I have prayed for my dad’s salvation for decades. As I wrote in my last post, my dad has stage 4 terminal cancer. He is already three years into a two to five year life expectancy so time is running out.
My dad and I have long been on opposite ends in many areas in our lives. I am a conservative. He is a liberal. He is a democrat. I don’t follow any party lines and would rather there were no parties. He believes certain social norms are acceptable where I feel they are destructive to our society and families. I believe the Bible is truth, and I fellowship with other believers regularly. He doesn’t. He is one of the most intelligent men I have ever known but only reads and studies liberal materials. And many of those materials point away from faith of any kind. I have to admit that there have been times when I despaired that he would ever see his need for a Savior.
About four years ago, I sat down with my dad and through the Holy Spirit was able to share with him God’s plan for salvation and our need to accept that plan and to accept Jesus Christ as Lord of our lives. He stated that he believed he would go to heaven because he is a good person. He also stated that the Bible is not relevant for today and all religions lead to the same god. I explained that we are all sinners and cannot go to heaven in our sinful state. I explained that Jesus said the only way to the Father was through Him and the other religions did not acknowledge Jesus Christ as Savior.
Dad was unwilling to accept what I had to say about needing a Savior but knowing him, I knew he would think about all we had talked about. And I knew I couldn’t push him.
When he was diagnosed with cancer, I again attempted to tell him about his need for a Savior but all I managed to do was upset him. So, again, I left the topic alone and just continued to pray for him. His cancer made him more open to discussions about his faith but still didn’t open the door to an actual discussion about his need for a Savior.
A few months ago he had a bad fall after a chemo session that I had taken him to and I had to take him to the emergency room to get checked out since he had fallen right on his port where he gets the drugs. He still had his third chemo drug being pumped into him so wore the pump in a belt around his waist. The nurse asked him about the pump and he explained that he had stage 4 colon cancer that had spread to his liver. She responded that she also had stage 4 cancer but in her breasts.
While we were waiting for an X-ray, my dad asked me if I thought she would be OK with him asking her how she handled her stage 4 cancer and I said absolutely. She was here to help people. So, after she finished the discharge paperwork, he asked her. I was silently praying the entire time that she would witness to him.
I was so disappointed when she responded instead that she finds something to smile about every day. No matter what is going wrong, she looks for something good. Which is great advice, just not what I was praying for.
Then my dad said to her, “I find that trusting in Jesus Christ as my Savior is what gets me through my stage 4 cancer.” I closed my eyes as tears welled up and I told God, “Oh God, I just make you too small. Here I am praying for her to witness to him and he witnessed to her. Oh Lord, you did it. You led my dad to His Savior. Thank you Jesus.” I don’t know when my dad accepted Christ as His Savior, but I know he did. He proclaimed it. I think a part of me didn’t believe it would happen. A part of me thought my dad was just too stubborn. But God was bigger than my doubts and bigger than my dad. Praise the Lord!