- March 22, 2017
- By Richard Ray
Pastors often wonder if all those sermons preached, if all those prayers prayed and if all those spiritual talks “took” when it comes to their children.
My wife and I raised five children to love the Lord and follow the heart of God. They have been alongside me throughout all those hospital visits, funerals and homebound church members’ visits. They have witnessed some victories and defeats, some success and struggles as they lived their life as a preacher’s kid.
This past week, my father, Bob Ray, who has pastored Fairy Baptist Church more than 51 years, had heart surgery. My daughter who attends college spent her spring break in a hospital waiting room praying and encouraging her family and all those she encountered. To encourage each pastor who has children, I would like to share the message she expressed on her Facebook page.
These are the words from a hospital waiting room by Josalyne Ray—a preacher’s kid.
“Of all the spring breaks I have ever had, this last week was by far the best. Yes, I was in the hospital waiting room for the majority of it. Yes, I ate hospital cafeteria food each day. And yes, I experienced a miracle! I couldn't be happier to sit in a waiting room and eat hospital cafeteria food in my life. Lol!
“I have seen miracles many times, but not experienced one that hit so close to home like this one! My grandfather going to the emergency room on a Saturday was a shock to all of us, but with friends and family interceding on his behalf, God showed up in ways we didn't expect.
“He was taken to the emergency room, but was shortly released to go home with medication, and scheduled for triple bypass surgery a few days later. I don't think anyone knew the seriousness of what was going on at the time, nor did the doctors.
“When our family was at the hospital days later for his surgery, the doctor explained he had no idea how my grandfather was alive! He explained the main vein to his heart was 99 percent blocked. That’s 99 percent! Meaning barely any blood going to the heart.
“My Papa could have died at any moment or, per the doctor, shouldn't even be alive. The doctor said of all the hearts he has seen like my Papa's, they have never survived. We all knew he had some heart issues but not this extreme! The doctor called this disease the widow-maker, where most people die in their sleep with this, with very few symptoms.
“After hearing all this news, I think my whole family was undone, with complete awe of how good God is! Looking back, there were many things God had set up to keep my grandfather alive, and seeing it now, we’re just so thankful!
“Let me just tell you prayer works, so be encouraged that in any situation, God is a father who deeply cares for you and loves you more than you know!
“This experience will forever mark my family and me. I wish to thank everyone who prayed and believed for him.
"The One who does impossible is
Reaching out to make me whole
The One who put death in its place
His life is flowing through my veins
I believe in You, You're the God of miracles—Jesus Culture.”
Josalyne Ray, preacher’s kid and proud preacher’s grand kid.
Richard Ray is executive director of the Bivocational/Small Church Association and director of missions for Tri-Rivers Baptist Area.