February 24 started like any other day, but little did I know that before the day was over I would be started on a journey like nothing I have ever experienced. At 5:30 pm on that eventful day I began to experience chest pains that were determined at the Marshall County ER to be a heart attack. This diagnosis was confirmed, after a fast ambulance ride to Baptist Health in Paducah. The weekend was filled with cardiograms, heart-cath, and other tests that verified a small amount of damage and four badly clogged arteries. The options were limited with bypass surgery as the only choice with much promise of future life.
Our church, our family, Facebook friends, and Christian brothers and sisters were praying. I felt the prayers. Dr. Lopez and his staff successfully did the 4 – bypass surgery and I awoke in ICU on a ventilator and tubes and wires all over my body. Somewhere during the post-op weakness, I began to pray in my mind, “Our Father which art in heaven, hallowed be thy name.” That is as far as I got. What happened next was one of the most amazing experiences that this 81 year old who has been in the Gospel ministry over 60 years ever had.
The sweetest presence of Jesus just flooded my heart. I never felt such pure love and joy! It felt like Jesus Himself was right there. Within my heart I began to sing “He is sweet I know.” This is an old Mahlia Jackson song we used to sing at Christian Fellowship back in the early days at our church. The chorus goes like this:
“He’s sweet I know, He’s sweet I know, dark clouds may rise, strong winds may blow, but I’ll tell the world where ever I go, that I have found a Savior, and He’s sweet I know.”
This was followed by these words in my mind: “It is all true!” Everything you have read about Jesus in the Bible is true! Jesus is who the Bible says He is: the Son of God! He has done what God told us in His word; “He shed His blood for us on the cross and paid our sin debt and was buried, and arose from the dead.”
For over 60 years I have proclaimed this good news of Jesus and His great salvation. Laying there in helpless physical weakness, His presence of overwhelming joy and love was just indescribable. I wanted to shout to the world, “It is all true!”
A person could spend a lifetime advancing a cause and when he came down to the end find out his life had been lived in vain supporting a falsehood. But when crunch time came for me Jesus was there!
Dear Reader: If you have any doubts about the reliability of the Bible and the reality of Jesus Christ and His gospel of salvation, please believe me when I say, I know from firsthand experience – “It is all true!”