21 For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. 22 If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me. Yet which I shall choose I cannot tell. 23 I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better. 24 But to remain in the flesh is more necessary on your account. 25 Convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with you all, for your progress and joy in the faith,It reminded me of something my wife said to me just the other day . She pointed out how so many widows and others who retire or end up with time on their hands seem to use it to turn in on themselves. They take up little hobbies, or just waste their time doing nothing. But this woman has not done that. Instead she has become a beautiful example of the biblical exhortation to use this precious time God has given to serve others for their spiritual good and to find joy in seeking to be used by God for His Kingdom.
Her husband, Bill, died a few years ago. He was a marvelous, warm-hearted believer in Christ who I know she misses every day. I'm certain it would have been easy for her to just turn inward and give her energy to doing whatever would help her forget her loneliness. I can imagine there are times she would rather just "depart and be with Christ". But instead, she has humbled herself as a precious, gifted servant of Christ, giving her time and energy to minister to hurting children in our local Baptist association's divorce care ministry; helping people in need through the Missouri Baptist Convention's Disaster Relief Team, promoting missions and prayer as our WMU director, serving the members of this church in so many ways; ministering to the needs of her own aging parents; and even showing up to watch our church's softball team and serve them by keeping score.
And while I am not trying to puff her up, I can't help but admire her gentle, Christ-like, Spirit. God sees her bearing this choice fruit of love! He insures that none of her efforts will ever be wasted! And I am convinced there is laid up for her, and thousands of other dear saints just like her, a "crown of life" which our Lord will give to her when he looks at her and says "Well done, good and faithful servant! Enter into your rest"
God is faithful! And in women like Janet, I see a picture of His faithfulness.
With loving admiration for faithful saints everywhere!
Pastor Scott Lee