This is a powerful testimony of the Grace of God that I would like to share with you. This wonderful Grace is available to all no matter the circumstances, if you place your faith and trust in God.
The inspiration for this article came from one just published recently by Hope Wingo: I Saw The Light. What an amazing story of her son that passed away with her believing that he did not know or accept Jesus as his Saviour. You need to read it. There is always hope as long as you have breath.
It’s time to share my story about Matthew, our son; it’s very similar.
Matthew died almost 11 years ago with two of his friends in a senseless car accident, racing. He was 24. All of them died.
Hope, along with my wife and I, belong to a club that no parent wants to be a part of. It leaves a hole in your heart that can only be filled with peace from the Lord. “Stay with me now until the end.”
Matthew had problems from the very start, even before birth. The umbilical cord was wrapped around his neck, which led to a loss of oxygen to his brain and caused him to be slightly handicapped. He ended up with some medical issues also; and after the sixth grade, we had to put him in a private Christian school to finish his education. He did graduate (funny, he was late for it), and he started hanging around with the wrong crowd.
He was raised in a strong Bible-believing home and made a profession of faith at home and in church. Plus, he went down to the front a couple of times rededicating his life back to the Lord. He was a great son; and along with our daughter three years younger, we had a lot of good times together. But he had attention deficit order, and we struggled with that all the time; but we did a lot of cool and great family things most families do.
We had to kick him out one day when he was 23 because he was not living the Christian life and didn’t follow our rules. He eventually made it, got his own place, and was living his life. God’s Grace is always there. Sadly, we got that call early in the morning no parent wants to get.
This is where the story changes. We knew Matthew had a lot of friends, but they were the undesirables that most parents did not want their child to hang with. We told him that being a Christian meant not associating with that crowd and culture. He liked living on the edge, but he was the most social and handsome young man you would ever meet. He would say hi and talk to strangers all the time, even growing up. He had a caring and loving sociable spirit.
He would come and borrow the mower and weed eater to work on one of his friends’ parent’s yard, and I would be so irate at him. “Make sure you get paid; don’t break my mower; bring it back immediately”; you get the idea. I hated that. I couldn’t stand it. I was angry at him because he didn’t turn out the way we wanted. I was hoping he would be a preacher some day or serving the Lord in a special way. Why didn’t our son live for the Lord? Well, what I didn’t know, God did.
We had a memorial service at our church for him, but we didn’t bring his body to the service; we had him cremated. We wanted to remember what he looked like that evening all dressed up – the most handsome young man standing there right before us. We will never forget it. You wouldn’t believe all the friends and the young people and their parents that came pouring into the service that he knew. They just kept coming and coming. WOW. The service was delayed. This is how I found out I was so wrong about Matthew.
He was being Christ-like to so many people, helping them in so many ways that I will never know. God was using Matthew in His way, not my way. The mothers would come up to us saying all the great things he did for them in helping them. These families were probably not your middle-class families. Probably a few days or longer, I realized how wrong I was. I felt like crawling under the carpet to hide from God concerning my previous thoughts I had about Matthew. I never felt so horrible. Yes, God’s grace and forgiveness is even big enough for me.
Here’s what came from all this:
His best friend he hung with ended up getting saved and going into the ministry. Praise the Lord!
We have no idea what impact Matthew had on all those friends and relatives, especially after his death.
My wife and I weren’t 100% sure Matthew was with the Lord and was truly saved, especially with the lifestyle he lived…until a couple of years ago; and this is where it ties in with Hope’s story.
I was at the kitchen table one day, reading God’s Word and having fellowship with Him; and He spoke to me through His Holy Spirit.
First he said, “I love you my son.” Before I could even consider the immensity of that statement (I don’t have words to explain that), Jesus said, “Matthew is in my hands.” I couldn’t do anything but literally wail for 5-7 minutes and couldn’t even get out of the chair to fall on the floor. I was shedding tears of immense joy and relief for what Jesus said, not about me, but about Matthew, our son. I talked with my good friend and pastor in Texas later, and he said he has been told this from parents also. How do you respond to this?
It’s like Hope put it so perfectly; it’s the thief on the cross all over again. God is sovereign, and His mercy and grace is ever-reaching.
Whatever your story is, don’t ever give up. Hope is always there in the person and Lord, Jesus Christ, the Saviour. Hope will, without a doubt, see Robbie one day. My wife Elizabeth, Becky, and I will see Matthew one day. We will be together in Glory forever serving God, and I hope you will also.
Blessing to you,