lunch time. Everyone was getting hungry, so Wes volunteered to go grab some sandwiches for us. We prepared the list of what everyone needed; then our oldest son Justin said he and his brothers would go instead and Wes could stay with his mom, sister, and me at Bert's side. The boys had only been gone for about 10 minutes when Bert's breathing changed.Within a few minutes after that, he entered the realm of glory ... and Wes was able to be by his side. A fingerprint of God.

Wes's sister lives in Tulsa. Her car had broken down over the weekend and she had been unable to come down. The earliest she could get to Oklahoma City would be Wednesday. Our concern was that she might be too late. However, she arrived early Wednesday morning, just as the hospice nurses were telling Wes's mom to call the family. She was also able to be by her father's side. A fingerprint of God.

Our oldest son's 30th  birthday was February 17th. It was a fear of his (and ours) that his grandfather would pass away on his birthday. We had been praying that God would take Bert home either before or after, but that it wouldn't be on Justin's birthday. Bert started his new life on February 16th. A fingerprint of God.

This has been one of the hardest times we've gone through as a family; however, we've seen our God in all of it.  God never leaves us alone in our pain ... He always provides a way for us to get through it ... He cares about even the smallest details of our lives ... and He's working to bring us comfort and encouragement. We know that Bert is happy, healthy, and whole as he stands in Jesus' presence and we celebrate in that. We also rejoice in the fact that God left his fingerprints all over Bert's last days, to encourage and strengthen us. He IS an awesome God!!

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