The wonderful assurance about all God’s Promises is that He has allowed us ample sampling of them all. And we who have sought the Lord and savored them know with certainty of things we hope for. For example, when Jesus arrived at Lazarus’s house, His comforting words were the reassurance that Lazarus was only sleeping (Jn 11: 11-14), and that He was here to conquer death and pave the way of resurrection for us (Jn 11:23, 25-26).
As children of God, let us be firm on His Word. The Word that commanded all things into existence will go forth and wake the sleeping. His Word woke Tabitha (Mk 5:41), just as it did Lazarus (Jn 11:43). They are proofs of Jesus’ assurance that death is only a sleep – a rest. Just as Enoch and Elijah are proofs that ascension into heaven is enabled for God’s children, even though mere mortals! No matter where our remains are buried, our bones drowned or our ashes scattered, at the appointed time, “..He will send His angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather His elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other” (Matt 24:31). Also refer Jn 5:25-29.
By paying this tribute to His servant, the late Evangelist Johnson Solomon, I hope to either bring to or strengthen all readers in the faith God in His mercy has gifted us. The faith and hope that had completely enveloped our family and insulated us from all evil and negative thoughts and words. Added to it, the joy of experiencing God’s amazing love with an overwhelming sense of gratitude! For such was the provision and such was His perfect and timely interventions in our life, throughout.
At the outset, we were at our tether’s end. We had no money, no savings, but just the barest of income. And, above all, we had none to turn to. But, from the first moment when he had passed out on our kitchen floor and had to be rushed to the hospital in the early hours of the morning of June 21, 2003, to the time when he was discharged from the hospital on July 23, 2003 for a day’s family reunion and goodbye – God took care of all our needs, met all our expenses and sent His angels in the guise of ordinary folks through extraordinary interventions and took such amazing care of us that throughout the period we could do nothing but sing His praises, thank Him and encourage the downcast. When the diagnosis was confirmed on July 1 of advanced stage of cancer, the disease had spread throughout his internals and suspected to have begun in the brain, though he was admitted on account of breathing difficulties. And indeed his left lung was also affected. He received the news with a mixture of gratitude and relief, for his response to the doctors who broke the news to him was, “I am glad you have found out what is ailing me, thank you”. And to the stream of visitors, that, “Whether I live or die, God’s Name should be honored!”.
Back home, amidst a large crowd of friends, foes, relatives, neighbors etc he had the privilege of the most reassuring and peaceful passing. It was literally the bidding of farewell with songs and hopefuls tears from this side of Jordan to a grand reception at the other side. The peace and joy I felt at that time continues unmarred to date. The certainty with which I lived every moment is as tangible today as it was then.
If I were to speak a few words about him, I wouldn’t want to eulogize or idolize. But then, it is another Promise of God that He will testify for us, and I’m happy to wait. However, I would like to say this much – he was a man of no particular import outwardly. In the sense that he’d fail to measure up to the standards of this world in any way. But, he was a humble man of tremendous faith. His life and work was a homage to the teachings and commands of Jesus Christ. The most endearing thing about him, that set him apart from everyone else in my eyes, was that he was ever willing to be corrected, and when corrected, the renewal and transformation in him was instantly obvious. Not the sway of ‘habits die hard’ or the struggle of fruitless striving for him – a bane that I battled with all the time until like him I had also learned to submit self to the Lord to transform all my limitations, all my impossibilities, into divine and marvelous possibilities! To be precise, his was a steady and tremendous christian growth. So that, when the time came, he was ready and prepared to go. And we – my children and I had no fear of letting him go.
The one thing that was beginning to trouble him initially, and that which escaped my understanding, however, did not escape the loving Father. And that was his deep concern for the children’s future. The Word of God came to us repeatedly, assuring us of all His wonderful and incomparable provision. We never doubted any of His promises. And the peace that surpasses all understanding was ours to bank on. For your assurance, let me tell you He has never let us down even though it is a fact that we never turned to man for help. How I wish and pray that more and more people will learn to put their faith in Him and trust Him!
As his elder brother was leading the gathering in prayer to commit his soul into God’s Hands and our elder child showering him with her last kisses, our younger child, aged six at that time, turned around in my arms to let me know, “Mama, now we’ll see dada when we go to be with Jesus.” I opened my eyes and saw that he had indeed gone on ahead to be with the Lord.
God bless you for letting me share this with you.