Pastor Lee Jefferys
“Jesus said to her, I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in me shall never die.” – John 11:25
Do you believe this?
It was July 19, 1995 when I met Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. It was these verses, when I heard them, that radically and dramatically changed my life. Prior to the 19th of July 1995, I was destined to bust hell wide open………and I enjoyed it. I lived for myself and I lived for the world. And I loved every minute of it. By the time I was 18 years old, I had been arrested three times. The last time I was charged, I had thirteen charges pending on me; and guilty of all of them. I grew up in a biker lifestyle. The first ten years of my life my father was in prison. My step dad was a coke head and alcoholic who used me and my mom as punching bags. I grew up in that lifestyle and I didn’t know very much more. It wasn’t until 1993 until my life started changing. That is when I met my wife. We will be married 15 years in September 2008. We got married and had my daughter in 1994. And so my life had changed a little bit but prior to that I was full of hatred. I was a man who was full of hatred and bitterness. I didn’t love myself let alone anyone else. I used to boast about going to hell. I used to boast about busting it wide open and being the gatekeeper of hell. When I died, whoever was there when I got there, I was going to kick out. Folks, not many people were trying to get into hell. You see the gatekeeper is the one who keeps them from escaping. That’s just how much hatred and bitterness I had built up in my life due to the drugs and alcohol. Anyway, I got married and had my first daughter in 1994, and then in 1995 my son Tripp was born. Man, for me, that completed me. In my life, what I wanted, what I knew would make me whole is that I now had a son that could carry on my name and I had a daughter that I could love as a princess and just treat her and love on her like she deserved. Well, we were at Duke hospital when my son was born. When he was born everything was good. I was floating, my wife was excited, the whole family was there, we had a new child – a son. I was like “yeah!” Picture me with a little longer beard and longer hair, still in that hatred lifestyle. I was changed a little because I finally found love through my wife. The Lord put us together. But I was still that same person; still lost and still destined to bust hell wide open. Well, it was about 2 days after my son was born and we were getting ready to go home. Praise God that we were at Duke hospital. While we were getting ready to go home a nurse came in that was in training. She did her whole thing – the exam and everything. And you can tell; you know when you can tell when something’s not right with someone’s facial expressions? She didn’t say anything but she went out and you know what happened? A chain of events started happening. She went out and got her supervisor and they came back in. And so forth and so forth and it wasn’t long before the doctors came in. They had taken my two day old son, who was really my life, away from me. I was getting ill. I said “What are you doing? What’s going on?” They hooked him up with all these monitors, tubes and wires and it didn’t even look like a baby. I was starting to get upset. Finally, on the 18th of July they came to us and said we know what’s wrong with your son. We finally figured it out. Your son is going to die and there’s no hope for your son. No hope. Man, that tore me apart. They said your son has three holes in his heart. Two of them are bleeding internally and one of them is the size of a quarter in the lower ventricle of his heart. We are going to have to do emergency open heart surgery to fix that hole – and he will not live through it. He will not live. But if we don’t do the surgery, he will not live. There is no hope for your son. We’re sorry.
On the morning of 19th, man, I was devastated. My wife was devastated. I am not a very compassionate guy. I didn’t know how to deal with a young mother. I isolated myself in rage and anger. They brought us in this little room and they made me sign this paper what I truly believed was going to be my son’s death certificate. I had to sign Duke hospital free of any negligence because they had already told us he was going to die. And so we had to sign that so we wouldn’t sue them for malpractice. I got up and I left. I just left. All I really wanted to do was just go and smoke a cigarette and clear my head. So I just left. I didn’t tell anybody – not my family – nobody. I just got up and walked out. I got on the elevator. If you’ve ever been to Duke, you know what it’s like. It’s a round rotunda – elevators go up and down real fast and they fill up real fast so you just get on one; whether it’s going up or down. I got on. I was on the fifth floor. It took me up to the sixth floor. They were remodeling that whole floor and when that one door opened of the elevator I was in, there was a sign. I was in the elevator by myself. There was a sign and it said chapel and it had an arrow on it. I walked out. I said what can it hurt? And I walked into that chapel and I fell down on my face at the very front of that chapel. I didn’t know how to pray. I didn’t know what I was doing in there. I was begging and pleading to God, don’t take my son. Whatever you gotta do to me – I deserve it -but don’t take my boy. I was so emotional. So upset.
There was a guy. Just an ordinary guy. He was a Christian – maybe just like you. Nothing special about this guy. His name was Brian Suggs. He was there in that chapel that day just to pray with people. He was on his lunch hour. He worked right down the road from the hospital and came to sit in the chapel for his lunch – just to pray with people. Folks, I was full of hatred. Here was a black man coming over here to talk with me. He said, “Can I help you sir? Can I get a doctor or a nurse?” I was so upset. I was hyperventilating. I said, “Man get away from me. I don’t need you.” I was very bitter toward him. Praise God that this Christian man just came back one more time. He said, “Man can I just pray with you? Can I just pray for you?” I said, “Yeah, please, because I don’t know how. I don’t know what to say.” He asked me this one question, “If you were to die right now, where would you go?” My exact words were, “Man, I would bust hell wide open.” What felt like only thirty minutes, I was in that chapel for two and a half hours with that man, the Lord and myself. He went through the whole book of John chapter 11 and when he got to verses 25 and 26, my life changed – radically and dramatically for all eternity. I gave my life to the Lord. I met Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and Savior. I went back down to the fifth floor. And you know how it is when you are in a crisis situation; everybody’s family is there. My wife’s family is there, my family is there and they all swarmed me like bees. “Where you been? Let me smell your breath. You been doing dope again? You been out? Where you been?” For me, I thought I was gone thirty minutes but it was two and a half hours and I didn’t tell nobody. They literally thought I had went out and did harm to myself because I was just that upset because I was going to lose my son. Shortly after that, my wife knew there was something different about me. She said, “What happened to you? You’re not the same person.” I shared with her everything that man shared with me from the same Bible in the chapel on the sixth floor and she said, “I want that too.” The first person I ever led to the Lord was on July 19, 1995 and it was my wife.
My son never had that surgery. They kept him and did test after test after test. Nothing was there. Folks, if nothing else is for sure, if nothing else is certain, I know this – on July 19th, 1995 two things happened. One, God used a four day old baby to heal someone spiritually – me. Two, God healed a four day old baby physically.
If you are a believer in Jesus Christ, if you know him as your Lord and Savior, I beg you – share it with somebody because it will change their life.
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