We should never underestimate the power of the Lord’s timing and the importance of doing His will. In 1980, my unsaved, alcoholic uncle was diagnosed with terminal cancer and given six months to live.
Throughout his life, my grandmother tried unsuccessfully to speak to Uncle Tim about godly matters. Unfortunately, even news of his impending death did not change his ways.
Miraculously, Uncle Tim lived 18 years after his diagnosis, all the while staying away from the Lord. During that time I grew close to him, looking beyond his intoxication to see a man for whom Jesus died.
I was startled one night when I heard the Spirit say, “Call your uncle and share My plan of salvation.”
“No, God,” I replied, “If I talk about You, he’ll bite my head off! Besides, he doesn’t even have a phone.”
“Look up his number in the phone book,” the Spirit pressed. I looked in the phone book, and there it was—my uncle’s number. Needless to say, I gingerly dialed the number. Upon hearing his frail voice, I told him that I loved him, talked about other matters and then asked him if he’d be willing to receive Jesus.
“Don’t tell me you’ve found religion,” he responded.
“No, Tim, I found a relationship with Jesus, and you can, too,” I replied. “You know that you’ve lived on borrowed time for 18 years, and I believe that God has kept you alive for just this moment.”
I asked him to respond in the affirmative to the sinner’s prayer, and he did. Before saying goodbye, I told him that I loved him and would see him in heaven.
The next day, my mother called my cousin to share the story. My cousin replied with startling news: Shortly after Uncle Tim accepted Christ, he fell into a coma and never recovered.
I cried knowing that I had almost refused to listen to the urging of the Lord. If I hadn’t shared the plan of salvation with my uncle, his soul would be on my hands. Since then, whenever I hear the Spirit urging me to do something, I try to respond quickly.
God had orchestrated everything to be just right for the time when my uncle would be ready to receive the gospel. How great is the gracious timing of our Lord!