Last Thursday I posted about a situation I had with a friend who wanted to be immersed, but his chances of doing so were almost impossible. Here’s what happened…
My new friend has terminal cancer. He’s in the hospital and will not make it out. He had spiritual baggage the likes I have rarely seen. He was scared. He just wanted to find peace, forgiveness, and assurance of an eternity with God. We chatted about those things last week. We looked at scripture. He wanted to be immersed. I pursued every avenue I could, but it wasn’t going to happen. That night, I consulted with some trusted friends, just wanted to get some other brains around this situation. They gave me excellent thoughts.
The next day, I went to see my friend with some other people that had recently impacted his life. I took his confession of faith in Jesus Christ. I then helped him obey as best as he could. We washed him with wet washcloths from head to toe. One of the people present started softly humming “Just As I Am.” When we finished, my friend opened his eyes and started weeping, thanking us for what we had done. He started praying, thanking God for us. He stated that he already felt better.
I went back to see him on Monday. He was a changed man.
His fear was gone. You could see it in his face–even his color was better. His outlook was completely different. He was finally at peace. He finally had hope that he never had before. He wanted to tell everyone he saw about his new faith. The only thing he was concerned about was not being able to get out of his bed in order to get out and tell people his story. Little did he know that his story was already impacting lives.
One of the people I consulted used my friend’s story to challenge the leaders of his church to take a fresh look at grace. He said each of his leaders left that gathering with a whole new appreciation for the unimaginable grace of God. When I told my new friend this had happened, he teared up. All he could say was, “That’s great!” He is now at peace with the hope of an eternity with Jesus.
I’m still an immersion guy. When people want to be baptized, I point them to the examples we have in the Bible (which are all immersions). But I also have an even greater appreciation for the unimaginable grace of God through Jesus Christ. All because of the faith of a friend living out his final days who just wanted to find peace with God.