God is already working
Sharon’s brother passed recently and I was asked to write something.
I wrote on my post about evangelism that God is already working long before we begin to get involved and my writing was a case in point. I began by just describing some good memories of Robert and ended with some bible verses. Interestingly, the two tied in together. Not because I was a great writer who had preconceived the message but because the Lord had already done that. I just signed my name to it.
It is always important to seek opportunities to share God’s message. Robert’s funeral was just such an opportunity.
My message to those attending Robert’s funeral
First of all, Sharon and I are sorry that we can’t be there with everyone, her pneumonia and complications won’t allow us to travel.
I’ve known Robert for over 50 years and have many fond memories of him.
When I started dating Sharon, Robert was always not only a brother who was funny, intelligent, and always interesting, he was accepting of me as an outsider. Maybe I should explain that. Large family tend to form very much of an inner circle concept – somewhat like “Meet the Fockers” – and, you are either in that inner circle, or you were outside of it. Additionally, you were well aware of where you stood. Now, you knew you were “in the circle” when some of the family stories, which had a perpetual life of their own, included you, and you were not the punch line. That was a sign of acceptance to the inner circle.
Robert was always one of those people, when you returned home to visit, that you wanted to make sure you saw and spent time with. He was one of those people that you marveled at because somehow, he had figured out how to succeed in life without a job. Now in fact, he did work and worked hard, but, since about high school, he never had a normal job. At least not one that anyone was aware of. Yet he flourished quite well and was quietly happy, even smug, about the whole thing. He had discovered something, that others still dream about.
I wanted to share a few scripture verses because they remind me of Robert and where he is now and they also relate to his life.
2 Timothy 4:7-8 speaks to the struggle Robert had in life compared to his reward now: “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.”
Even though in recent years we only remember the Robert in a care facility, that’s all changed and Revelation 21:4 says “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.”
Where Robert now is, is described in 1 Corinthians 2:9 “But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.”
We grieve in Robert’s passing with sadness because we miss him, but God looks at this a little differently and Psalm 116:15 says that “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints.”
Finally, Revelation 14:13 sums up a few things about Robert when it says “And I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.” “Blessed indeed,” says the Spirit, “that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow them!” Robert now has a new inner circle, which is “in the Lord,” and he still, still has no ascertainable job, as he is now “rest(ing) from his labors.”
When Sharon and I die, one of the first people we will look up and spend time with, will be Robert.
Our prayers and thoughts are with you all.
Thad and Sharon Brown