Nicest thing anyone ever told me
My best friend and hunting partner who has been battling cancer for a very long time and has been in the hospital for over a month sent me a deeply touching text at 12:30 a.m. this morning. I teared up as I read what he had written. He wrote:
“God has my room ready for me. It is okay. Get that big gobbler for me. When you pull the trigger think about that 10-gauge barking. I’ll be with you brother. Thank you for helping me see the light, come to Jesus, and be prepared.”
I immediately texted him back and he asked what I was doing up at this hour. I told him I couldn’t sleep and then he called, and we talked until 2:30 a.m. I haven’t been to sleep since and have been praying for him and his family. He told me that he had run out of options and was getting ready to go home and die in peace. He again thanked me for leading him to the Lord, stating that he was convinced that if I hadn’t come along in his life that he would have remained lost and would never see Jesus or heaven. He reiterated that he was sure that Jesus has forgiven his sins and his next home will be in heaven.
He has been successful in life and has accumulated much wealth. Likewise, he has tremendous achievements under his belt that are too numerous to detail here. He has a Godly wife, successful son, 2 grandchildren, friends who dearly love him, but he told me that soon enough he would be leaving all that and the only thing that would matter was his relationship with Christ. At this point he thanked me again.
I told him I wasn’t that good of a teacher or speaker. He told me that he has heard me offer my testimony in church more than once and attended my Bible study class, but it wasn’t what I said that convinced him, it’s what I did with my life. He told me: “It’s how you live your life Bob.”
Ugh . . . With my shortcomings I don’t deserve that kind remark. He related that he had been told by his doctors at Johns Hopkins that he would die in 3 years, but he has outlived that prediction and is going on 16 years as of today. He then said that he believed that God gave him extra time and brought me into his life in order that he might find Jesus.
That is undoubtedly the nicest thing anyone has ever said to me and I thanked him for saying it. I told him I guess he actually was listening all those times that we sat in turkey blinds or on a fishing dock talking about Jesus. We reminisced about the good times we’ve had, and lamented the fact that we didn’t meet very early in life whereby we could have had more. I told him not to worry about that because we would be spending all of eternity together with Jesus and I asked him to lobby the Lord and seek his permission to allow us to live next door to each other. Perhaps they could name our street, Sinner’s Row. It was fun to relive those happier times and I told him I would deeply miss him, but just for a while.
The last thing we talked about was his concern for his wife. family, and friends. He said I don’t want to leave them this early, but I’m going to be just fine, but they are going to miss me. I told him that those who know the Lord will be happy for him as the celebration will begin as soon as he crosses over. We will grieve and miss him but not for that long. Soon enough it will be our turn to make that same journey. Those who know and love him and are unsure of their faith might just be touched enough to reach out to the Lord and establish their own relationship with Jesus.
Psalm 39:4 states: “LORD, make me to know my end And what is the extent of my days; Let me know how transient I am.
How sad would it be if he were dying and didn’t know his end? Do you know that your life is a fleeting thing, and do you know your end? I pray that you do. Selah . . .
I ask you to pray for his wife and family and his many friends who will be heart-broken. I’ll miss him too, but I’m very happy for him and am prepared to celebrate his homecoming with Jesus.
“Be dressed in readiness, and keep your lamps lit.”
Have a great weekend and go to church this Sunday!