“Now, Lord, I would be Yours alone
And live so all might see
The strength to follow Your commands
Could never come from me
Oh Father, use my ransomed life
In any way You choose
And let my song forever be
My only boast is You
Hallelujah! All I have is Christ
Hallelujah! Jesus is my life.
-All I Have is Christ, Bob Kauflin
Today we got the devastating news that one of our very own has now passed into eternity. He was a son, brother, friend, husband, father and co-laborer in the Gospel. It is amazing to see the impact that he had on so many lives. He made sure that you felt like the most important person in the world to him. But, honestly, I can confidently say that his love for people couldn’t have come from himself, but from God. If you were impacted by Matt, it was because of God’s love for you. I can remember Matt clearly singing “All I Have is Christ” at the end of every summer, eyes closed, thanking God for everything that He was doing in him. Some of those summers were painful, but they were always good.
He and I had many talks. He was the friend I never expected who became a encouraging brother on this road of life. I remember the summer he came and told me of this girl that he liked and started to talk with. Her name was Carol Anne. Any and every conversation we shared had to do with God working in our lives and Carol Anne. He had seriously been swept away. I was so excited for him as he told me how godly this Carol Anne was and how she pointed him to truth. Even though he was a ball of energy and a goofball, he always had a tender heart and a desire to obey God. We often talked of the verses of Paul where he says in Romans 7:18-19, “18 For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing.” He and I both had struggles that we wanted God to change in us so we could be more effective for His kingdom.
One summer in particular was a hard one for him. He was going through some things with other people and he also had been convicted of a past sin, confessed it and was having to go through some consequences. Towards the last two weeks of camp we had a conversation one night that really blessed my heart. I’ve shared this conversation with others as it has given me a sweet perspective of Heaven. It went something like this:
“Sarah, I just can’t believe how good God has been to me. It hasn’t been easy, but He’s changing me. You know what? I love talking about God and sharing what He is doing! In fact, I can’t wait for Heaven because God has no time limit! Which means, I’m going to talk to Paul and Peter for 1,000 years about what God did in their lives, and then, I’m going to talk to Carol Anne for 1,000 years about what God did in her life and then I’m going to talk to you for 1,000 years about what God did in your life! It could take billions of years, but it won’t matter because we will all love it!”
A man who loved people, but most of all, God. Brothers and sisters in Christ, if you knew Matt, or if you didn’t, you will be having a 1,000 year conversation coming your way.
Today, I pray for Matt’s sweet wife, Carol Anne and their sweet baby boy, Asa, whom he loved so dearly. Praying also for his family and friends who are hurting and in pain. Thankful to a special friend who called me up today and told me that Matt is so much better now. He is in a better place than we are. What truer words are there?
Today, I also thank my God for allowing me to know such a person and whose life really glorified Christ. Thankful for the lesson of the limited time we have on earth and how we should not be selling ourselves short for cheap substitutes. Our God is worth every ounce of energy and every weakness we bring. He is worthy to be praised and honored for the sacrifice He gave by sending His own precious Son to die in our stead so that, like Matt, we will one day fellowship with God beyond 1,000 years!
18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. 19 For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. 23 And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. 24 For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.
Romans 8: 18-25