You know those times when all of a sudden you are brought back to a special moment and you find yourself lost in memories. You might call this is one of those moments.
A few years ago, a good family friend, Jim White, battled cancer and this is a tribute to him and his family. I had known this man for a many years and had many memories of him and his family. My sweetest most precious memory of him, however, is the day I went to his house to read to him from the Bible.
I had asked his family if I could come and read with him and they said it would be okay. I felt completely honored. Here was a man that I knew for many years and he was in his final moments of life and I was going to get to be a part of that time.
As special as this opportunity was, I also really struggled. Here was a family and a man very dear to me and he was in his last days of life; what do I say? How do I act? Do I dare show my heartache? What part, of all the amazing scripture, do I read?
I sat down and just started searching through scripture and little by little the pages began to be filled with tiny post-it notes. Finally I came to a conclusion, John 3 says so much. Many of you probably know or have seen the reference John 3:16: For God loved the world so much that He sent His One and Only Son, for whoever believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.
What hope we can find in the promises of God. In this verse He tells us how much He loves us. It was so much that He sent His only Son to die to be the perfect sacrifice, but that wasn't the end. His Son was resurrected so that we may have a life with Him.
Friends, death is not the end. Jesus conquered the grave. Unlike any other religion in the world our God defeated death and as one of His greatest miracles, raised His Son up just as He said He would. John 2: 19 says, “All right,” Jesus replied, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will rise it up.” Because He conquered death we can have assurance that death is not final, through Jesus Christ we do not have to fear death, we can rejoice and we can have eternal (forever) life with Him. Praise the Lord!
After I finished reading some scripture verses, Jim asked if we could listen to a song. He asked his son to play "I Can Only Imagine" by Mercy Me. My heart was about to be ripped open and the flood gates were about to burst. This song has amazing lyrics. Here are a few lines for you if you are not already singing the song in your head.
I can only imagine what it will be like when I walk by your side. I can only imagine all I will see when forever is before me. I can only imagine. Surrounded by your Glory what will my heart feel? Will I dance for you Jesus or in awe of you be still? Will I stand in your presence or to my knees will I fall? Will I sing Hallelujah or will I be able to speak at all, I can only imagine.
I can only imagine the thoughts going through a person’s head at a time like this. As the tears are running from my eyes, I look at Jim and a tear is running down his precious cheek. What an amazing moment; one that I will hold dear in my heart forever.
What an amazing testament to a person's life; to lay in wait of meeting their Creator, their Lord, their Forever and His Amazing Love is something that we can only imagine. After the end of your life, I pray that you too will be able to have the hope of a life with Christ beyond the one we are living.
Jim also liked the verse from 2 Timothy 4:7 “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race and I have kept the faith. “ Will we be able to say these words at the end of our life? We have run the race AND have kept the faith. One of my favorite verses comes from Hebrews 11:1 and it describes faith in this way, “Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about what we cannot see.” We can be confident in our Living God. We can have confidence in His Word and ALL that he promises us.
I was also asked to read Psalm 23:1-6 at Jim's funeral, what an honor. As I stood in front of the church, I was able to be reminded, The Lord is my shepherd; I have all that I need. He lets me rest in green meadows; he leads me by peaceful streams. He renews my strength. He guides me along right paths, for His Name's sake. Even when I walk through the valley of death, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff comfort me. You prepare a feast before me in the presence of my enemies. You honor me by anointing my head with oil. My cup overflows with blessings. Surely your goodness and unfailing love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will live in the house of the Lord forever.
Thank you, Lord Jesus, for these memories and the opportunity to be a light in this dark world. I thank you for these moments that sometimes feel like an eternity but only last for a moment. Thank you for these memories and people that become such amazing blessings in our lives.
Thank you to my dear friends, The White’s, for allowing me to be part of this time and for allowing your time to be a part of my memories. I pray for you as this time of year approaches that you will be able to rejoice in the resurrecting power of our Lord and Savior.
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I hope that you all have a great week.
I hope that you all have a great week.
If you need a relationship with a living God, let me know and I would love to talk to you further about the Risen Savior.
I Can Only Imagine by Mercy Me On YouTube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BRPGRdbGHSs