Friday, July 16, 2010

Facing Death Head On by Kent Humphreys

Note from Doug Hunter, President of FCCI:  We have been keeping you informed about Kent’s health situation, but when I saw this article from him, I knew you would be encouraged and challenged by hearing what is going on with him internally – spiritually, emotionally, relationally.  As he says, “This was written back in May before all the events of the last month or so.  Little did I know how close that I would come to going off into eternity.  This gives you some idea of the lessons that I have learned through the last few months.  May this encourage you to value each day and each relationship.”

Facing Death Head On

by Kent Humphreys

Every one of us will have the opportunity to look death “right in the face” at least once in our life, unless we die in a sudden auto accident, gunfire, or other non natural causes. For most people this would come late in life right before the end.  For some of us, who are more fortunate, we are able to have a trial run at facing death and going out into eternity.  I was able to have that opportunity eleven years ago.  I had been taking steroids for five years for my disease.  Unknown to me the medication had caused ulcers which led to internal bleeding.  I lost 30% of my blood and had to be evacuated by fixed wing aircraft to a hospital from a small lake community to a large hospital in Oklahoma City.  As I lay on the cold hard emergency room table at 2 a.m. in the morning, I did not know if the medical staff would be able to stop the bleeding or if I would live to face the morning.  My two daughters were at my side.  My wife, Davidene, was traveling to be with me by car with friends.  I can only tell you that a tremendous spirit of peace came over me.  I was ready to go and be with the Lord or stay with my family.  Since that day I have never feared death again.

The last couple of months I have had this opportunity again.  My disease, which had been in remission for ten years, returned and impacted my lungs by destroying the cartilage in my bronchial tubes.  The damage was done over the period of a year, narrowing the airways and reducing the breathing capacity of my lungs by 90%.  So, a pulmonary specialist will implant stents into my passageways in order to help my breathing.  This will only be effective in the long run if we are able to stop the aggressive destructive nature of the auto immune disease (Relapsing Polychrondritis).  If God does not heal me or allow the physicians to find the right medication, then the lack of breathing capacity will eventually lead to my death.  We will ALL die sometime, but some of us will die sooner than later.  My grandmother lived 105 years, so I have really good genes.  However, a disease like this can go against my inherited “long life” genes and cut my lifespan.

So, I realize that I may not live another thirty years.  This has allowed me to have some very serious discussions with my wife, children, and extended family.  I have had numerous talks with close friends face to face or by phone about life and death and facing eternity. People are encouraged to say things that they have never taken time to say.  Friends are able to say thanks, offer appreciation, and perhaps mend relationships. I have been able to make sure that my financial, estate, and professional affairs are all in the proper order. 
When you know that your time on earth may be brief, then you have a great sense of urgency and priorities.  You want to make sure you do the important things and take time for relationships All the trivial parts of life suddenly fade in the background. All of these things have happened to me in the last few weeks. In fact, I have been able to live much of my life the last ten years with urgency and priorities because of that experience eleven years ago.  It was healthy experience, not a bad one.  I would not have chosen that one or this one, but God can use them for the good in our lives and those around us.

This also causes us to consider our relationship with God and our eternal destiny.  It has really bothered some people that I have had so little apprehension.  I just have such FAITH in God that HE is in charge.  I understand His Love, His Power, and His Sovereignity.  Therefore, I KNOW that I am in His hands, He has my best interest at heart, so I have NO fear.  David in Psalm 23 says of this time,
“Even when the way goes through Death Valley, I’m not afraid when you walk at my side. Your trusty shepherd’s crook makes me feel secure.” (MSG) We read in Psalm 46:1-2, “God is a safe place to hide, ready to help when we need him. We stand fearless at the cliff-edge of doom, courageous in sea storm and earthquake.” One of my favorite verses in the Bible comforts me, “Don’t panic. I’m with you. There’s no need to fear for I’m your God.” (Isaiah 41:10).  Finally God reminds me that He is watching closely over me at all times.  “Don’t be afraid, I’ve redeemed you. I’ve called your name. You’re mine.” (Isaiah 43:1).

I do not know how my current situation will turn out.  Unless God chooses to heal me, then I know that I am facing a long road of medication, treatments, and procedures if the disease continues its aggressive stance.  However, I do know who holds my future in His hand. He has proven His love for me.  I am ready to go at any time to spend eternity with Him or to stay here with my family for a few more years.  Either way I WIN.  What about you?  Someday you will probably sit in my situation.  I would encourage you at that time to reach out to God.  Have those dialogues with your family and close friends.  In fact, why not start those conversations right now?  Do not be afraid, but choose to face death head on.  And I pray that you will find the same peace that I have found because of my relationship with Jesus Christ.  He achieved victory over death and allows me share eternity with Him.


  1. Thank you for sharing this article, it is a timely message. It is so good to know that there are others who have walked through the valley of shadows under the protection of Almighty God. I will pray for his family.

  2. I have been awake for sometime this early a.m.thinking about some of these very thoughts... about putting my house in order in every way. My future is secure in Him but to leave this world without dotting the i's and crossing the t's is not loving to those still here. Thanks so much for this confirmation.


Please click Follow above to follow blog

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.