It Happens in a Blink

Posted: February 15, 2011 in Uncategorized

It happens in a blink…….Death…..It truly does happen in a blink of an eye.  I write this with a heavy heart tonight so I have a lot to say.  James 4:14 says yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a midst that appears for a little time and then vanishes.  The first part of this says you do not know what tomorrow will bring.  That is so true.  This past Saturday was a typical day.  I spent the day with the family, watched some tv and was planning on church the next day.  Little did I know 20 minutes before church started my sister-in-law came up crying.  We asked was someone hurt, she said no, we asked if someone had died, and she shook her head yes.  WHO??? we said, and then “Josh.”  Josh Wilkes was a very close friend of my sister-in-law and through her I met him.  He quickly became a friend to me and my family.  It took me a few minutes for this to really sink in…Josh had died…

You are only here for a midst that appears for a little time and then vanishes.  No person really plans for death.  We have wills and we can tell others what we would like happen at our funeral, but do we really plan for death? I don’t.  I know it is going to happen to us all one day, but to really prepare is something I don’t do for myself or others.  When it sank in that a friend of mine was gone my mind started racing.  I started to grieve for a friend but I’m more grieved with what I am about to tell you next………

Josh was a friend of mine and I believe he would say that I was a friend of his. It pains me tonight to admit this to hundreds of people but it is weighing heavy on my heart and I have to get my pain out there so hopefully others that profess Jesus as their Savior won’t fall into this horrible place I am in now. 

There were some circumstances surrounding our friendship that I won’t go into detail about, but what I will say is I was looking at these circumstances through a wide-angle lens, so I sort of pushed him away and kept him at a distance.  Little did I know, I did not know the whole story behind everything that was going on in his life.  I saw what I saw and instead of loving him and helping him, I left it for someone else.  What was I thinking? If not me then who? Who will pour into his life? Matthew 28:19 says go therefore and make disciples.  Now Josh professed to be a Christian and know Jesus, but that is just the beginning for a Christian.  My job was to pour into his life, to teach him, to disciple him, and I failed to do that.   I’ll put it to you like this.  Remember when Jesus was in the garden just before Judas came with all of the men that were going to take Jesus, arrest him, beat him and eventually nail him to a cross.  Just before Judas and the men go there Jesus was praying, he told his disciples to stay awake and pray with him, to wait, to watch.  The disciples fell asleep, and they didn’t just fall asleep once, they kept falling asleep.  It almost seems as if they didn’t really care that Jesus had the weight of the whole world coming down on his shoulders.  That’s where I am.  Josh seemed to have the weight of the world on his shoulders, and I fell asleep. 

As a follower of Jesus I failed Josh.  I should have been there to pray with him, encourage him, pray with him, and if need be, a shoulder to cry on.  But I wasn’t there.  And as painful as it is to say, and as angry and discouraged with myself as I am, I judged him.  Jesus tells us to not even look at the outside but to look on the inside.  On the outside I saw something that I might not have like personally, but I didn’t know even half of the story.  Even if I didn’t know the whole story I still should have been there for him, to disciple him, to care for him, but most importantly, to love him.  Because of my failure to do so I have to openly apologize, not only to him but to his family and his friends, but most importantly to God for not being obedient to his word.  I was a Pharisee and not an imitator of Christ. 

You may be wondering why I am writing this.  Mainly to apologize, to get this off of my chest but also to encourage anyone who is reading this to look around you.  Look around at the people you are in contact with.  Are they crying out for help? They may not be verbally crying out for help but if you look close then you will notice it.  I noticed it in the way Josh carried himself, the way he talked and the way he looked liked he was carrying the weight of the world.  There may not be anyone in your life right now like this but chances are good that you will one day come in contact with someone who needs you to be there.  I want to encourage you to look past the outside, but take a look at the inside of that person that God created, the one he loves, the one he died for.  Lift them up, pray with them, speak into their lives.  Take everything you have learned and pour into their lives just as Paul did Timothy.  You never know what kind of impact you can make on someones life.  Don’t be like me, miss it, and then have tremendous grief because you weren’t obedient to God to love and disciple.  Please don’t miss it.  Lift someone up, show them love. Show them Jesus.

My friend Josh Wilkes will be deeply missed.  For the ones that don’t know he was a son, a dad, a brother but most importantly a child of God.  He was compassionate, kind, caring, gently and loved his family and friends.  He had a heart the size of Texas.  He worked a job and was also a volunteer fire fighter.  After fighting a fire on February 13th, 2011 he stopped at a gas station to get a drink where he collapsed.  He loved singing and playing the drums.  He was in a gospel band and loved singing about Jesus.  He has made an impact on many people’s lives and he will never be forgotten.  Right now there is a party going on in Heaven.  He is singing “Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!!!””  and he’s probably playing the drums………Rest in Peace Josh Wilkes  5/14/1984-2/13/2011

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