Sunday, June 15, 2008


Our family was living in Michigan, when my husband was offered a position in our home state of Missouri, where we had not resided for over a decade, with the exception of one brief return before moving on again. We moved to Missouri, on August 25, 1999. Two weeks later, on September 8th, my dad entered the hospital for tests, and there he remained until his death, September 30th.

A Chronicle of the Mercy and Grace of Our Lord
October 5, 1999

A few years ago I began to make a specific request of the Lord: If my dad would not change his mind and his heart and tell me he had accepted Jesus Christ as his personal Saviour, would God please put him in a coma or a semi-conscious state before he died, so that I might explain to him just one more time and cling to the hope that he had heard and made a decision to give his life to Jesus Christ.

God answered that prayer 3 weeks ago. While Daddy was unconscious for a week, my brother and I explained repeatedly to him God's plan of redemption for fallen mankind. Knowing he had been reared in a Baptist church, so the tune and lyrics should be familiar to him, several times I sang to him "Just as I Am". I read Scriptures aloud at his bedside, because God says in Isaiah 55:11, "So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it."

I prayed, and I hoped.

Then the Lord God, who is merciful and longsuffering, woke my dad and gave us two more weeks to spend with him.

Daddy had not accepted Jesus Christ as his Saviour while he slept.

But my dad is with our Father in Heaven, in the place prepared for him by Jesus. He's not there because he was a good man--for he was a sinner just like every other man. It is written, "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast." (Ephesians 2:8,9)

He's not there because he was religious--for he had claimed no religious affiliation, and no religion will save a man's soul. It is written, "For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time." (I Timothy 2:5)

Last Tuesday night, my brother and I were at the hospital with Daddy. We did not know then that it would be our final visit with him on this earth. We began again to tell Daddy of God's great and unfailing love for him. We explained again in detail that God had known him when he was created in his mother's womb and had loved him all the days of his life. God had provided and prepared a place for him in eternity, if he would only confess that he was a sinner and invite Jesus into his heart as his Lord and Saviour. God had always loved him, but Daddy must love God back. He couldn't have a home in heaven by being good. He couldn't buy it--it's free--salvation is by the grace of God.

Daddy said he understood. I asked him if he wanted to pray and ask God to forgive his sins, to ask Jesus to live in his heart. Daddy said, "Yes, let's pray." And we did.

On Tuesday evening, September 28, 1999, George Howard Hatfield's name was written in the Lamb's Book of Life. On Thursday, God called him home.

I went to the hospital Thursday afternoon not to talk with my dad, because God's Word forbids communication between the living and the dead. I went to engrave in my mind and my heart the image of the man I would not see again until the trump of God sounds. It is written, "For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words." (I Thessalonians 4:14-18)

And I went to the hospital that afternoon to talk with the one true God, the God of the Bible, our Lord--mine, my brother's…and Daddy's. I had so much to say to Him, so much for which to thank Him.

This is God's promise to those who belong to Him, who are saved by grace through faith in the finished work on the cross of Calvary: "And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain." (Revelation 21:4)

I'm missing my dad…but I will see him again.

How marvelous are God's works. How intricate are the tapestries He weaves. How merciful and longsuffering He is. How great is His love. Great is His name and greatly to be praised. Blessed be the name of the Lord.

But thou, O LORD, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head. I cried unto the LORD with my voice, and he heard me out of his holy hill. Selah. ~Psalm 3:3, 4

To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen. ~Jude 1:25

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