Have you ever had one of those people who just left an imprint on your life and all you can do is say thank you? A person so big to you that they’re like a hero? A person so strong that it seems they can do anything? A person whose faith is so rock solid that you can’t help but believe? If you have this kind of person in your life, then tell them thank you! Tell them today! Never put this off until tomorrow, because what I’ve learned the hard way is tomorrow all too often never comes.
This week I will stand beside a family as they say their earthly goodbyes to a loving dad, a playful grandpa and a role model for following Jesus. I’ll pray with them. I’ll listen to their stories. We’ll laugh together. And yes we’ll even shed a tear together. But the most challenging part of this week will be realizing that I never said thank you.
I never thanked this man of God for the witness he was. I never thanked him for the thousands of men and women who now know Jesus because of his testimony and faithful preaching. I never thanked him for praying for me daily. I never thanked him for the trust and respect he gave me. I never thanked him for the way he stretched out his arm to hold me up even when he was weak. I never thanked him for being a pastor to me when I needed one the most.
Friends never let a day go by without saying thank you! Grab that person by the hand today. Look her in the eyes. And tell him what he’s done for you. Don’t wait for tomorrow! Live today to its fullest.
I’ll never again be able to look Pastor Jim in the eyes to tell him thank you and that’s a pain I’ll have to live with for some time. But learn from me. Spend a moment demonstrating the gratitude for those around you who’ve led you and supported you. No one will ever know the wise counsel I received from Pastor Jim. No one will know the things we’ve shared. But here and now, even though it’s too late for him to hear –
Brother in Christ, thank you! Thank you for bringing Jesus to me. Thank you for strengthening me with your prayers and support. Thank you for challenging me and questioning my intentions. Thank you for encouraging me. Thank you for loving me in Christ. And most of all thank you for believing in me and trusting me. Jim, thank you for your servant heart and for faithfully giving to the Lord! I am so blessed because you gave! To God alone be the glory both in your life and now in your death!