My Heavenly Father is Smiling with Me-Part II by Zack Fugate

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“…when I remember you upon my bed, and meditate on you in the watches of the night; for you have been my help…”-Psalm 63:6-7a

Shortly after their trip to Hawaii, my grandmother called my dad and told him that she didn’t want any family visiting anymore. She explained that if people wanted to see them, it would have to be for dinner periodically and only when it worked for them. While my father was hurt, he respected her wishes and the distance grew. That was how things stayed for quite sometime until one day, when my father received a call from one of my grandmother’s neighbors. She explained to my dad that she hadn’t seen movement around the house for a few days, so she went over and checked to see how things were going. When she went over and knocked on the door, she noticed my grandmother shuffling through the kitchen, but it didn’t seem right and she never answered the door. At that point she was concerned that something had happened, so she called the police to come and check on my grandma and her husband. The police arrived and ended up needing to break the door open because my grandmother wouldn’t answer the door. When they entered the house, tragically they found my grandmother’s husband lying dead on their bed. He had died from his liver shutting down on account of his alcoholism. Things had gotten so bad for my grandmother, that she was delirious and didn’t have a mind conscious enough to call and get help. The sad reality is that had been the situation in their house for several days.

Immediately my parents rushed down to the town where my grandmother lived and they went with her to the hospital. After a week or so in the hospital, my grandma started to talk and began to eat. After two weeks, the doctors told my parents that they could bring my grandma home, but that she would need intense care, as she was still very fragile. Remarkably, within two months she was laughing and reminiscing about family stories. I began to see the woman I knew to be my grandmother again, and my children finally got the chance to hug their Great Grandma Connie. Altogether we got to have three amazing months with my grandmother again before her body began to let go and the Lord started to call her home.

The Lord had moved in such a way that he had blessed us beyond what we could have imagined. At this point, you might be wondering why this pondering is titled as it is. Everything came full circle during one of the last evenings I was able to spend with my grandma before she went home to be with the Lord. We were sitting in her room in the nursing home where she was receiving hospice care. I was holding her hand and she was struggling to breath. She glanced over at me and those familiar tears began to fill her eyes. In an incredible moment, she smiled at me and whispered, “Oh, Zachary, God loves us and he is smiling with us now.” We sat and cried together, and I was able to read to her from my Bible, and share with her what the Lord had been teaching me.

“…and in the shadow of your wings I will sing for joy. My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me.”-Psalm 63: 7b-8

Generations had changed through the Lord’s mighty work in the life of my grandmother. The Lord used her faith to begin to call me to the salvation that can only be found in him. Brothers and sisters, as David shares so beautifully in Psalm 63, there is nothing sweeter than the relationship that we can have with our heavenly Father. It is only through the cross of Jesus Christ that we can find hope, love, and truth. Let us find rest in the very shadow of his wings, pursue him with all that we have, and cherish that God loves us and he is smiling with us now!

Your brother in Christ,
Zack Fugate


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