Today I got to thinking about some of the friends God has used in my life to help me along in my faith journey. One of these was a guy named Dave Bobbs. Dave was a classmate of mine in college. We hung out a lot together (especially my first three semesters - after that I hung out a lot with a girl named Sharon Pietrowski). Dave and I played tennis together. We studied together. We talked sports (and girls) together. I stayed in his home in Bristol, PA. He stayed in mine in Lewisberry, PA. Once I began dating Sharon, we did a number of double dates with Dave and his numerous female interests. After graduation, we went our separate ways. He headed off to the Midwest for Seminary, I remained in the Philadelphia area for my schooling. Upon finishing my seminary studies, a church family in the western hills of Pittsburgh called me to be their pastor. About a year later, Dave was called to a large church in the Cleveland, Ohio area to oversee their Christian Education ministries. Being so close (no more than a two hour drive) we were able to reconnect for a brief period of time. In his second year in Ohio, he was diagnosed with liver cancer. Eight months later he departed this earth for heaven. At age 32 he left behind a wife and two young sons. I spoke at his Cleveland memorial service. It was one of the toughest funerals I have ever had the privilege to officiate. Many would say "Dave died before his time." But the biblical response would be "Dave died right on God's time."
Really? If we are to believe the Bible, then yes. In Psalm 139 we are told that God has planned out our days before a single one of them began (Psalm 139:16). But how could God allow Dave to be taken by cancer at such an "early" age leaving a young, grieving family behind? I don't know the answer to that question. But God does. And from what I know of God, that is good enough for me.
But here is one thing I do know ... Dave in his short life of 32 years had a bigger impact for the cause of Christ than many Christians who live two or three times as long. How so? Dave understood the call of the Apostle Paul contained in these words which he penned to the church of Rome:
"Therefore, brothers and sisters, in view of the mercies of God, I urge you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God; this is your true worship."
Dave not only got this, he lived it! How about YOU? Have you been the recipient of God's saving mercy and grace? And if so, are you living a life worthy of the gospel?
Thanks for stopping by . . .