Multitudes, multitudes, in the valley of decision! For the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision. Joel 3:14 (ESV)
I was up in the beautiful Cascade Mountains at a church campground. We had been there for several days. The evening meetings had been unusually powerful that week. One night after the service, I had gone down to the altar for a time of prayer and of seeking the face of the Lord Jesus Christ.
At some point, I laid down on the dusty plywood floor and ended up on my back with my hands extended up to the Lord Jesus. As I lay there praying and seeking the Lord Jesus, I began to have a vision.
At first I saw the Lord Jesus on the cross. He turned his head and pierced my heart and soul with his very eyes. He asked me what I had done with what I had been given? I knew the answer was nothing.
Next, he was standing above and in front of me with his hand extended out to me. All I had to do was reach out and take his hand. I discovered that this wasn’t very easy for me to do. I mean it seemed to be just beyond my reach each time I tried. On the third attempt, I reached his hand and he clasped mine firmly.
Next, I saw a vision of my burial. There were only a few people there. A woman I knew to be my wife and my children. No one there grieved at the my death. Those who were there were there in support of my wife and children. My wife was angry and even kicked dirt into my grave out of her anger towards me. I knew I had been a horrible husband to her and a horrible father to the children. It hurt me so very deeply as I looked into this vision and knew the truth of it for me.
Next, I saw another burial and this was mine also. It was totally different this time. There were many more people and there was genuine grief at my death. My wife and children were all in deep grief over my passing. I was allowed to over hear a woman as she spoke to another. She said, “He was truly a man of God, he genuinely loved the Lord”.
I knew as this vision passed that I was being given a choice. The choice was to whole heartedly serve the Lord Jesus, all of my life or not. It was clearly put to me that my end would be a reflection of the life I had lived. Was it going to be a cruel arrogant and selfish life or was it going to be a life of service to my God and King? I earnestly cried out to the Lord that I would have my life, by his grace and mercy, be the later, a life lived in service to my Lord and King.
Next, the Lord took me up into a place I will call heaven. It was place above where I could see from his perspective things I could not see on my own or in the natural. He brought me to a place where I could look down through what looked like an opening beneath me. I got on my knees and peered through this opening trying to see so clearly all that lay beneath us. As I did so, I could see the desolate and barren dry place of torment and suffering below. I could see multitudes upon multitudes in this horrible place. As I looked down, they all looked up and with their eyes they began to cry out to me. I could hear them clearly cry out, “Why didn’t you help us” and this repeated over and over again. I remember breaking down and weeping uncontrollably as I looked into their lost and tormented eyes and heard this, their cry. I then laid down, albeit foolishly as it was, so that I could reach through the opening beneath me. I found myself attempting to reach down and bring them up. Of course I could not, yet it burned in my heart to try. I broke my heart as I tried and failed, over and over again. Their judgement was final and eternal, as would be mine; indeed all of us.
As suddenly as all of this had begun, it was over. I lay on the floor where it had begun, broken, weeping and sobbing from deep within my heart and soul. I knew that I knew I had been called into the service of my Lord and My King. I knew that I knew that I was called to reach out and help those whom the Lord would call me to. I knew that I knew I would never be the same as I was before this vision and in truth, I have not been.
Oh, I can not tell you that I immediately straightened out my life and began serving the Lord righteously. No, I did not. I was and remained, for a tough season of life, a very messed up young man in oh so many ways. It would take some time, in fact, a lot of time and a lot of God’s mercy and grace. However, in the end, I would begin to serve my Lord and King. I would, by that same mercy and grace, begin to reach out to all who would receive it and to so many more who would not.
It has not been easy, to say the least. In fact, it has been down right hard, much harder than I ever imagined it would be. However, every now and then, I will periodically remember this night of my calling. When I do, I will remember the wonder and mercy of my God, my Savior and My King. I will remember, as I do right now, the voices of the lost, “Why didn’t you help us?” As I remember them, my heart aches. Yet, I also rejoice, for he, the Lord Jesus Christ, called me, a sinner, dead and lost, but found and raised up again and again, in the Lord Jesus Christ, saved, sanctified and called to serve him, in his name and for his greater glory, honor and praise.