As I rode up the elevator I wondered what I was going to see when I entered my friend Ernie’s room. Ernie had become sick with a respiratory infection and only after being persuaded by his loved ones did he agree to be taken to the hospital. For me to tell you that Ernie had gotten sick is an understatement. For Ernie was born sick, he had just become more sick.
As I walked down the hall towards Ernie’s room, I was greeted by Ernie’s sister in law, Laura. I entered Ernie’s room and there was Ernie lying in the bed with an oxygen mask over his face. He was working hard for every breath but he was alert. I said hello and asked if he was in any pain. He nodded no. I chatted with he and his family for a few moments and before I left him, I remember saying something like, “Get well soon Ernie so we can watch ‘A Few Good Men.’” The look in Ernie’s face told me that he had finished the race.
Ernie died a few days later on Wednesday, February 26, 2011. I got to speak at Ernie’s funeral and later wrote and published, “My Journey With Ernie,” http://www.assistnews.net/Stories/2011/s11030047.htm.
When Jesus asked his disciples, “Who do men say that I am?” Peter without hesitation shouted, “You are the Christ! The Son of the Living God.” Jesus didn’t deny what Peter proclaimed but affirmed it saying, “Blessed are you Simon for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father in heaven,” (my emphasis) Matthew 16:13-17.
Peter experienced first-hand Jesus’ miracles. He witnessed Jesus walking out on the stormy seas. He himself walked out fearlessly upon the crashing waves as he focused his eyes on Jesus. But as soon as he focused on the event, the wind and the stormy seas, he became fearful and began to sink. Thankfully, he came to his senses and focused back on Jesus, crying out for him to save him. It was then that Jesus reached out to grab ahold of Peter to keep him from drowning in the sea (Matthew 14:22-33).
As I reflect on 2011, Ernie’s death was the saddest event of the year for me. But Ernie Hughes didn’t live life fearfully. He lived fearlessly even though he was in constant pain and infirmed.
The highlight of 2011 was publishing my autobiography, “Touched By The Hand Of God,” on Smashwords http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/39345 and Amazon Kindle bookstore http://www.amazon.com/Touched-Hand-God-ebook/dp/B005007Y5E.
In 2012 I plan on making a revision to my book that includes a new cover. I will be making a video as a compliment to the book. I may even publish my book in Chinese.
I will also be creating some videos to share with those in the Touched By The Hand Of God Community http://www.facebook.com/pages/Touched-By-The-Hand-Of-God/226463410760342 . I created the Touched By The Hand Of God Community for everyone who has been, or is in a seemingly hopeless situation in life and needs the support of others. I also plan on setting up video conference calls to encourage those who are experiencing hopelessness.
There will undoubtedly be turmoil in 2012. For there are violent storms brewing in this world all the time and we never know when some catastrophic world event will occur. The world is a dangerous place. Will there be a war in the middle east? Will the United States and China embark on a trade war? Will Europe and the euro collapse and if so how will it impact the United States? Will the United States have austerity or will the debt crisis here at home continue?
I don’t know the answers to these questions and the best I can do is take an educated guess. I do know that in times of crisis there are many people who will tell you to dig a hole and store up cans of tuna and bottled water, to save your own ass and live fearfully. However, I will encourage you to focus on and center your life on Christ not on yourself, not on events or places.
I choose to live life one day at a time. To live life fearlessly like my friend Ernie Hughes, like the Apostle Peter and like Jesus. I will keep my eyes focused and centered on Jesus who created the laws of nature, defied them and is above them; who fed five thousand with five loaves of bread and two fish; who danced on the crashing waves and calmed the stormy seas; who bled drops of blood as he prayed fervently before his time of suffering; who had his flesh and muscles torn open, his bones and bowels exposed before being nailed to a cross and pierced through his lungs and heart, rising from the dead three days later.
For when turmoil arises the only one who can save you is the same one who reached out to Peter as he began to sink beneath the crashing waves. It’s the one they worshipped afterward saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”