Tomorrow is Father's Day here in the States, and this one is going to be an unusual one for me, in that it will be the first one without my father, since he passed away several months ago.
In his case, the last days of his life were a struggle to get "fresh air", as he suffered from pneumonia. This wasn't his first bout with it, and in fact, a year earlier he was hospitalized with it. The first time, however, he looked to be in very rough shape and I didn't think he was going to make it through.
He did, of course, but I used that time in the hospital and subsequent weeks to witness to him about the many things God has done for me and others around me. You see, I was never quite sure where my Dad stood on matters of faith, and although I knew he attended church off and on during his life, it was mostly off during the last few decades. Sure, we had discussions about God, the Bible, and the different things going on in various churches in the area, but I was never completely sure where he stood and with the onset of his illness I suddenly felt a sense of urgency. Only God knew his heart, however.
His second time with pneumonia was different, though. He actually didn't look all that ill and on the last night I was able to talk to him, we discussed many things, including current events and efforts to build a new temple in Jerusalem. There was a great sense of peace about him, too. Towards the end of my visit, one of the last phrases he said was "I'm just down, but I'm not out."
A day later his blood oxygen levels dropped dramatically and a day after that he was gone.
The takeaway message from all this is that it is vitally important to witness to others about what God has done for you in your life, even if it is in a small or subtle way. We really don't know when our last day will come, or when we will take our last breath of fresh air, or when that last day will be for others around us.
So many times, too, I have seen witnessing opportunities with friends, co-workers, and strangers that never came around again. Sometimes I did a decent job of witnessing, and in other instances, I fell short of the mark. Like any skill, however, I am learning, and learning to recognize that with some people, you may only have one shot at witnessing to them.
In Job 12:10 it states, "In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind." Make every moment count. Seek out ways to share what the Lord has done. It's not all that difficult and it might change someone's life. After all, the next time you see a particular friend, relative, or stranger, it could very well be the last.
This entry is a part of the Christian Writer's Blog Chain for the topic "Fresh Air". Please take the time to visit the other sites listed to the right. Thanks for stopping by!