Yesterday I attended the funeral of a man that has been dead for years. It was a joyous yet sad occasion as we reminisced about his life with us. He was a good man, he wasn’t always that way though; a good ole boy for sure…but not a good man. Only God can declare a thing to be good, because only God can make a thing to be good.
I had known this man for years and what I remember most about him is his heart. He had such a big heart, always willing to give…and to give often times out of his own poverty. Not only did he give his possessions but he likewise gave his time…and time is of the most precious commodity a man can possess. I remember his faithfulness, not only to his family but also to his church. If it can ever be said that a man was faithful…it could be said about big Jim. But most of all his faithfulness to God, always willing to go where the work was and refusing to succumb to the temptations of this life…and he had many. A faithful friend…a faithful husband…a faithful father…and faithful follower. What more can or should be said about such a man as this.
While his time here is done his time elsewhere is just beginning. Heaven will have to wait for Big Jim, as God has other plans in New Underwood, South Dakota. You see, someone in New Underwood has been prayed for, they are lost and in need of a savior, Christ having dispatched his Holy Spirit to do what only the spirit can, has placed this burden upon big Jim’s heart. He will meet this lost soul along the path and it wont be long before he discovers who that is. Jim doesn’t need to know right now, he just simply must go, and when the time is right the things unknown will be made known…but only when the time is right.
I know right now you’re asking yourself: How can a dead man put off heaven to continue his mission. The answer is easy; Jim is not twice dead, only once. Years ago he surrendered his life to Christ and he committed his family and himself to the Lords work…wherever that may be. For the past decade God has been preparing Jim for such a time as this. A day when all logic is thrown out the window, and his mettle would be tested. It is by faith that a man believes and is born again, but first he must die. The only way to know for sure whether this truly be the case…”go sell all your possessions and come follow me.” The hour was so near and laboring prayers were great…Satan having rallied the forces of hell to charge that hill in hopes of ending the work before it ever got underway. Everything was at stake…what would he do? We thought.
He would answer the call. Knowing full well the weight of Jesus’ words when he said “foxes have holes, birds of the air have nests, but the son of Man has no where to lay his head.” Choosing to follow Christ under these terms and conditions is no small matter, but then again the work he has called us to is no small matter either. To do this work it takes a big man…not in stature but in faith…and Brother Jim has proved to us all that he is a man who is Big in Faith.
Thank You, Brother Jim for your service to our Kingdom; for the friendship you have offered; for the leadership you have provided; and the testimony you have left behind. Remember the bible say’s “Come unto me all ye who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest.” There is sure to come a time when the burden seems to heavy to carry any longer…my prayer for these times is that you always rest in peace…for he alone keeps us in perfect peace. Godspeed my friend and may the full force of heaven be with you always.
Your Friend and Servant