John 14:1- “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believed in God, believe also in me.”
Today would have been my brother’s 60th birthday! He passed away unexpectedly about 3 weeks ago. Actually, right after attending my nephew’s funeral. Needless to say, we were shocked when we heard the news!
The purpose of my blog today is to just honor the memory of my big brother, so if you don’t “get it” I can completely understand.
Melvin was about two years my senior, born the 6th child and first male of the family. I think when he went to kindergarten he fell in love with education because he always had a love for learning. I well remember Melvin coming home from school teaching me anything he had learned that day, creating even in my own heart a love for learning.
I learned fast, because I remember he had a nickel and I had a dime. He decided he wanted that dime and tried to convince me that since he had the bigger coin he would be willing to trade me it for the smaller coin. Well, he had taught me well because I refused to give him my coin! He wasn’t too happy with that, but I hope he was proud!
We had a musical family. We loved music and listened to it a lot. We grew up of course with the Jackson 5 and I remember he took me to hear them in concert. We also thought we could sing and dance and he and I entered neighborhood contests hoping some day to make it big. Well, we never made it big, but we made big memories. There are some songs I hear that make me stop and remember those days like, “Betcha by Golly Wow” by the Stylistics, and “Rockin’ Robin” by the Jackson 5.
Melvin joined the Navy after college and I remember when the Lord spoke to me about joining the Navy that he was excited for me and wrote me frequently while I was oversees.
Over the years our relationship changed. I was married and he never did marry and often didn’t care for not being the most important man in my world or the world of any of his sisters, but he adjusted.
I was just remembering how a few years ago he went to teach English in the Middle East. We tried to talk him out of it but he wouldn’t be deterred. He called one day after several weeks saying that if I didn’t hear from him in 2 days to call the Embassy. Of course, when he made it back to America and discovered I had told the family, he wasn’t too happy with me. I told him I didn’t care and he shouldn’t have called me up scaring me like that. We laughed afterwards and I thanked God it turned out to be a situation we could laugh over.
In case you are wondering, he wasn’t perfect and I am not trying to make him sound that way; but I just wanted to remember some of the good times I had with him because I will have no more on this earth. I also want to say how very much I truly loved my big brother. He is missed!
Melvin came to know Jesus in the last couple of years of his life. He would send us texts with a scripture or just loving words of encouragement. With all of his education and degrees he finally learned something of great value: eternal life in Jesus was the most valuable information he could have come across. I asked him personally and so did our younger brother about his spiritual change and he confirmed that he wasn’t just quoting scripture but had encountered Jesus! So this is not really good-bye, but I’ll see you later, Melvin!
I realized that tomorrow truly is not promised to any of us and while I am grateful that I have eternity with the Savior settled in my heart, my hope is that you, my reader, has the same assurance. If not, don’t hesitate to get this settled because we don’t know what the next minute holds, let alone tomorrow.
Pray this prayer out loud if you can mean it or pray your own way: Father God, I truly don’t know what tomorrow holds, but I know that if it holds the end of life for me, I am not ready. But I need to be. I believe the truth of your word as mentioned in John 14:6 that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life and no one can come to You except through Him. So right now, I repent of my arrogance in thinking that I was alright without You and without Jesus! I repent of trying to live for myself. I ask You to forgive me. Jesus, I have been blinded to the truth that You are not only the Savior of the world, but You died to be my Savior. Again, I repent for my sin of unbelief towards You. Please forgive me and I declare that I believe in You Jesus, as the Son of God, and I give my life to you right now. Receive me into the Kingdom of God and lead me by your Holy Spirit into a life filled with getting to know you better. This I ask in Your Name, Amen!
If one person prays this prayer in faith and receives the precious gift of salvation, then this was not in vain and God used it to reach you for His Glory! Wonderful Jesus!