In 2013 I did a funeral for a friend named Hal. He had Multiple Sclerosis (MS) for a number of years, and he died at 61 years old. Through the years I saw him slowly digress from walking and driving a car, to having to use a walker and then get rides from friends, to using a wheel chair, and then finally to not being able to get out of bed anymore. Hal not only had a big heart, but he was the ultimate friend to everyone in the truest sense of the word by being trustworthy, thoughtful and caring, and not being easily offended. He felt like it was his job to help people. For instance—and I don’t necessarily recommend you do this—he would drive periodically on Thursday mornings along the road that our county jail is on because he had discovered that it was when inmates were released each week, and many times they’d have to walk home or walk to wherever they were going because they didn’t have a car. So he’d give them a lift, talking with them along the way. He was a great conversationalist like that. And there are many more examples of his kindness that could be mentioned.
Sometimes I wonder why good people like that have to suffer and die. Then I remember what Hal shared with me one time when I was giving him a ride to downtown because he couldn’t drive anymore. He told me that he wasn’t always so good. He said that he had regrets from his younger days, that he wished he had been a little nicer and not quite so harsh, that he had loved his family more, that he had not done some of the things he had done that brought heartache to others. He told me that he wished he could take back some of the hurtful things he had said.
As I listened, I didn’t want to believe him. In my mind he was a good man. And I will never forget what he said to me as we were talking in the van that day. He said, “Tyler, I’ve made a lot of mistakes in my life, and the only reason I’m going to heaven is because of the grace of Jesus Christ.” So maybe the question to ask isn’t “Why did this have to happen to someone so good?” I know Hal’s right…what he said is true for all of us. None of us is good…but I thank God that he is gracious and extravagant with his presence and forgiveness.
Ultimate healing—in every sense of the word—comes from Jesus…and we have to remember that. Your healing may not be physical healing right now. But mark my words: God will heal everybody eventually. One day you will be healed forever. This Easter, be sure to thank Jesus, truly the only good man, for loving you by his death and resurrection. John 10:11 quotes Jesus: “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” You are loved by the good man who counts the most.
Working together to win together for the cause of Christ,