THE BLOOD OF JESUS CLEANSES YOU FROM ALL SIN AND GUILT (1 JOHN 1:7). JESUS IS THE DELIVERER!!
There are days you never forget . Some are joyful, happy, fun days and others are terrifying, horrible days. May 22, 1973 was one of those terrifying days.
It started off as a lovely day. Spring in Minnesota is a beautiful, delicate time of year. It begins in lovely pastels and flows into stronger hues. This day was so lovely in its beginning. The children are off to school. I spend some time reading my Bible and praying for the members of my family. Then it's time for the housework. I've been busy all day and in a hurry to finish so that I'm free by the time the children come home from school.
Here they are at the door eager to get in and tell all about the day's events. Byron hits the back steps on the run with the usual "Hi Mom!" Marie is not far behind. They have some snacks, change clothes, and run out to play.
Our pastor's wife and children, and a neighbor come by. I make tea for the adults and the children go off to play. Byron comes in, hugs me where I sit, tells me "I'm a good Mom," and sneaks a cookie out of my saucer. Tells me as he rushes out the door that, "Someday I'm going to climb to the top of a tree". He's gone but I hear me saying, "Don't climb the tree at the top of the hill". He doesn't hear.
The talk among adults begins again, pastor's wife leaves, and neighbor stays. The door slams and the pastor's son says "Byron fell out of the tree". I rush up the hill to where he lays. One look and I know there is no hope except in God. We begin artificial respiration but there's no response. I hurry to call the rescue unit. They are here in no time. The route to the hospital is cleared; we're there in a matter of minutes. All the way Marie and I pray begging God to help him, to heal him.
Now he's in the emergency room; they are trying so hard to help him. We're in the waiting room praying; praying as we have never prayed before. They've called Gene; I'm praying for him. His children are the light and joy of his life, and now only God can restore his son. Oh God, please help him!
During this wait, I hear myself thinking, "Where in God's Word can I find help?" By a miracle He has given this child, how can He let him die? How can I let him die? I hear my voice asking God, "How can you say you love him and us if you will not hear and heal?" And God said, "I love him more than you do". I tell God I don't understand it. I reason with Him that JESUS didn't have children here so how can He understand? All He says is, "I love you, Gene and Marie more than you do. I know the present, past and future of all things". Not once did I feel He did not love me or them but I truly could not understand.
Gene is here now; a moment I've desired and dreaded. He is told everything; I tell him what God has said. We still cannot say "Lord we trust you, have your way here".
As in a distance, I hear myself tell the Devil to remove death from this child; that in JESUS' name he cannot have him. And Byron lives on in a coma.
As time passes, God's love and assurance penetrates us; at least we are able to say, "He is yours". At this moment God removed his spirit. We never had been able to dedicate our children to God. Somehow we were afraid of God. He had not become a God of love and power to us but He is becoming so now.
Now I am letting all my fear out to God. I tell Him, "If this child dies, I will kill myself, Gene and Marie because I know with certainty that I cannot help it". Even knowing what the Bible says about suicide and murder, I know I cannot help myself.
Byron had never been down the church isle nor had he joined the church. When he was a baby, he was loving and a joy to behold. All of his life he excelled in all things: school, sports, etc. Instead of growing away from his family, he seemed to grow closer.
In the year before his death, he was happiest when we did things as a family. At night he would study or pretend to until Gene finished his work in the study and came down to the den. He had a favorite chair. He would get up and walk around the room and his dad would sit in Byron's favorite chair Byron jumps in his dad's lap and sits there during the news. He's 12 years old and we're wondering when he will start to rebel.
I'm remembering how Byron, Marie and Gene play together, and now one will not be present anymore. The pain is so great that I tell God, "If Byron does not make it into Heaven, I don't want any part of your Heaven". I tell Him that He must do something for me so I will know where Byron is and that God himself really exists and has a personal love for each of us because if He does not I don't need Him or want Him.
For 2 ears before Byron's death, I had begun to feel there must be more to being a Christian than I saw in myself or in any other Christian I ever knew. If there was no more than what I had and had seen in others, it was not enough.
One Sunday I issued God an ultimatum; He had three Sundays to do something to prove His existence. Now I couldn't see that He performed at all that first week nor the second week. At last the third week came and I was truly expecting something to happen. I didn't know what but something--nothing happened. I quit church that day spiritually.
Friends had started a Bible study group. They were going to skip around and study different books of the Bible. I told them, "No, I'd quit". Their shocked faces amazed and amused me. They didn't seem to have anymore of God in their lives than I did. I retorted that, "If I ever read again in that Book, I'll start with Genesis, and go all the way through the Book. If I found no more than I had before, I'd burn the Book and think of it no more".
Well, they started in Genesis and found some very interesting things. Like that group in the desert that was at least as big a group as all the people in Houston (where we lived at that time) plus all the surrounding area. Now Houston had 2 million people there.
That set me off. I had just been hearing how much water we used in Houston
including food, clothing, etc. I was in amazement at how God cared for the people. I got my Bible and I read, "Did your clothes get threadbare or your shoes wear out?" I then am truly amazed because I do already know about the manna and quail. Well, I didn't stop going to church but I did begin to look at the Bible differently. I learned a lot about the Bible and believed in God more.
