by David Smith
My name is David Smith, as I prayed about what to write, God let me know that the testimony of my past six years, when my journey began is what needs to be told . I left this world Oct. 1st '94 and returned Oct. 28th '94. While my body was being sustained by life support, my spirit went on a journey. After all this time, I still don't have the words that clearly relay all that happened. Only the Holy Spirit from God in heaven can bear witness.
Let's start in '94. I had been sick for a year. I was 37, a single parent. My estranged first wife passed away in '91 with cancer, but glory be to God, she planted a lot of seeds before she went home. Then I had a couple of strange years, nothing seemed fulfilling, but I knew I had to keep my stability for my 12 year old son and myself. Then in Feb. '94, I quit running, and having always known in my heart that God had no place for hypocrites, I surrenderd my life to Him. As God let me know that my life had been planned, and that his hand had always been in my life. Soon, I got scared and hard-headed. I had been sick all that year, lung infections, sinus infections, paraorbittal infections, just one thing after another. Then on Saturday Oct. 1st, I was taken to the emergency room. I had been told previously that week that I had a slight case of pneumonia. In the E.R. I lost conscienceness. Now as far as my body was concerned, I was fully comatose, and eventually placed on life support and transported to Baptist Hospital in Winston Salem, N.C. Their diagnosis was that I had ensephillitis of the brain and spinal menengitis combined. In an adult this equals a fatality rate of 170%.
The fifth day on life support the doctors ask my family to make the decision to remove me from life support. They said they had ran more test, and that it would take a miracle for me to regain conscienceness, and if I did I would be a vegetable for the rest of my life, because of all the lessions in my brain. Then the doctors came back to my room to check on the life support stats, as they were checking, they said I opened my eyes, put a smile on my face, and set upright! Thank You Jesus!
Well for the next 5 days, I'm still not in this world, and the doctors tell my family "We have to keep him restrained and fed intraveniously. The lessions have dried and left scar tissue throughout his brain"
They said that nothing could be done, and that their never would be any improvements, and that I would never realize I was a live, let along anything else. Glory be to God, the next day Oct. 28th. I awoke back in this world, and the scar tissue throughout my brain had disappeared. All I did was cry, I still couldn't walk or talk, this was on Friday. That afternoon they roled me to various therapist for some preliminary evaluations.
Sunday my doctor came by, he was a professor of neurology, and a brother in Christ. He said,"If you understand, you have a meeting with all of the therapist in the morning and they're going to have a conference on your diagnosis". And that he was sorry he couldn't be there. I said, "OK" . He said," You can talk!" I said," Yeah, I can walk some too." ZOOM, he was gone.
Well the next morning, Chaplin McLrey, (A young chaplin whom God had brought us together) Came in pushing a wheelchair.
I asked him "why the wheelchair? I can walk that far." He said,"Just jump in and let's go" I did, and as soon as we rolled in the conference room,my doctor walked in, put his hand over my mouth, walked to the front of the room where the therapist were seated. He told them that he had only a minute, But that he had come by just to tell them some things. Then he removed his glasses, as tears came down his cheeks. He proceeded in telling them that no one at the hospital should take any credit for my recovery, and if anyone didn't believe in miracles to come and shake my hand, because that is what I was, a miracle from God, but that the miracle was still at work, so they should be prepared! He then wiped his eyes, replaced his glasses, came by gave me a pat on the shoulder and left. I looked around the room and everyone was staring at me. I said to the speech therapist," I wanted to tell you friday, but my mouth wouldn't work, that soon you wouldn't be able to keep up with my babbling mouth." She began to cry. I walked over to hug her and try to comfort her. When I did, the physical therapist began to cry also, and as far as myself, I cried almost constantly for the next few months. By the way, coming into the meeting all the therapist had evaluated to work with me for a few weeks and then re-evaluate to see if there was any hope in recovering any of my motor functions. Recovery!- I was home in 10 days. GLORY GLORY GLORY be to God!
Now that covered the simple part of those 28 days. My body was there but my spirit went on a journey that words could never do justice. Like the apostle Paul says in 2 Corinthians (speaking of himself) "I knew a man in Christ above 14 years ago such a one caught up to the third heaven". I knew my journey was not in body, because my body was under 24/7 supervision. A journey which brings tears to me every day. I still cannot share it completely with the pharisees of today, because It goes against their theology, or doctrine, or somehow contradicts their scare tactics of trying to explain spirituality, with carnal solutions. Jesus said ,"Know the truth and the truth will make you free." We aren't the dictators of the free hand of God. God never contradicts Himself, for He is not the author of confussion. As I write this I pray ; God let those who have ears hear.
Sometimes I'll either get ahead of myself, or be repeatative, so I pray that I will always keep putting everything in God's hands. As Paul would say " Bear with me". Yes, those 28 days changed every breath I take or ever will. Before I start, God let me know to tell you to open your heart to Him as you read, and He will indeed bear witness.
When I awoke that friday, the 28th day, I thought I had dosed off and had just been put in a room. I raised the bed and there was a mirror in front of me. when I looked in it I began to scream. I looked like death. I'd lost so much weight, 105 lbs. and I'm 6'1". I don't want to get to deep about the physical aspects, that truly is unimportant in the big picture.
I started crying and continued crying for months. I couldn't tell anyone about my journey for a long time, because my tears and mouth kept me chocked up. I'd just get it out in pieces until God, my potter, shaped this vessel of His. My journey is true, as is every breath I take, for the old me is dead, and all that I know is what God has told me and taught me. I'm truly born again. I'm in this world but not of this world, thank God.
