Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

A Man of God

2 Timothy 4:7

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.

You might hear this passage read at funerals from time to time.  I tend to not use it very often for various reasons.  I was thinking about this passage on Thursday evening as my dad battled for his life in the hospital.  I was talking to my sister and brother (I was in Florida on vacation) on the phone and heard in their voices the urgency of the situation.  I sat in the dark that night weeping my eyes out at the thought of losing a man who not only gave me life but whose life I have tried to model the best I could.  I made immediate plans to return home and by 4:30 am on Friday morning I was traveling home.

As Thursday evening and Friday morning unfolded – I began to contact pastors to minister to my dad and family.  Here was a man that had spent his whole life ministering to others and now he and his family needed someone to minister to them.  I contacted his District Superintendent and mine – and several other pastors.  A number came and others offered to come if needed.  My brother’s pastor came – my sister’s too.  Mom and dad attend both of these churches on some Sundays.  A former intern and longtime friend came to visit – someone dad has mentioned when talking about his own funeral some day!  A number of pastors and friends left words of encouragement on Facebook, through e-mail and text.  It was all so surreal.  I had been on the giving ministry side of this equation for 35 plus years as a pastor – now I was on the side of receiving care.  Thanks to all!

As I flew home Friday morning I was reading the Bible on my iPad on the plane and this passage came back to mind.  2 Timothy 4:7 – I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.  If my father had passed – or when he does some twenty years from now – I will have this passage used because he certainly has run a good race and fought a good fight.  My dad is more than just a dad to me.  He is a model of what a man of God and a pastor should look like!  I have fallen short of God’s glory many times – and have fallen short of my father’s example as well.  But the model of Christ and the model of my dad are still there for me to strive to measure my life against (thank God for His grace).

As of Sunday night my dad is holding his own and improving some.  He is not out of the woods so to speak – but doing better.  Thanks for all the prayers and words of encouragement shared by so many.  Those who know my father – know him to be a man after the heart of Jesus.  His nurses have remarked at how peaceful he has been – even as he clung to life.  A model for all of us to strive to follow!  We have shared our faith even as dad was showing his faith to all who would ask or listen.  Are we all striving to be men and women of God?

Just something to think about today as you go on your way.

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September 3, 2012 - Posted by | Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor | ,

1 Comment »

  1. Dear Pastor Ray~I too,am praying for your Father and family as you all go thru journey. As I just completed a 13 week session of GriefShare,our last lesson was about Heaven. How wonderful it will be for us once we get to enter into the Kingdom we have been promised.One of the speakers even suggests that we will look back on our time on Earth and wonder why we took care of ourselves to prolong us from getting to the promised land. As a human being that thought seems so crazy to me. We all want to live and want those we love to live forever. We think about all the Earthly things our loved one will miss when they are gone. Many of the participants shared how their loved one was at peace during there last days on Earth. How an amazing peace came over them, like nothing some had ever experienced before. I truly feel that is a divine gift from God that peace. That is a gift those of us that have placed our trust in Jesus Christ have. We know where will be going when we leave this Earth. Our bodies will be restored to perfect. Our struggles here on Earth will be no more. Doesnt make the sadness go away for us left behind though, it should. Your Father has been a man of God for many years and an amazing example of what having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ looks like. His legacy will carry one thru you and your family once God calls him home and what an amazing testimony that will be to others. My prayer is that your Father continues to stay at peace as God has planned. I pray for your Mother to feel the love as Jesus Christ as she watches your Father face his health challenges. I pray for you and your siblings to cling to your faith as your Father clings to His, I pray for extended family to be the love and support that you all need right now, I pray for the rest of us, your friends and church family to come to your aid however you would need us. God is in control, May you and you family has the most blessed day. Love and prayers being lifted up.

    Like

    Comment by Pam Lowry | September 3, 2012 | Reply


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