My dad passed away on Monday, January 6, 2020.
It obviously wasn’t the way any of us planned to start the year, but it was all in God’s timing. My father was saved as a young adult, and we are fully confident that he went straight from here into the presence of God. Never is heaven more real than when someone we love dearly now resides there!
Our family was overwhelmed by the love and support shown by the many who knew and loved him. As the pastor of a church for 46 years, he certainly influenced a large number of people. But even more deeply than that, it was the impact he had as a person. He treated everyone he interacted with as though they were the most important person in the world.
Not only in life but now in his passing, my dad was a testimony and a motivation to me to live this one life well. There are many ways in which I want to be like him, but here are three that came to mind. Hopefully, they can be a reminder to all of us to use the time we’ve been given with purpose and intention.
1. Continually seek wisdom.
I loved the verse my brother used at the funeral service.
“And God gave Solomon wisdom and understanding exceeding much, and largeness of heart, even as the sand that is on the sea shore.” ~1 Kings 4:29
Dad was wise because he spent substantial amounts of time in God’s Word. He was a humble man who knew he needed God’s help if he was going to be successful as a husband, father, and pastor.
I and many others benefited from that wisdom. Especially when it came to parenting issues, I was quick to ask how he might handle a certain situation. And the same wisdom that was available to him is there for us as we seek it in the Bible and pray for God’s guidance.
2. Be compassionate.
In the verse above, it says Solomon had “largeness of heart.” That would definitely describe my dad! He was always concerned about others and what they might be going through and wanted to help if he could.
My tendency is to be focused on myself. I need eyes to notice the needs of people around me and then respond quickly. The Holy Spirit can help me to “Bear…one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.” [Galatians 6:2]
3. Live for eternity.
I have no doubt that my dad heard “Well done, thou good and faithful servant!” He cared more about pleasing God than anyone else.
This week I was convicted as I read Mark 8:33 which talks about savoring the things of men more than the things of God. Perhaps we all have a tendency to focus on the here and now rather than viewing our thoughts, words, and actions from an eternal perspective. We’ll never regret time we spend in prayer, God’s Word, and reaching out to others.
There were hundreds of people at the visitation and funeral service last week to honor his memory. But they came because of what he did – which was care about people in order to introduce them to his Jesus whom he loved so much.