First I went to where there was only darkness, and wailing and gnashing of teeth, void of all light and of any thing good. This tells us what it's like to be totally severed from God, for God is light, He is all that is good. Where I was, there was no comfort, not of thought or feeling, there was only torment. I would have loved to have been somewhere with a little red devil with a pitchfork poking me. It would have been a relief to have had physical pain, and if there was fire there would have been light. Anything to break the darkness, but this place was totally void of God. This was the pit that Jesus spoke of which is on the other side of God's all consuming lake of fire.
Then within a twinkling of an eye, I was in Jesus's arms ! Please forgive me, because there isn't any words that could ever truly relate or reveal this moment, and God only knows the length of time of this moment. To me It could have been a second or a thousand years, time had no place. Just as the Apostle Paul spoke of about his trip to the third heaven, words can't be spoken that could bring the carnal mind to understand. Love, a thousand times beyond what we could ever imagine, was everywhere in each spirit that passed, and in his arms I felt the Love of Love, peace that is beyond our greatest dreams. I looked into His eyes and the floods came. I pray that through the spirit of truth, I can relay at least a taste of that abundance of Love. In His arms there was true Love, Love beyond compare of anyone in this world in which we live. Over His shoulder there was a drawing brightness. It seemed that it was a Love so great that It was illuminating. Then He told me, without lip service, that I could not go there because I had to go back, there was work for me to do. That it is coming time to gather His flock, the pilgrams, the strange and peculiar to the world. Like I said It was an over whelming flood, but he has patiently guided me through every day to bring clarity to all things that He lays before me. He did instruct me on two things to let be known to all, yes all that will hear. One is that we christians or anyone at all that has heard of the gospel of Jesus Christ, knows of the persecutions, torture, and the ultimate sacrifice on the cross at calvary. Now let them know that the real pain that He suffers daily for us, is in after giving us everything. Think about it - everything!
Now for two thousand years we have used and manipulated the freedom, that He was born, crucified, and resurrected for and now we use it all for our own vanity and glory. Every drop of rain is Jesus's tears for us. Tears for the blind and lost, or tears of joy for the lost sheep being found. All this leads into the 2nd, we have become so engulfed into learned knowledge, technology, and division of theology, that we don't have our hearts and churches open for the Holy Spirit of God to lead or even prophesy through us.
And this is where this letter began, being back in this world. As I said, God had cleared the scars from my brain, but I still have alot of pain from the scar tissue on my spine. I do know that God will take care of that also when the time is right. After I got out of the hospital, it seemed every way I turned there wasn't any help from the world, financially, medically, or spiritually. Wow, I had became an alien to this world, but I know if I stay in God's will, He has everything working in a perfect plan.
I was so zealous. I prayed for the Lord to lead me to the bible university that he'd have me to go. That wasn't to be. He let me know that he was my teacher, and He does know more about himself than any man. That kept the tears flowing, because I still couldn't believe that God Loved me that much. I asked him to lead me to what literature to get? He told me that I had all that I needed, That old king James Holy Bible. Although it was old, It was like new, because I hadn't used it all those years before. My life up till then had been no holds barred, you know, been there done that. Yea into all kinds of situations, except the right situation, which was God truly leading my life, instead of the world.
Three months after I was released from the hospital, my dad died of simple pneumonia. My brain and body wasn't altogether functioning, It was only by the hand of God that I kept on keeping on. I wasn't released to drive for the next 6 months, but I tried to do what I could.The only thing that made since, was doing God's work. Like I said my dad died, my mother, who is now 80 years old, was left in my care, and with no insurance or out side help, things were tough, but God always seen us through. Like the old hymn says, " I can't even walk without Him holding my hand".
Inside and out God has molded me. I used to look like a perfect clean cut yuppy, but now it's long hair, blue jeans, or what ever way God wants me walking, not just talking. I've been ordained through a non-denominational association. What truly is necessary is to be ordained by God. We have a Christian rock band and outreach ministry. When I say we, I mean who ever God has provided to come together to work for his Glory.
About midways through this letter, I stopped for a week, praying for God's guidance. I knew He wanted this wrote, I was praying to know the answer, why? The reason I say this is because for the last couple months, the trials and tribulations have been beyond comprehension. Everyone has been going to and fro. the enemy is attacking all that is being done. He truly wants to bring division amongst God's people.
I've gone wherever and whenever God has lead me, over these past 6 years. Never asking anyone for anything, simply having faith that God would provide all needs, and He has. Giving and doing for others is always the most joyful reward in serving God, and spreading the Love of Jesus Christ. We've worked with alot of street ministries, motorcycle ministries, and various outreach ministries. We've also done presentations for correctional facilities. In my heart, I believe every christian should visit a youth correctional center, and find out personally, how a truly loving heart can change lives!
From the beginning God has made it clear, that all that I do is for His Glory, and his alone. I have been chastised for not joining any organizations, but I can not be in a situation, of who's side I'm on, as so many have in America today. We should be reflecting the truth of the word christian ( Christ like ). I have always through the grace of God shown Love to others, doing all that God makes possible.
Now a time has come that I haven't faced before. I need help! As God knows, I've prayed feverently about this, and His answer was for me to write this letter. That we should turn to one another to supply the means for needs to be met. He led me once again to the foundations that Apostle Paul had laid for the body of christ to follow; That we should Love not with just lip service, but in deed and in truth.
GOD BLESS YOU,
I'd love to hear from you!
Fellow prisoner of Jesus Christ
David A. Smith
or write to: P.O. Box 1608
Hildebran, N.C. 28637