Sunday, January 29, 2012

Bill Betts; At Peace with God

It’s been 10 days since my father, Bill Betts passed away.  He went to be with our savior and God on the night of January 19th, 2012.

My father loved Jesus, and by God’s grace, he was saved by faith.  His sins were forgiven –paid for by Christ’s blood, and so his soul entered God’s glorious presence covered by the righteousness of Christ. 

I am grateful that I got to be with him as he died, and I am very thankful that he was able to go so peacefully.

The night before he died, I had been reading the Bible to him.  We were reading thru a yearly Bible plan, and we were off schedule according to the date.  But, by God’s providence, we were right where we needed to be. 

Jesus’ words in John 14 bring truth and comfort.
1 “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. 2 In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.

My mom and I were at home along with my sister Rachel and her fiancĂ© Bryn.  My dad had been bedridden for months, and we were in the process of changing his diaper and linens when his breathing slowed, his eyes closed and he began to fade out.  My mother was holding his head in her arms and with our hearts racing and tears in our eyes, we held him and told him we loved him and prayed to Jesus; thanking him for his grace and mercy and reminding our dad of God’s great love for him.

In the moment, there was a certain tranquility, and yet it was possibly the most intense thing that I’ve ever gone thru in my life.   And although we’d lived in expectation of that moment for months now, I’m not sure you can ever be truly prepared.  The passing of an eternal soul from one place to the next is simply intense.  

As his life slipped away, we called my brother and other sister Leslie and they came over right away.   My Grandma and aunts and uncles and cousins arrived quickly along with Stephanie and our kids and we all grieved, cried and prayed together. 

We take great comfort knowing that my dad was ready to go.  The cruelness of Lou Gehrig’s disease had prepared him mentally (and certainly physically) to go, but he was also ready spiritually. 

1 Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.
My dad was a wonderful dad and a kind, loving man who touched many peoples lives.   He will be missed by me and those who loved him for the rest of our lives here on earth for sure.  But there is hope and joy even despite our grieving because of Christ.   Our hope is sure, not because my dad was was a pretty great guy, but because our God is a really great God. 

Because of what Jesus did on the cross, we can confidently assert that our dad is in a better place and his suffering is over.