Don't give up.

I did the math and I am 44 years, 1 month and 4 days old today. Honestly to me it seems like a lifetime already. I can remember ever since I could comprehend as a child that one needed to pray for their unsaved mother and/or father. In my case it was my dad. His views about God and religion were always a mystery to me, simply because he refused to talk about it. He wouldn't even talk about why he wouldn't talk about it. One time, after I had started bible college, I was invited by my pastor to preach at my home church in Arkansas. I prayed, and prayed about that one. The one thing you don't want to do is flop. If there is anything one would probably do as a young preacher it's just that. The Sunday night that I was suppose to preach my dad showed up. By the guidance of the Holy Spirit my "sermon" flew out the window and instead He had me preach from John 3:16. I gave an altar call, but by dad wouldn't move, raise his hand or make any kind of acknowledgment of faith. After the service, my pastor came to me and said, "Russ, there are only two or three times in my life where I have seen God move a service just to speak to one person, tonight was one of those nights." That was nice, but it offered little comfort to me. Dad attended church with me only one other time and that was to see my future wife sing in the Revivaltime Choir.

This evening dad passed away. I've been talking to him every week for months now. Each time looking for opportunities to ask him about his faith. All he would tell me is, 'Don't worry, God and me are OK." After a while I quit asking. He was happy to talk about family, weather, sports and everything else. I was happy just to talk with him. We concluded every conversation with "I love you." and he would respond with a tearful, "I love you too." He knew as I did, that one of them were going to be his last.

I was praying for him, everyday, again and again. Were my prayers working? Was God doing something? I didn't know. Then tonight, just before he died he told everyone that he was tired, that God was waiting for him and that he wanted to go home to be with Him. As far as I'm concerned, I've prayed 44 years, 1 month and 4 days to hear his one and only acknowledgment of faith. Thank You Jesus, it was worth it. I love you dad.