Friday, September 28, 2012

Thank You For Giving To The Lord

This weekend we will travel to Lexington to do the Walk To End Alzheimer's in honor of my grandfather, Don White.  Alzheimer's is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States, and it robs families of the ones they love.  Like my Papaw, so many are with us physically, but no longer resemble the person we once knew.

Yes, Alzheimer's disease it cruel and for my family it has taken away the greatest man we have ever known.  If there was ever a song that captures the essence of a person it would be "Thank You" by Ray Boltz.

 I could try to tell you about my Papaw and his character, but I'll let you read these lyrics because they capture my heart more tenderly and more purely than anything I could put into words.


I dreamed I went to heaven
and You were there with me
We walked upon the streets of gold
Beside the crystal sea.
We heard the angels singing
Then someone called your name.
You turned and saw this young man
And he was smiling as he came.

And he said, "Friend you may not know me now"
And then he said, "But wait"
You used to teach my Sunday School
When I was only eight.
And every week you would say a prayer
Before the class would start.
And one day when you said that prayer
I asked Jesus in my heart."

Thank you for giving to the Lord
I am a life that was changed.
Thank you for giving to the Lord
I am so glad you gave.

Then another man stood before you
And said, "Remember the time
A missionary came to your church
And his pictures made you cry.

You didn't have much money
But you gave it anyway.
Jesus took the gift you gave
And that's why I am here today."

Thank you for giving to the Lord
I am a life that was changed.
Thank you for giving to the Lord
I am so glad you gave.

One by one they came
Far as the eye could see
Each life somehow touched
By your generosity.

Little things that you had done
Sacrifices made.
Unnoticed on the earth
In heaven now proclaimed.

And I know up in heaven
You're not supposed to cry.
But I am almost sure
There were tears in your eyes.
As Jesus took your hand
And you stood before the Lord.
He said, "My child look around you.
Great is your reward."

 Thank you for giving to the Lord
I am a life that was changed.
Thank you for giving to the Lord
I am so glad you gave.

I am so thankful that my grandfather chose to give to the Lord.  Because of his boldness, his faith, his example, and his love, his three children, eight grandchildren and Lord willing eventual great grandchildren will join him around the throne of God in Heaven one day.

That doesn't include the lives he touched while teaching Sunday school for more than 50 years, or the souls that were saved by his generosity and prayers being lifted up for missionaries across the world.  

There will people in Heaven because my Papaw gave of his time and resources to the Gideons and countless other evangelical groups. There will be people in Heaven because he never shied away from asking, "Do you know Jesus Christ as you personal Lord and Savior?"

Yes, one by one they will come to thank my Papaw for giving to the Lord so purely and so passionately.   Some he will know and others he will recognize only through the spiritual knowledge that comes on the other side of earth.

Regardless, what an amazing sight it will be when Jesus says, "Well done my good and faithful servant."

Alzheimer's may have robbed us of the man we once knew, but it can never rob us of the hope we have in Jesus Christ our Lord.  That hope assures us that one day we will stand before the throne of God and there will be no more disease, no more tears, and no more sorrows. 

That hope is what drives me to give to the Lord in every circumstance because one day, someone will say "Thank You for giving to the Lord," and in that moment I'll recall the man who lead so many to Jesus, Don White!

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