Friday, October 06, 2006
A while ago I started thinking about writing an article about three men I have had the privelidge to learn from who have recently gone to be with Jesus. I never really got going (that happens a lot with me). One thing that I was thinking about them was how much you can learn about a person and their God when they are faced with death. So often in sermons we hear the rhetorical question 'What would you do if you were to die tonight?' But seldom when we are young do we get to watch people prepare for their death. Luke 12 tells us of the rich fool who wasn't ready to die but was attached to this world and it's fleeting pleasures. One man who I was going to write about, and probably will write about till I myself go where he has gone, is Alan Godden - My Grandfather.
Last year my Grandpop woke up one night while holidaying in Taree and staggered into the Bathroom where he collapsed. He was rushed to hospital where the Doctor discovered a rare tumor in his stomach that had to be operated on. The doctor got a sizable chunk out of the stomach and it looked like after a long recovery in hospital Grandpop would live another two or three years.
The problem however was that Grandpop didn't like hospital. He had lived his whole life outdoors working with his hands and he hated being dibilitated in a bed. The Physiotherapists (He called them Physio-terrorists) had a daily battle to get him up and walking and the pain of shuffling around the hospital hallways not only hurt his body but hurt his pride. Eventually Grandpop developed Pneumonia from not moving around enough. He died in Berkelely Vale hospital on Wednesday the 16th November - five long weeks after that fateful night in Taree.
My Grandpop was a Christian man. He came to know the Lord while serving in Paupa New Guinea during the War. A friend of his helped him understand key parts of Scripture and explained grace to him. When Grandpop returned from the war he was zealous for Christ. He finished an agricultural degree and took himself to SMBC where he learned to love his Lord even more. He met my Grandmother at a youth group in Taree (he was a cradle snatcher) and married her and he was sent out west as part of his job as a soil conservationist.
Together they had four children of whom my Father was the oldest. All of their children grew up knowing Jesus and all of them still do. All of their grandchildren (of whom I am the oldest) also have come to know Jesus. What a legacy the Spirit has allowed him to have! My Grandma reminded him of this the day before he died. Every member of our large extended family were there and together we were all able to pray. Ministers from different churches came and prayed with us and shared scripture with us in that last week. Grandpop himself as he struggled for breath encouraged us and reminded us of where he was going. He couldn't wait. When he finally died on Wednesday it was sad. But it wasn't sad for him. Renae and I were married three days later and it cut me up that Grandpop wasn't going to be there. My brother Tim in his speech at our wedding said 'Although we might feel like Grandpop is missing out, he's not. He is having a party that is far greater than the one we are having now. He has much better things to worry about than whether he could be here or not.' That's true! Grandpop is now with Jesus. He isn't missing out... we are.
I pray that I might leave a legacy behind me as Grandpop has with his family. I pray that I might lead my family and be a father and husband who points his children and wife to Jesus. He is all that matters. Family and Weddings and friends are all good things here on earth, but nothing compared to the Great Family, the Great Wedding, and the Great Friend we will come face to face with when we die.
Posted byDan at 8:10 AM