October 22, 2018
By Steve King
“Steve, Mother passed away at 4:20 am.” Those words greeted me early Monday morning from my first cousin and fellow pastor, Russell Davis. His mother, my aunt Evelyn, was my “favorite” aunt and embedded in me many wonderful memories—most of them pointed me to Jesus.
My aunt Evelyn was a beautiful woman and a faithful follower of Christ. Her husband, my uncle Delmar, was an alcoholic whose addiction scarred my aunt and their three children. When my cousin Russell was born, his dad missed his birth because he was drunk at the local VFW.
Russell grew up in the church but drifted far from the Lord and began to follow his dad’s destructive path. Yet God’s grace eventually turned a tragedy into a tale of redemption. Russell was severely injured in a work accident, spent months in a full body cast, and thought he would be paralyzed. During the crisis, Russell was radically converted to Christ, ultimately became a pastor, and planted a church in his hometown.
The church’s first building was the old VFW Russell’s father frequented and his first convert and baptism in that facility was his father, my uncle Delmar! Russell just retired from his thirty-five-year ministry at that flourishing church and he will conduct his mother’s funeral.
Providentially, I was studying Ecclesiastes on Monday morning, in preparation for Sunday’s sermon, and was struck by the questions posed in 6:12: “Who knows what is good for a man during his lifetime, during the few years of his futile life? He will spend them like a shadow. For who can tell a man what will be after him under the sun?”
The answer to both questions is God. God alone knows what is good for us and what will follow us. Therefore, wise people live God-centered and God-glorifying lives through faith in Jesus Christ (Matthew 7:24-27).
My aunt Evelyn lived this kind of wise life and now she is at home with the Lord. We who knew her are motivated by her example to feed our hope on Jesus. Bring a friend with you to church this Sunday and let’s together feed our hope on Jesus!