God’s Big, Big House
My father-in-law, Bob had emphysema and congestive heart failure. When I awoke on March 24, 1999, I knew that was the day for me to pay him a visit, and have a serious talk with him.
Bob was a widower, and lived in a small house, just a little over a mile from my home. On the short trip there, I asked God for wisdom and I asked for favor.
My father-in-law was a "wheeler-dealer", with many people coming and going, buying or selling; it was a rare time that he was
alone. I needed some "alone time" with Bob.
I knocked on his door, and from the couch where he was laying, I heard him say, “Come on in.” He was alone! One favor granted. After our initial greetings, I skipped small talk and got to the heart of my visit.
“Bob,” I said, I’m concerned about your physical condition, but I’m also concerned about the condition of your soul.” I was pleasantly surprised to see a “knowing” look come on his face, as he gave a slight nod and said, "Yeah." i asked him, "Do you think you will come out of this? He acknowledged that he knew I was referring to his sickness.
“No, I don’t think I will,” he answered in a matter-of-fact tone. I pushed the envelope a little farther, and asked the question I felt must be dealt with that day, “Bob, do you know where you will spend eternity?”
I was in for another surprise when he replied, “I’ve thought about that...just in the last six months, or so. I never used to think about it, but I’ve been thinking about it.”
Bob continued, pointing upwards, as though toward the sky, “But He’s got a big, big house up there, and I think there’s room for me.” Audio Adrenaline’s song, “Big, Big House”, immediately popped into my head, and I spontaneously laughed.
“Bob, there’s a popular Christian song about God’s big, big house, with lots and lots of room!” Laying there on the couch, he grinned, and said, “Yeah?” I said, “You’re right, Bob, there is room for you in His big house!”
He took on a serious tone and said, “There’s a long, rugged road that leads to it, but if I try real hard, I’ll stay on it and make it there.”
Compassion filled my heart as I gently placed my hand on his and said, “Bob, JESUS is that road; He is the only way to God. You don't need to do anything to get there, except to believe on Him and accept him into your heart."
The Bible says if you confess with your mouth, and believe in your heart that Jesus was raised up from the dead for your sins, you will be saved. Bob, do you believe?” Bob seemed to be taking in every word I spoke, and he confidently replied, "Oh, yeah, I believe that."
I boldly said, “Then, Bob, even though your earthly body may soon return to dust, because you believe in Jesus you will live forever in God's big, big house!"
I asked if I could read him a Scripture. He agreed, as I searched for John 11: 25,26 in my little purse Bible. I read, “Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?”
Bob was full of surprises, today. After a moment of silence, he responded to the reading of the Scriptures by saying, thoughtfully, “I’m going to look for my wife up there, too, if she’s there." Then he added, "I think she’s there.”
I smiled and said, “Bob, I believe she’s there, too; I really do, and I believe you will get to see her. (It didn't seem necessary to tell him that I had made a trip to the hospital to talk with her, too, a few days before she died). A knock came at the door, and our conversation was through.
I left Bob’s little house that day with joy in my heart, and thanks on my lips to God for wisdom and favor, and for His amazing grace.
Bob died less than two months later. The truth is, however, Bob
didn’t really die. He just moved to a bigger house.
copyright 2005 Barbara Thompson-Young
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