“And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.” (Revelation 14:13)
It was on the 22nd of October, 2017, that my dad passed on. He passed on very early in the morning, so early that I’m sure he wasn’t late for Sunday worship service, ABOVE. He probably left in a haste for that purpose. He’s in a great company now.
While it would be very wrong to paint an angel of a man, it would amount to robbery to deny any man the praises due him, and my dad was a man of wondrous merits worthy of much praise.
Firstly, throughout my life, God, through his favour upon my dad, supplied our needs, provided security, sustenance, shelter, education, etc. and most importantly, the teachings in the ways of the Lord. I for this reason agree so much to the old saying that goes, “To God, to parents, and to teachers we can never render sufficient gratitude and compensation.”
My dad was hugely successful in civil service by hard work and honesty. He believed so much in hard work that he found so much fault with the saying that goes, “all works and no play makes Jack a dull boy.”
Not many dads are as well travelled as mine. God, by his favour, took my dad to places he never thought he would ever go to in his life. And he accomplished much for himself, his family, and many others to.
Finally my dad was a man of strong Christian convictions, good personal devotional life, and a man of prayer. His prayer life was very instrumental to my conversion. On the 31st of December, 2004, as was the custom, we had a crossover service, which was an all night service so that we entered the new year fellowshiping together. In that service I sat on a pew behind my dad. After we did the count down to the new year, people were excited going from person to person and saying “happy new year!” The excitement was much and as I turned to say “Happy new year” to my dad I found him on his knees praying. Seeing him on his knees praying, the thought came to me, “why don’t you also pray.” And that night (or morning) I went on my knees and prayed inviting Jesus into my life and pleading with God to help me not to go to Hell, for that was the fear that filled my heart in those days. As also was the custom, when the day broke, we gathered again to worship. While the preacher was preaching, I saw a trance, not that I was sleeping, I was fully conscious of the sermon while I saw the trance. In the trance, I saw my self sitting on the ground in a dark room with my arms wound around my leg and my head on my knees, then all of a sudden like a door was opened and a bright light shone into the room, and I stood up and walked towards the light. Since that time my life never remained the same. Not that life became easy as some people would like to persuade people to believe that when you become born again, that is the end of pain and any unpleasantness. But I lost many friends, opportunities, and other things, but I found in Christ far much more than I ever lost so much that I can confidently say, let the whole world go if it will, I lose nothing if Christ shall be mine. This rich experience of conversion was inspired by my praying dad.
How differently I see death now. I’ve only read about its pains in the past but I now feel the awful pain in reality. Death is wicked and cruel. Yet how much more differently I now see and understand the greatness of the efficacy of the death of Christ upon the cross for our salvation. How the most wicked thing in life is changed into a beautiful passage to eternal blessedness. The thought of these things so fills my heart these days. It is a wonder to ponder.
It is for times such as this when life turns its ugliest side on us that we need (NOW) to accept Christ, who is able to make all things including death beautiful in its time, as our Lord and Saviour. “… Our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.” (2 Timothy 1:10). Only in Jesus is this salvation found.
I therefore implore friends, well wishers, loved ones, etc. of my dad not to mourn but rejoice greatly. Not because my dad is departed from us, but rejoice for him because he’s gone to be with the Lord. Indeed, his departure was so painful and heart rending beyond what I could possibly describe, but nothing consoles me than the confidence I have that he has gone to be with the Lord. We shall meet again with hearts of joy by the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. For this reason, I now rejoice and do not mourn. The Bible agrees to this when it says, “But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.” (1 Thessalonians 4:13). These are not days of sorrow but days of great celebration, and let us celebrate accordingly with much praise and gratitude to God our Saviour.
Thank you and God bless you.