"'He who has ears to hear, let him hear!"
Matthew 11:15 (NIV)
On Good Friday morning, a week after his triple by-pass surgery, my dad sat on a chair beside his hospital bed and started sharing the salvation story. He began by saying "the resurrection took place through and after a very difficult circumstance." The difficult circumstance being "the degree that Jesus had to suffer to make resurrection possible for everyone." He went on to say, the message that "Jesus suffered, died, and rose again," was for everyone, "but not many people hear and listen."
I believe my dad, a respected Cree elder in our tribal area, was sharing from the perspective of his own suffering. That morning, just seven days after his open-heart surgery, I believe he was likening and accepting his own suffering in light of Jesus’ suffering. It was in understanding the depth of Jesus’ suffering that helped him to walk in faith, perseverance, and hope in his own suffering. My dad clearly lived in faith, perseverance, and hope to the very end of his struggle.
He fought courageously but succumbed to the too many post-surgery complications seven weeks later. We, his family, are at peace with his passing. Yes, we miss him deeply, but we truly believe he has gone on to be with Jesus whom he believed in.
I want to bring this to your attention especially during this season. The statement my dad made, “that not many people hear and listen,” I hope is not true of us. I want to challenge everyone to take the salvation message of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection to heart. The world needs to hear this message. It is my sincere desire that my own indigenous people, Native North American people, and all people would understand this message, take it to heart, and let it change their lives forever.
Dear Heavenly Father, I pray today that you help me to have the ears to hear and the heart to understand your message of life and hope for us. This we ask in Jesus’ name, Amen.