Dad was the warmest, most genuine, most humble and patient man I have ever known. I’m not sure if you know this but dad was actually a very rich man indeed, perhaps you couldn’t tell it just to look at him?
He had worked hard and together with mum they achieved a comfortable lifestyle. When he was healthy they travelled together and lived in a lovely house that became home for us. But I am not referring to his belongings at all.
He had four children and fifteen grandchildren. During his last days they showed their fondness to him in care and love. Elizabeth and Rebekah showed selfless love in helping mum to care for him. Tim was a faithful and loyal support at his bedside. But as precious as he counted us, this is not the wealth I am speaking of.
For 56 years he had the unfailing love and companionship of mum who he always referred to simply as “Love”. In his darkest times she was his light and she defined his life. But there was wealth and treasure even more precious than this.
Jesus told a story of a man who found buried treasure and sold all he had to buy the place where it lay. Many years ago dad found this buried treasure and it made him rich beyond his wildest dreams. Although he was never asked to, he would have willingly traded everything he owned for it.
But what is this treasure he prized?
Simply put it was this. Jesus Christ in him the hope of glory.
Dad had a burning, adoring passion for Jesus, an Iron Man heart for the Lord who suffered and died for him but who is alive. He gave Him all he had, he trusted Him with his life and then he trusted Him with his death. Jim Eliot who died aged 29 as a missionary in Ecuador said “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.” This is what dad wrote 36 years ago when I was 12:
THE tragedy of the cross was necessary to meet the tragedy of sin. But look closer yet: “Father if it be possible, let this cup pass.” But the cup did not pass, it remained; and God watched, as the Son was led to the slaughter, as the Son was nailed to the cross, as His only begotten Son cried, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” Still no hand was stretched out to save. The Father would not save the Son until the Son had saved us. This however was not callous indifference; this was being endured by the Father; He was Himself involved. This was the love of Father and Son together — “the remedy for the defilement of my sin.”Any therefore who would make light of sin, let him remember, the love of the Father, the love of the Son, the Cross.
BASIL ALLSOPP, The Christadelphian, 1975, page 501
Whoever you are, whatever is in your heart, wherever you are in life he would appeal to us all to find that treasure. Put your faith in the same Lord that he loved and adored so much and you will find eternal refuge and confidence.
Dad, you have fought the good fight, you have finished the race, you have kept the faith, and now yours is the crown of righteousness because you longed for His appearing so much. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who called you is faithful and he will do it. Amen