James and I attended the memorial service of an old friend this afternoon. He was much like my father in many ways. An encourager and a lover of people, Clif left behind many who will long ponder his life and words and miss his presence. Though we were neighbors for just one short year after his return to the area from Scottsbluff, Nebraska, the impact he made on our lives is undeniable. Probably the most talked about event was not the time one of our sick children threw up in his shoe, but the time we knocked on his door with a theological question. We wanted his opinion and he answered with a verse of scripture; Titus 3:9 (or was it 2 Tim 2:23?). We returned home to look it up and smiled at his wisdom.
Today we heard testimony from others who knew him. He reached out to the hurting, helped those in need, opened his home, loved his family. He loved Jesus and wasn't ashamed to admit it. He prayed for his grandchildren daily and preached the word. He will be sorely missed...
I found my heart grieved for a church fellowship that once had the opportunity to offer Clif their youth group. He was excited and had plans for the teenagers there. Some of the kids were excited too, but there were others who decided he wasn't quite what they had in mind when prayers had been offered for a new youth leader. He was too old and didn't fit the picture of one who could "relate" to teens and so rather than accepting what God sent their way, they rejected him as a youth leader and offered him a senior citizen ministry instead... The wisdom of a life lived, of Bible knowledge gained, of experience with people was brushed aside and Clif moved on to bless others instead.
I have to wonder how often I have prayed, God has answered, and I have told Him, "That's not good enough" never realizing the value of what is before me. Sometimes it isn't the blesser who misses the opportunity to bless, but the needy who refuses to accept what is offered. Jesus offers eternal life to all, but there are many who will never accept what he has to give. Somehow, without ever tasting, they have already decided it isn't good enough.
14 hours ago