This week a call shocked me. I learned a friend’s husband of 35 years had died the previous day — the day after Christmas. As we talked I remembered Gary’s story of coming to Christ. I am sure he had no idea of the comfort and peace that one decision would provide, especially now when he is gone.
Gary came to Christ after cynically watching the changes in his wife Pam after her conversion to Christ. One day while waiting in the parking lot while Pam grocery shopped, he called out to Christ and asked Him to forgive his sins, be His Savior, and make him into a new man. He waited to tell Pam. Maybe to be sure it “took!” One Sunday as Pam sang in the choir, a fellow choir member and intercessor for Gary elbowed Pam and pointed. Down the aisle marched Gary to publicly acknowledge his private decision.
Gary’s life began to change. God transformed this former skeptic to one who prayed each morning that those he met that day might come to know his Savior. This of course enhanced their marriage, and his eternal destiny did a literal 180 degrees flip. December 26, 2010 Gary Lee Pace went to be with the Lord. Even though his death has stunned and grieved his family, because of his decision in the parking lot so many years ago, they have hope even in their sorrow. They have assurance that Gary is home with the Lord (2 Corinthians 5:8) and free from pain and sorrow (Revelation 21:3-4). And because Pam knows Jesus, she knows she will one day join Gary.
I doubt that Gary realized what a gift of comfort and peace that decision would be to his loved ones when he died. What about you? Have you made that most important decision of calling on Christ to be your Savior? Have you let your family know so that when you leave, they will have peace of mind and know how to follow in your footsteps?
The apostle John wrote, “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life” (1 John 5:13). Leaving a will provides practical help for your loved ones, but leaving a testimony of faith provides comfort and peace at their time of loss.
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Keita Ikeda says
Thank you for sharing.