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How Can I Not Believe?
Faith is not believing that God can, it is knowing that God will.
Just received an email from Mr. Tom Ziglar, (son of Mr. Zig Ziglar an American author, salesman, and motivational speaker) and I would like to share it with you. May our Lord bless you. He is with us!
Here's the great message:
On this Easter Sunday, I pray that you are truly blessed and filled with hope and God’s grace. Many people from all faith backgrounds have asked me a simple question, “Why do you believe in Christ?”
My answer is always the same, “How can I not believe?” and then I share with them Dad’s last few days on earth and a few of the miracles I witnessed.
It was Thanksgiving day, 2012, and it was going to be the first Thanksgiving that our family would not have our traditional family meal together because of Dad’s failing health.
Our plan was to go and visit Dad, who was in full-time healthcare, and then eat as a family after our time with him. Dad’s Alzheimer’s was getting severe at this stage of his life.
When we walked into his room, we knew immediately that something major was wrong. Dad was having trouble breathing as they worked on him, and minutes later we were rushing to the hospital.
They took Dad in and starting doing everything they could for him. A little while later, they called us into the private waiting room that nobody wants to go to.
“My name is Dr. Z. Your father is in very serious condition. We have done everything we can, and we will know in about 45 minutes if he is going to make it.”
Gut punch. Shock. I bet you have had similar news in your life and you can understand how we were all feeling.
Before I knew it, we were back in the waiting room with Dr. Z. “Your father is not responding. He doesn’t have much time left. Go now and be with him.”
I sat there, stunned, with my wife and daughter as the rest of the family went to be with Dad. After everyone but the three of us had left the room, I looked up to see Dr. Z still holding the door. “You’re the son, aren’t you?” he said. “I have seen this before. Go now and be with your father.” In a daze I went down to be with Dad.
As we spent time with Dad, he started to rally, and the decision was made to move him into a room where we would have more privacy. They told us he would likely pass away in the next few hours. Dad was now comfortable but non-communicative.
The hours stretched late into the night when my sister Julie said she needed to show us something. She pulled out her iPhone and showed us a five-second video she had made a few weeks earlier driving home from visiting Mom and Dad.
On the video was a beautiful cloud in the shape of a Z. It was perfect, as if a heavenly artist had put it there on purpose. None of us had ever seen a cloud in the shape of a Z before.
We knew that very soon we were going to have to share the news of Dad’s passing, and we decided to make a banner for our website and Facebook featuring the Z cloud. What a beautiful way to remember Dad, we thought.
All we had to do was pick who was going to sing the songs and if we wanted someone to share a message. Dad had made it clear that his funeral was going to be a celebration and that the hope found in Jesus would be shared.
As we were leaving, I realized we had discussed the main service at the church but not the graveside service. The graveside was going to be for family and close friends at 9:00 a.m., and the big service would be at 11:00 a.m. “Pastor,” I said, “how should we do the graveside?”
“How would you like it?” he responded.
“Short and sweet, since everything is covered in the main service,” I answered.
“Perfect; I agree, and I will take care of everything,” Pastor Graham replied.
Later that day, I called Julie on the phone to see how she was doing. “So happy for Dad, so sad for me,” she said. I can still hear her saying that. That is exactly how we all felt.
The next afternoon we were all with Mom at her place, getting ready to go to the visitation at the funeral home. “Hey ya’ll, I have something to show you.” Julie pulled out her phone and pulled up the Z cloud video.
“I just remembered the video has audio on it, as I was listening to a Christian radio station. Let’s listen to the message.” She played the video back with the sound all the way up. The person on the radio in the five-second clip mentioned a Bible passage - 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18. We looked at each other and grabbed one of Dad’s Bibles to see what the passage said.
Here it is:
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 ESV
13 But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. 14 For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. 15 For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore encourage one another with these words.
We couldn’t believe it! God had given us the perfect message for exactly the right time. We went to the visitation filled with hope and encouragement, even though we were grieving.
The next morning we were all seated for the graveside service. At exactly 9:00 a.m., Pastor Graham walked out to start the service. “Let me share a Bible passage with you. 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18.”
My sisters and I made eye contact; we couldn’t believe it! The same passage! When the service was over, I went to Pastor Graham. “Did someone, by chance, show you the Z cloud video?” I asked. He had no clue what I was talking about. We all left and made our way to the church for the big service. It was beautiful, and Dad’s wishes were fulfilled.
How could I not believe?
Let me recount just some of the miracles in Dad’s last week:
Dad’s doctor at the emergency room was Dr. Z (that is what everyone calls him).
Dr. Z. waited to make sure I spent time with Dad — I can only imagine the courage that took.
Julie had grabbed her iPhone while driving at 60 mph to take a picture of the beautiful Z cloud. None of us ever recall seeing a Z cloud before.
At 60 mph, Julie somehow moved the picture setting from the default of picture to video. She meant to take a picture.
The five-second Z cloud video had audio on it! The audio mentioned 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18.
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 speaks exactly to our time of need.
Verse 13 says do not grieve for those who have have fallen asleep (died) and have no hope- Our hope is Jesus and in Him eternal life. Plus, the word hope has huge meaning for us Ziglars. 60 Minutes, the TV show, named Dad “the Merchant of Hope,” and Dad believed his primary message was to bring hope and encouragement to the world.
Verse 14: the perfect Easter message. Christ died and rose again so that we all could have eternal life.
Verse 17: for good measure, this verse has the word clouds in it, a clear reminder to us that the Z cloud was put there by God for Julie to see.
Verse 18: Therefore, encourage one another - this passage ends with Dad’s greatest gift - the gift of encouragement. In fact, the Sunday school class that Dad taught for many years was called The Encouragers Class.
And if all of this wasn’t enough, God gave Jack Graham the same exact Bible passage for the graveside service.
Yes, I believe! How could I not?
I pray your Easter is richly blessed, and that God reveals Himself to you in a mighty way. I encourage you to spend a few minutes alone with Him, simply asking Him the questions on your heart. Listen carefully - I believe He has a word just for you.
One more thing - click this link to watch the Z cloud video. Turn up the sound!
Blessings to you!
He is Risen!
Proud son of Zig Ziglar
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ABOUT THE BLOGGER
Hi, I'm Ralph Gregore Masalihit!
An RFP Graduate (Registered Financial Planner Institute - Philippines).
A Personal Finance Advocate. An I.T. by Profession. An Investor. Business Minded. An Introvert. A Photography Enthusiast. A Travel and Personal Finance Blogger (Lakbay Diwa and Kuripot Pinoy).
Currently, I'm working my way toward time and financial freedom.