Darrell Dunn's Testimony-Continued
In the early part of April 1954, my daddy became seriously ill. The family doctor came to the house to examine him. (Way back then, doctors really did make house calls!) He wanted to try a new drug that had just been released for use on certain patients. It was called Penicillin. some people who were given it proved to be allergic. My daddy was one of them. He broke out in hives, which were patches of severe rash over most of his body. After two or three days, his condition worsened to the point that I overheard the doctor tell my mother, "Your husband has reached a crisis point. We have done all we know to do. Sometime in the early morning hours he will either live or die!" Until then, we kids didn't understand how serious our daddy's sickness really was. As it turned out, the doctor was right. Daddy did wrestle between life and death. It turned out to be a night I will remember forever.
Long after we kids had gone to bed, between two and three in the morning, daddy reached the crisis point. He became feverishly delirious, jumped out of bed and ran into the hallway screaming. "Oh-h-h-h! Oh-h-h-h," He yelled at the top of his voice, running back and forth in front of the two bedrooms where we kids slept. My little four foot, ten inch tall mother was trying to catch and coax him back to bed. Suddenly, he began to shout, "Oh Look! Can you see Him? Look! Look, there He is! Oh, praise the Lord, It's Jesus coming to take us all home to be with Him! Praise God, here comes Jesus!" Back and forth he paced, clapping his hands, looking up, seeming to see right through the ceiling and roof of the house. "We're going home! It's the Rapture! All Saved people are going home to Heaven! Listen! There's the trumpet! Jesus is coming!"
I didn't know he was delirious. I thought everything he was saying was true! His words sent a chill over my entire body. We had all heard our Pastor preach about the second coming of Christ many times. I understood what it meant instantly. I began to recall some Bible verses about it. "Behold, I show you a mystery; We (Christians) shall not all sleep (have to die), but we shall all be changed, (52) in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead (Christians who have already died and their souls were now in Heaven, their bodies) shall be raised incorruptible, we (Christians who are still alive on the earth when Jesus comes) shall be changed." All saved people will be made like Christ in perfection when he comes. There will be no more sickness. They will be perfect in body no matter what physical handicaps they may have had on this earth. Changed and made like Christ forever! What a wonderful and glorious day that will be for all that are saved. But remember, at this point in time, I was still "Lost".. even though everyone thought I was saved! So, it was anything but glorious for me that night.
Anxiously, mother called from the hall, "Bruce, Darrell, Come and help me! I need your help to get your daddy back in bed!" Quickly, Bruce jumped down from the top bunk onto the floor and hurried to help mother. My older sister, Anita, came from her and Mary's bedroom to help us as well. Back in my room, laying on the lower bunk in tears, I froze! I was so terrified by the idea that everyone in that house was about to disappear from sight instantaneously, leave this earth and world behind to go be with Jesus forever, that I couldn't move! I lay there on my back quietly crying with tears streaming down the sides of my head and running into my ears. Terrifying thoughts filled my mind. "Why did I wait? I thought I had plenty of time to be saved. Why didn't I tell someone I was lost and get saved months ago? How could I be so foolish? I knew Christ could come at any minute! I just didn't think it would happen in my lifetime. I'm not ready! Jesus is coming and I'm not saved! Maybe it's still not too late! I'll get saved now! I've got to hurry! I'll pray and confess every sin I can think of now!" With all my heart I tried to pray. "Oh God," I started. But to my horror, nothing else would come out! I tried again, "Oh God.." But, I couldn't even think of what else to say. I never did know what to pray so I could be saved. But now, there was a new problem that I couldn't shake. I kept hearing the words, "it's too late! It's too late! It's too late!" No matter how hard I tried to pray, I knew I had played the fool! I had put off getting saved too long! And now, it was too late! I was going to be "left behind!" Suddenly, my heart broke and I began to week uncontrollably. My whole body shook there on my bed as I sobbed and sobbed. "Why didn't I get saved when I first knew I needed to be saved?" "It's too late! You're left behind!" The words echoed again and again.