But here I am living by Baptist standards and by then my child may be on his way to Hell; only God knows and I must know. I asked God for a sign or I told Him that I would die and my family also.
The doctor comes in now. One look at his face and I know his words will be "death". As I try to get up, I realize my heart is beating so hard I cannot see. As I stand up and grab for his jacket to hold on to, something begins to happen. I can see and besides there is a sweet, sweet peace coming over my head. It's down to my shoulders and now my heart instantly begins to beat properly. The sweet peace continues until I am strengthened even to my feet.
At the moment the doctor says he is gone, that sweet peace begins to flow down over me--assurance unshakable that comes from God. Byron is with Him, God exists, Hallelujah! He loves us, will strengthen us, will be with us, and preserve us. No one has ever been able to shake this answer in my mind or spirit.
As we go in to tell Byron good-bye, our hearts realize that he is already with God--what can I say to his body? I love him so much I cannot cry. I want to scream it cannot be so. I want to grab him up and run away where no one can take him from me but that sweet, sweet peace comes. I cannot shake it--I want to--I don't want to. We are told we must leave. It is like ripping us into shreds but we know we must go.
There are things we must take care of. As the problems appear, we pray that God shows us what to do. Where do we bury Byron? Our home then was in Minnesota but we didn't believe we would stay there long. We could not bear to leave him there. God gives me a vision of a place I had not seen since I was about five years old; didn't know where it is or even if it exists. Mother tells me it is where my grandparents on my dad's side are buried. It's a family plot in Tennessee. As questions come up, God gives the answers.
As we are going through the church services, I am numb. I can only feel pain and that sweet, sweet peace. All the children from his school come to the funeral. Gene has asked the pastor to tell the children of God's love and JESUS' provision for salvation. God anoints the pastor and it is a truly inspired service. It is over; I still am numb and in great pain but that sweet peace refuses to leave.
We fly to Tennessee to complete the service of burial; now it's over. Still I cannot sleep; I pray and wait. I cannot see how I can go on living. I'm always asking God just to give me strength in body, soul and spirit for the next job and after that the next.
I am very pained because we had planned for Byron to have a jet ride; now he is but he cannot see or enjoy it. The pain is too great to cry--only moans come out. Marie reminds me that his spirit has already flown higher than jets.
I don't want to go home to Minneapolis but I know I must. I'm the type that if I run from pain or unpleasantness, I will continue running. This is why I have to guard against anything which gives artificial help like drink, drugs, people, etc.
We drive to Atlanta to the airport. Atlanta has over one hundred tornadoes that day--some big, some small. The plane sits on the ground for hours. At take-off it labors and shakes until we are beginning to wonder if it will make it. I'm thinking that maybe God will answer my prayer and help us to get to Heaven together: all three of us right now. So I don't pray for the plane or even the other people because my pain is too great.
Later on I ask God to reveal to me when and how Byron was saved. He flashed an incident across my memory. Byron had read Proverbs 20:11 one day in Sunday school. The lesson was not interesting so he read on in his Bible. On arriving home (then I'm suffering from allergy) he was glowing and he told me this verse. From then on his life was changed.
I am sharing these events in my life with you so that you may know of the love of God for your personally. He has asked all saved people to tell others of this great love which welcomes all people regardless of condition to the Savior who loved us so much that he died on the cross to redeem us to Himself.
In a few nights I'm praying and asking God if I might see Byron in a dream or vision if it wasn't against His rules. As I was sleeping this night I heard a loud sound like a knife falling on concrete. I think I'm awake; even now I'm not sure. I feel this presence at the head of my bed. I cry out, "what are you?" Byron says, "It's me, Mom". I immediately asked Him, "How is everything with you?" He says, "It's fine, so very fine". Then I asked him if JESUS is there. This had been an important question on my mind and only JESUS could answer it. He said, "JESUS was not there just then but was there most of the time". I asked, "How was death?" He said "It was so cold and terrible when the accident happened", but hastened with much joy to add that "everything is wonderful and fine now".
A few days later I am so close to the brink of despair or insanity. I asked God why He let this happen to us. I know a family with several children they do not want. The children are pitiful in every way. "God why didn't you take one of them?" He only answered, "I began to prepare your family for this time 2 years ago. I drew you back, Gene back, and Marie was saved. I love and prepare my children for all things." But why he died, God did not say.
We knew nothing of the Gifts of the Holy Spirit, yet they were operating in our lives then. I had dreams, Marie had a vision, and Gene had the interpretation.
There were many times I would reach points of no return knowing that easing into insanity was next and that was welcome. I'd just scream "JESUS" until it became a whisper, and peace and strength would return. There is more power in that name than any man has yet understood.
It is now four years later. We have found out much more about the God of love and power. About 1 years to 2 years after Byron's death, we were still earnestly seeking God. We had discovered that God heals and baptizes in the Holy Spirit. Now we know He loves us, cares for us, and protects us.
I received a healing in my back in 1975. Later on in that year God told me that I need not take any more allergy shots. I had 175 severe allergy problems and had been treated over five years by doctors. I didn't take any more shots. Now in 1986 I am still healed--Praise The Lord!
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