I am coming to write this article very aware of the currents deep within my soul, that my spirit is very sensitive to the wonders of the Spirit of the Lord. Many personal things have occurred in the last few weeks which have brought me to a experience of very profound proportions. They are very personal to me and my family, when you defy the rationality of all around you to believe in a higher reality.
I am here sitting writing to you, with a mixture of deep weeping of soul and deep rejoicing of spirit. When you are dealing with lives, the personal nature of your involvement is very attuned to the desires of the Lord.
We have spent many years preaching faith, moving in faith. I am now in Portugal 15 years. I have been married for that time, and have two children which are my joy. I have lived through the most difficult of times, the most profound of times. Just like the Star Trek film “The Wrath of Khan” tells of the phrase from Wuthering Heights, “These are the best of times.”
Ministry is far more than preaching and teaching, it is living and it is aligning. It is not mere theory when you are dealing with people’s lives, whether it be their spiritual life, their healing, or their living. Many things involved terminal cases.
I had cited here on this site, the case of Afonso, small baby who was admitted to hospital due to a immunity deficiency, causing pneumonia. A sister of our church moved us to intercede, and I took on the task to go and visit. The whole story is told on http://blogdopom.blogspot.com albeit in Portuguese. There are pics however. I went, knowing that this was a special baby. This baby had inspired in all of us, a fighter/warrior spirit. But a week later, we learned through the blog and through our sister, that Afonso had died. I was distraught, because I really desired to see Afonso defeat death, and have a mighty testimony.
I can only surmise…speak into the dark, but these are all occasions when we have to depend upon the infinite wisdom of God, we cannot know everything, and push back a veil that God has put on each case.
My own father passed away in 1990, due to a cancer. It was industrial cause, mesothelioma. Provoked by the usage, and sawing of asbestos boarding, widely used in the 60’s. At the time I was in ministry, with my AOG church in Nottingham, UK. I was almost finishing the year of pastoral training. I was helping out a small assembly in Stanton Hill. Small group of 8, remainder of a mighty work in the 60’s which died off. Sad. But the challenge by our assistant pastor to act as a pastor there, was good for me. 1 month of pastoring. I had a campaign of evangelism going on.
I remember arriving home…touched the door handle of the door, and God said: “Prepare yourself for your father, he has cancer.” I entered the lounge, and I never forget the scene. Father by the white fireplace, and I said “It is cancer isn’t it?” He cried, and said yes…the worst type. I went tearfully to Stanton Hill…to conduct the campaign. I spent many hours in the church building gathering forces…and if I remember the 8 people making up the Church also joined me in prayer. The fruits of that campaign were two souls, and a deepening of my walk before the Lord.
I remember it very clearly, that after my month there, I returned to my home church, I had the habit of being in prayer in the office, when the Presence of the Lord came very strongly!!!! Turned me to the last verses of Genesis 11 and first of chapter 12. The Lord came in such tenderness and such glory I could not contain it. In the meetings a prophetic anointing would come over me bringing me into the core of the Church purpose in God. People who knew me were amazed and wondered what was happening.
It carried on 3 days of intense Presence of the Lord, and then my father passed away. I could not understand it at first, because I had faith for his recovery. Even in the time of his illness, between diagnosis and death were all of 3 months, he called my pastor, and committed his life to the Lord.
I journeyed to Brixham in Devon, where I remember meeting a great man of God, full of vision for the Church, and a prophet there. I remember that week was so powerful, but my father would call after me…
I remember the day clearly as it were yesterday. 6th APRIL 1990. Collapsed upstairs at about 11pm at night. The ambulance people could not revive him. I remember the empty sensation that pervaded my night, I slept few hours, and then left the house for my grandmother’s (dad’s parents), where everyone was distraught obviously.
I am telling all this to say, whilst I did not understand the loss of my father, I gained far more. I lost his company, his example, but I gained a deeper walk with God. Death is not defeat, it is a clear passage where Glory touches the earth in a moment, leaving a residual “Spirit”, where we perceive life as God perceives it, where our selfishness and self centeredness disappears.
We live moment by moment seeing life itself a gift and a privelege given to us. Since my father’s passing I can surely recite from experience the verse from Isaiah 6:1; “IN the year that Uzziah died I SAW THE LORD.”
In Jesus’ death the centurion saw WHO HE WAS! He exclaimed the innocence of the Lord, dying a death that did not belong to Him.
The Lord is taking us all deeper into Him, let us not resist Him. He is searching out our hearts. Let us submit and gain the eternal vision He has for us.
Continue to pray for us.