No one could hear me crying above the shouting and noise daddy was making. Slowly, as daddy began to wear down, I began to accept my well-deserved fate. My sobbing had turned to sniffles by the time they were able to get daddy back into bed and calmed down. I heard Anita return to bed as Bruce came back and climbed up into his bunk. The hall light was turned out an then a moment later the one in mother's bedroom. Instantly, it seemed, the house became deathly quiet, as well as, dark. I listened intently for almost an hour in the thick darkness, but could hear nothing, not breathing, not even snoring. Timidly, I worked up enough courage to whisper toward the bunk above me, "Bruce? Bruce! Are you there?" (Silence!) "They're gone! They're all gone to be with Jesus in Heaven. I'll never see them again. I've been "left behind!" After awhile, I began to wonder and imagine which of the horrible judgments of God awaited me first during the Seven Year Tribulation. That is, if I had lived long enough to go through one or two years, much less all seven. One terrifying thought after another flooded my mind. Would death and Hell come quickly or slowly? My skinny little body trembled like I had the chills. Many pictures of horrible things flashed before me. Sometime later, exhausted, I finally fell asleep.
The next morning, I was awakened by a familiar noise in the house. Mother poked her head in the bedroom and called, "Bruce, Darrell, Russell! Come on boys, it's time to get up! Hurry up! Breakfast is almost ready." Bruce stirred in the bunk above me. Russell sat up, stretched and yawned. (My little brother, Russell, was like our youngest son, Michael. They both could sleep through an earthquake! When they were awake their little motors never stopped running. Some part of their body always had to be moving. But, when they went to sleep at night, it was like they died! Russell had slept through the events of the night, having heard nothing!) Shocked, but thrilled, I sat up in bed and looked in amazement as mother stepped to Anita and Mary's bedroom calling out the same. At first I thought I was dreaming until she looked back and saw me. With a smile she whispered, "Your daddy's going to be all right. He made it through the night. He's sleeping real good now. He's going to be just fine." I just looked at her, I think with a slight smile on my face as tears began to well up in my eyes. You can't begin to imagine my surprise and relief. Not just because my daddy was going to live, but also because everyone was apparently still here! I wasn't alone! I hadn't been "left behind"! I could still be saved before it was too late!
Later that day, after we all got home from school, mother explained the events of the night before and how the fever and daddy's reaching the turning point had caused it all. As I listened, it all made sense. However, as far as this thirteen-year-old boy was concerned, I would never forget it. I knew what it felt like to be "left behind"! Until the morning after, I was sure it had happened! Praise the Lord, Jesus had not come. But he did use that night to bring me to the point of getting saved. I would not be able to put it off much longer at all. Although, in spite of what I had been through, I still fought and wrestled with the Lord about being saved for three more weeks. The fear of being "left behind" remained strong, but so did my love for sinful things and pleasures. Why do we put ourselves through such misery? That's simple. Because of the old sinful nature we were born with, and our own personal love for "sin" and wickedness! We even love some things that will destroy us unless we repent and turn from them. Sin not only makes us stubborn, it makes us stupid!
Before my daddy went home to be with the Lord on July 4, 1981, he told me, "I know Jesus lives in my heart. Because of that being true, I know that I will soon be in Heaven with the Lord. He has given me twenty-seven wonderful years of peace and happiness in which to live for Him. The only regret I have, is that I waited until I was forty years old before I got saved. I wasted so many years living for myself and for sin. Thank God, I know I'm saved and ready to go home to be with Him!
I was talking to him by phone from New York's Kennedy Airport when he said that in early May of 1981, Betty, Debra, David, Michael and I were flying to Spain and Germany so I could preach on these mission fields for missionaries during the summer months. Daddy asked me to pray for the Lord to take him home to Heaven. His cancer was only getting worse, the medicine had quit helping, and the pain was unbearable. After some discussion about it, I finally agreed to ask the Lord to do it. Daddy also asked me to promise that I would not come back to the states for the funeral when he died. I told him I couldn't promise him that, to which he replied, "Why do you want to be there? Your mother will have Anita, Bruce, Mary and Russell and a whole bunch of relatives and grand kids. You don't need to be there. I won't even be there! I'll be with the Lord! You stay there in Europe and just keep preaching! I'll watch from Heaven!" So that's exactly what we did. (The Lord always knows best. As it turned out, word of my daddy's death did not reach us in Germany until two weeks after he died. The Lord made sure we wouldn't be able to be there, because that's the way daddy wanted it!)
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