Never Underestimate God’s Mercy

When my brother Calvin got sick in August 2019 (or when the family was made aware of it) my main concern was for his soul. I had always prayed for my family to come to a decision for Christ; calling each name out to the Lord; now it came front and center. Though Calvin and I were raised in religion, the truth of the matter was we were both lost. Let no one kid himself; being raised in religion, and in our case by a preacher and his wife, does not guarantee eternal security.

 

Earlier last year in May I recalled my brother making a declaration of being an atheist. He did so in a group chat with other siblings. He interjected it out of the blue; had nothing to do with the topic being discussed. I do not think hearing this really moved others in the group as much as it moved me… a practicing believer. I took it to heart. However, it was there that I had a peace that “it wasn’t true.” He measured his faith in God on his unfaithfulness to Him. Unbelievers may sometimes feel such a distance from their Creator because of the wedge they have built between God with their sinfulness. Good news is that Jesus closed that wedge.

 

When Calvin’s condition became critical in early 2020, I moved him in with me and carefully looked to the Lord to direct me in his care. Both physical care and spiritual care. He was in and out of the hospital a few times. Twice he told me he was not returning. The Holy Spirit whispered, “He’ll be back.” I was moved to decorate his room a certain way and anoint with oil and pray over everything he would touch. His big screen tv would play his favorite westerns all day whether he was there or not.

 

He went to death’s door three times and the Lord held him in His care. Calvin was not ready to pass. God gave Him grace to make it right. The last trip to the hospital was on Easter Sunday, April 12th. Still, the Lord gave me peace and an assurance that Calvin would return. And return he did. Prayers for Calvin were offered up from my followers across

the nation.

After four days in the hospital, Calvin had enough of all the procedures and medications that were just meaningless rote. He pulled every apparatus out of his body, sat in the lounge chair near the window with a view overlooking a helicopter landing pad. I was called by the hospital staff and was told he was refusing treatments. They placed me on speaker with him and he kept telling me he wanted to come home. He wanted nothing else but to come home. I got two other senior siblings on 4-way so they would know firsthand that I was not making any decisions alone. We all agreed that he should be released by his own words. He was completely cognizant; and by law the hospital must allow him to leave.

 

This is very difficult for me to write about, even though it is a good news story. I am still very tender and my grieving for my brother has not ended. Yet, it is a story of God’s mercy. Calvin was home 48 hours later. He had stayed in that chair looking across the landing pad for two days I was told.

 

Calvin returned to me in an ambulance. He was placed in the comfort of his bed with the westerns on his big screen tv. I switched the channels from westerns to Faith-Life Tv Bible Screens that had beautiful scenes and scripture texts and some light music. (there is just so much more to his story but I just can’t fit it into the 3-minute read). So, I am now getting to the point of it all.

 

Calvin had not lived a day in his life for God. Now he was facing his mortality and it did not look good up until his last few days. Somewhere over that helicopter landing pad, Calvin came to the realization that every question and every doubt he had over his short life of 62 years would all be answered in a twinkling of an eye. When he came back to his familiar surroundings at my home, he seemed more at peace. I remember him calling me at 4:30am on the April 20th. I ran to him and he told me to “Trust in the Lord.” I said, “Ok. I will trust in the Lord.” I went back to my room; but instead of getting in bed, I grabbed my pillar and went to lie down beside him… facing him. His mental faculty never left him. He did not move much; but I heard him say, “He came!” I said “He came? Who?” then I realized what he said. “Jesus? You mean Jesus came to you?” He said, “Yes! He touched my finger!” I told him that the Lord is giving him the assurance that he made the connection, and He has accepted him.

This is wonderful. I witnessed God’s incredible mercy during my brother’s final hours. A person who had not lived one day of his life for the Lord, but in the end fell down before Him in acknowledgement and repentance for a life without Him. A prodigal, indeed, had returned.

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