As I was growing up, my mom and dad taught me the Word they knew. The principles I learned about unconditional love, tithing, and putting my trust in God carried me for thirty years, until I came to a more accurate knowledge of the Word taught by The Way. Then I got to share with them!
When my dad was seventy, he fell and broke his ankle. Due to a chronic respiratory condition, his pulmonary doctor said Dad’s lungs were so fragile that he would not survive general anesthesia. As a result, they did an epidural to surgically repair his leg. After a week in the hospital, he suffered a massive heart attack. When I went to visit, asking how he was, he said, “Not good. In your vocabulary, the ‘adversary’ has me in his clutches.” I said, “How so?” He said, “Well, they’ve told me they will try to do one bypass but that I probably won’t make it.”
I got out my Bible, read him I Peter 5:8, and said, “This isn’t MY vocabulary, Daddy. This is the vocabulary of the Word. And it doesn’t say ‘an adversary’ or ‘the adversary’ but ‘YOUR adversary’ because it’s personal! The Word also tells you who ‘your adversary’ is. It’s the Devil, and he is looking to devour you! You don’t have to let him take you out, but you are going to have to change your mind.”
I said, “Daddy, close your eyes and get a good mental picture of what I am going to say. I want you to see oatmeal in a bowl, cold, no sugar, no butter. Do you see that?” He nodded. “Keep your eyes closed and now see something different. Think about bacon, eggs, hash browns, cinnamon rolls, coffee, biscuits and gravy. You see that?” He nodded, smiled with his eyes closed, and said, “Yes ma’am, I do.”
“Now, open your eyes.” When he did, I told him, “THAT is how easy it is to change your mind. Daddy, you can think that cold oatmeal thought that you probably won’t make it, in which case you probably won’t. Or you can change your mind, go for the ‘big breakfast,’ and believe to get your need met, whatever that need is. You can only think one thought at a time, so make sure that you are thinking the Word! I know you are seventy, but you don’t have to leave if you don’t want to. But if you want to stay, you are going to have to change your mind!”
I saw my dad the next day right before his surgery. He asked if it would be OK if he gave the little, yellow retemory book I’d given him to his nurse because he thought it would bless her to know the verses that built his believing. Of course I said yes!
That day my father had a quadruple bypass surgery under general anesthesia. He lived for several years after that! My dad was always respectful of the Word I shared with him, and on several occasions he saw God work mightily because he believed what I had shared with him. What a blessing to see God work in my dad’s life to keep him here all those years, all because he renewed his mind to the Word!