Monday, April 28, 2008
"Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Siimon, that your faith may not fail. And when ou have turned back, strengthen your brothers." Luke 22:31-32.My friend's funeral was yesterday. I only met him only once, but I know his wife and therefore I knew him because of her. Richard was diagnosed with a rare cancer and given weeks to live. He was sent home from the hospital to die. Yet, God saw things differently. God saw the plan of much longer than weeks. God saw what Richard would do for Him in the seventeen months he had to walk on this earth and God said, "Well done, my good and faithful servant."I believe that Satan wanted to sift Richard and Diana like wheat. I believe that God said, "Have you considered my servants Richard and Diana? They are blameless and upright, they fear God and shun evil." (paraphrase Job 2) I think that Satan said, "It is because you have blessed them. Strike his flesh and he will curse you. So will Diana. Take her best friend from her and she will curse you!" "Skin for Skin!" screams Satan, and Richard walked with a rare form of cancer, and an even rarer FAITH that all the world, including Satan was allowed to witness.Diana never gave up her faith that God would heal Richard. She said, "I believed that Richard was going to have a complete healing. I believed without wavering that the God who performed miracles in the Bible, still performed miracles today. Richard defied all medical knowledge and baffled the doctors on a weekly basis. They couldn't explain it, but we could. It was God. We are not able to understand the perfect plan that God has for each of us, but we do know that He is a loving God who only does what is best for His children. Richard was so happy to be right smack dab in the middle of God''s will for him. He soon began to realize that he was to sacrifice his miracle of healing here on earth so that others would receive theirs, just like Christ did for us." (quote from the memorial servise program.)John 12:24-25 says, "I tell you the truth, unless a kernal of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life." There was so much fruit present, new seeds, at Richard's service yesterday, standing room only really. The testimony that he gave was evident in the harvest that sat in the pews. Perhaps the greatest testimony however was the children that he leaves here on earth to carry on the work that God has already started. His daughter sang a song from the musical Wicked that said, "BECAUSE I KNEW YOU...I HAVE BEEN CHANGED FOR GOOD." This is Richard's legacy to his children and to his wife and to those of us priveleged to know him in some manner. BECAUSE I KNEW YOU...I HAVE BEEN CHANGED FOR GOOD! Can and will anyone say that about you? Will your life and therefore your death produce a harvest of fruit? I hope that mine will. I hope that any sifting that I will go through will result in fruit in the lives of others and praise from God. What about you?