The beginning of a new year - wow! This is always the time of year when you take stock of life and see what changes need to happen. It is funny how God brings things into your life to give you a push in that direction. Had a opportunity to visit a man named Carl yesterday. Carl found out 3 weeks ago that he had a brain tumor - the fastest growing brain tumor this is currently known to man. I visited him in hospice yesterday and took this picture. He is very close to death - the experts give him about a week or so. This is a picture of Carl in his hospice bed.
Carl is a unique man. The most unique thing is that Carl loves Jesus. He has committed his life to pastoring, being a missionary and being a counselor. I have been impressed with his relationship with Christ. The testimony of his life and the words from his lips always speak of Jesus. It seemed as if every other word out of his mouth was about Jesus.
The thing that simply amazed me in my conversation with Carl yesterday was his worship of God. He statement to me was "God is so gracious to me. I could have had this tumor and illness for years; God is being gracious to me by taking me soon." I really was astonished at his statement. Normally I hear complaint and groaning - not from Carl. He gave glory to God and His abundant grace toward him.
I was reminded of the words of Paul in his last letter to his friend and protege Timothy: I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me a crown of righteousness (II Tim. 4:7-8). Well done, good and faithful servant (Matt. 25:21).
How does this tie into new years? I want to be like Carl. I want to me a man of God like he is. I want to finish my life well and grace filled. I know what I need to do in order to accomplish this. I know that this is not going to happen automatically; without work and focus on my part. I know that there are things that I have to start doing and things that I have to stop doing. I know that if I am ever going to be the kind of man I have to work at it. That is my charge for this new year.