Today's Scripture: Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints. Psalm 116:15
Pastor Ken was retired and serving as an elder in the church when I first came on as pastor at Belmont Bible Church. He was a great support and example to me as he had pastored in the ministry for fifty years. Recently, I had heard that he had entered hospice care at the care facility that he had been confined to for the last two years. I visited him the very next morning.
Upon entering his room, I wasn’t surprised to see the image of a dying man in hospice care. I had seen the same sight many times as a pastor. I was reminded of King David’s last days as recorded in the Scriptures. I wondered what God’s purpose was in bringing a faithful servant to this point of a slow death. As I sat by his bedside, I penned these words as I tried to organize all the thoughts and emotions that I was feeling.
A faithful man who served his Savior lies on his deathbed. This life will not last. This body will not last. Money, position, recognition will not last. My problems will not last. It is by God’s grace that we are allowed to live with dignity, but we will all go this way to our end. As I sit here watching him, I wonder how many regrets he has now. I wonder how much peace he has now. He lived selflessly and allowed God to live through him. I imagine he has much more peace than regret as he lays in that bed. What will I have when I’m in mine? Enjoy the life that God has given. Live it in line with His instruction and wisdom. I fear my own deathbed being filled with regret. Now is the time for me to address it. Pastor Ken Harring, well done, good and faithful servant. You are an example to me even now. I pray you are reunited with your Savior and with your wife soon. Much love and respect.
I felt convicted as I had been having a pretty down attitude that week. The stresses of ministry had been getting to me, and I had allowed myself to get down. I talked with Pastor Ken and thanked him for his example as even in his deathbed God was using him to help me. An hour later his son called me to inform me that Pastor Ken had passed shortly after I left. I was the last one to see him. I wondered if God told Pastor Ken that He would bring him home soon, but He needed Pastor Ken to minister to my life one last time first. I will miss him, but I will also determine to live in God’s grace, mercy, and love and follow the example that he has left for me.