Have you ever thought about your last moments on earth?
What would you say or do?
James Hallenbeck, a palliative-care specialist at Stanford University, compares dying to black holes. In an article published by The Atlantic, Hallenbeck stated that "We can see the effect of black holes, but it is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to look inside them. They exert an increasingly strong gravitational pull the closer one gets to them." Despite a growing body of research about death, the last few days or moments before the actual physical experience of death remains shrouded in mystery.
Picture the scene of a foggy night, driving on a deserted road at 40 km/h. You squint your eyes, trying to conceive what the body of shadow you see moving ahead could be. Drawing closer to a streetlight, you notice a man pulling a barrel into the middle of the road. Meticulously calculated as it was, there are three (3) sleeping police before approaching the man. As you drive over the first bump, you glance to your left to see another man coming towards the car with a gun in hand and ordering you out of the vehicle. What would you do? Here is a snapshot of George Smart's answer.
"I was looking to God; I wasn't thinking about what could happen,
I was just looking up to God," recounted Smart.
This was just moments before he was thrust into a 55-ft umbrella pit and left to die. Even in the dark, murky pit, Smart could still feel the overwhelming presence of God in his midst.
"I landed on my feet. I felt the bottom of the pit. Not even a mosquito nor a fly troubled me, I was alive, and I knew God was here." rejoiced Smart.
Three (3) years before this encounter, Smart had given his life to God. Shortly after, he started questioning God if he had joined the correct family of faith. Smart wanted a sign; he wanted to sense the presence of the Holy Ghost. Smart's desire was fulfilled in an unintended way as he spent three (3) nights alone with God in a pit.
"I started to talk to God. I told Him that If He sends angels to take me out, I will serve him for the rest of my life, and I will tell everyone that God is good, and we should praise him," declared Smart.
Before Smart could dream about getting his deliverance, he had to go through the fire with his attackers once more. "One night, the men came back and shined the light looking for me, nearly 6 inches away from my body. They threw gas down the hole and lit a bundle of plastic. I found a piece of board and used it to pull in the plastic and beat out the fire. It went down and out in no time".
Smart moved from a Daniel in the pit encounter to Jesus being rescued early on Sunday morning. Smart was pulled from his "Daniellic experience" by the fire brigade and police officers in a wave of joy. His very own neighbour and friend, Melody Francis, led the quest to find him.
"My spirit wasn't free; I was constantly worried about his whereabouts. I remembered after my last prayer for his safety, I felt deep relief, and I knew he would be ok." recounted Francis.
A few months before the incident, Smart and Francis went jogging past the Tent City SDA Church. Out of curiosity and a desire to find out more about God, they went onto the premises to inquire about Sabbath services. Unfortunately, they did not return as they had promised.
"After the incident, a member from the same church came to give us Bible study. We went to church a couple of Sabbaths, and I shared my testimony. The pastor met with Melody and me, and we decided to get baptised." said Smart. Divinely orchestrated, as it were, this was the same church that Francis and Smart intended on attending months ago.
Francis, who was on her own spiritual journey, found strength and reassurance of God's goodness in the testimony of Mr Smart. In so doing, she changed her temple of faith and the day she worshipped. This is her newfound conviction after the Bible studies she received from the Tent City SDA church members.
On June 5, Smart and Francis took the plunge in baptism and joined a new family of faith. "I hope the men will repent and give their hearts to God. As for me, I'm not fearful. I don't care what man can do to the body. 55 ft without losing a fingernail, who could it be but God. I will serve Him for the rest of my life." declared Smart.
Learn about those who rescued Mr Smart [HERE]