"Dad ... Jesus is HERE!"
(The Timmy Thrasher Story)
By: Bob & Linda Thrasher
Our son, Timmy Thrasher, was born with cystic fibrosis. At age 11, he went to the hospital, never to come home again. My wife and I spent five of the longest days of our lives there at the hospital, watching our son die.
Timmy . . . boy, he was neat. If I could die half as gallant as he died, I think I'd have to consider myself a pretty courageous person.
After a couple of days in the hospital, he became so weak that we had to turn up his oxygen as high as it could go. With cystic fibrosis, the lungs fill up with mucus, and one drowns in it - very slowly.
On the third day, the Lord came, and oh, what a relief. Out of the blue, Timmy said to me, "Dad, Jesus is here."
"Dad - Jesus is here!"
And I responded, "I know, son," just trying to be agreeable and making things easier for him, thinking he was talking incoherently.
He said, "No, really Dad - He's here!"
I sort of raised my eyebrows and replied, "Ohhhh?"
"Honest, Dad, He's really here!"
"I believe you, son, I really do," still trying not to say the wrong thing. At that point he reached over and patted the bed where my arm was, and said, "He's sitting right here, Daddy."
I moved my arm and asked, "Well, am I in His way?"
He smiled with a smile of assurance and said, "Oh no - no, you're not in His way, Daddy. He came to lead me through the valley. There's no fear anymore, Daddy. I don't have to be afraid." And then he began to quote Psalms 23 for some strange reason.
What happened next is beyond description or comprehension. For the next 16 hours solid, he began to praise God. Now one must understand -- here's a little boy on oxygen turned all the way up to eight liters. Six liters is as high as one can take it, the doctors said, but Timmy was taking eight liters. We had tried to sneak it down to six when he would relax and doze, because over six liters it burns out the nostrils. But here he was, praising the Lord, and over and over he would say, "Jeeeesssssusss . . . I lovvvve youuuuu. Jesussss, I loveeee youuuuuu," over and over, giving Him simple praise from the heart.
Toward the last day, he was in and out of consciousness frequently. When he would awake, the shortness of breath made it unbearable for him, as well as for us, to watch him suffer so much. It got to where every time he would awaken, we'd tell him to go back and be with Jesus, and he'd say, "Oh yes, I've got to go find Jesus again. I want to be with Jesus." By this time he was fighting for air with everything he had, as sweat rolled off him.
About 2 A.M. on that last day - when for all practical purposes he was dead - suddenly he came up out of the bed and flung his arms around me and said with a very firm voice, "Daddy . . . I've seen Him. I know how big He is . . . and oh do I love Himmmmmmmm!"
He never said another word to me after that.
A couple of hours later, he came up out of the bed again when it was my wife's turn to watch him, and he hugged her. He didn't say anything to her; he just hugged her for about half an hour.
Close to 10 P.M. that night I began to pray. While I was praying, my mind began to have flashbacks to the times when Timmy and I would be talking, when he would ask me how I would behave after he died. I told him I would probably get pretty angry -- pretty angry with God, but I'd forgive Him. Timmy would kind of laugh, knowing the kind of Daddy he had.
"Timmy - I'll make you a promise"
I walked over to Timmy after I finished praying and brushed his hair. Then I wiped his forehead dry, and said to him, "Timmy - I'll make you a promise. I will not get angry with God. I love Jesus . . . and Timmy, I will not allow your death to make me angry or bitter toward God."
A few moments later I walked out of the room and walked over to a window and started praying again. I was looking at a church in the distance. The sun was setting and it was so beautiful. My eyes were fixed on the cross on top of that church, and I began to say, "Lord, I love you . . . and I rededicate myself to you. I'm tired of fighting, Lord. I just want to be your servant."
My wife came out of the room shortly after that and I knew she was near the point of exhaustion. So was I. At that moment, I looked up and said, "God . . . I can't take anymore. I have completely . . . exhausted . . . myself.
My wife yelled a moment later. I knew what was happening, and I ran back into the room, just in time to see Timmy catch his last breath. It was over.
The next few months I began to walk slow and steady with the Lord. I became a changed person. Slowly I began to see that all of the problems in my earlier Christian walk were all brought on by myself.
One problem was that I had kept my eyes on people, and not God. The other problem, undoubtedly worse of all, was that I made myself God, because of my critical, judgmental nature. Because I had not dealt with problems of rejection early in my Christian walk, bitterness and anger was able to rise up in me. In my ignorance (and pride), I grew bitter and angry at Christians, and was nothing more than a pawn of the devil to sow discord in the Body of Christ
I hope that by sharing this story it will help some people from going through much of the needless pain and suffering that I put my family, others, and myself through. It's not the weaknesses of other Christians that matter; not their faults. There's only one thing that matters. I've got to keep my eyes fixed firmly on Jesus Christ, and I'll walk content with my brothers and sisters in Christ until my time is up. Keeping my eyes fixed on Jesus and His goodness is all that counts. Timmy taught me that. His last hours on this earth were a lesson never to be forgotten, as he found his peace and comfort in Jesus - not man. Someday, we'll be together again, in heaven.
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