Yesterday, Bill Sweeney (please take the time to view the short narrative and pictures), went home to be with his Lord and Saviour, Jesus, the Christ, the Son of God. If you never came to know Bill and his wife Mary, even in a small way, you really missed something. Bill’s life and testimony to his faith and love for Jesus, should stop most of us in our tracks. And the faithfulness, love and dedication of his wife Mary, is right up there with Bill’s.
Bill and I ran across one another’s blogs about four years ago and we have often exchanged comments back and forth with one another. I never once heard Bill complain, he never said “why me?”, in any of our exchanges. There were times when he expressed a desire to be once again able to eat and to be mobile but it didn’t have a negative connotation to it, he was just remembering, and who wouldn’t. He loved his wife Mary with all of his heart and likewise his two daughters and their extended families. He knew he was a sinner and he knew he was eternally saved because of his love, faith and trust in Jesus.
Considering all of the limitations that both he and his wife Mary faced, and their two daughters, most of which, very few of us can even imagine, their ongoing faith and example of trusting in God, is really an outstanding testimony to the providence of God. It could have been so easy to become bitter, but bitterness didn’t win here, in fact, the exact opposite won out, the acknowledgement of and trust in, God’s love, mercy and grace, prevailed.
Yesterday, December the 30th, 2020, was Bill’s last day here on earth. He left his broken body behind and his spirit went to be with his Creator. The thing is, we’re all going to have a last day, because we all end up leaving these bodies we now live in behind.
I know some people don’t believe in God and that the name of Jesus is just another name in history that can be ignored. And even though I could give them a hundred reasons why I believe in God and that I know that Jesus is God’s Son, it means nothing to some, because they can give me a hundred reasons why they don’t believe. I understand all that.
Some scientists say that this earth that we live on shouldn’t be here, but it is. And in spite of all that we have come to understand, no one can yet explain or duplicate how life came to be, but we know that we exist and are alive. And we also know that the years that most of us have been given, eventually all come to an end, and they indeed do.
I am 75 years old now and I have been married for 50 years. Sounds like a long time doesn’t it? Sounds like it, but it isn’t. You don’t have to take my word for it, if you live to be my age, or older, you will experience what I mean. Life is short, a lot shorter than you think. And sometimes, in spite of the number of years that we do live, we don’t actually learn all that much.
Did you know that according to Jesus, we can be alive and yet never actually live? That is where our bodies and minds are alive but our spirits are dead, isolated from God, our Creator.
That is why Jesus said that we needed to be “born again” and He wasn’t talking about our physical bodies, He was talking about our internal spirits within us. And why is that? Because Jesus also told us that God, His Father, is a spirit and when God created us, which He did, He made us in His own image, which means we also have a spirit, and that spirit within us, is separated from Him because all of us have either consciously or unconsciously decided to be our god, make our own decisions about what is right and what is wrong and ignore the reality of our Creator or even consider His thoughts or ways.
That may not sound like a big deal now, when you are young or just approaching middle age, but I can tell you, it takes on a whole new perspective as you become older. And the reason for that is this life that we have been given, this gift of being, is designed to make us aware that the physical is superficial and fleeting and the spirit is eternal.
Bill and Mary Sweeney both believed this and it transformed their lives. And Bill was and is my friend and I loved him in Christ and I will see him again. And I am eternally grateful to Jesus, because it is because of Jesus that any of this is possible.
Hard to believe? Only to those who have ears but hear not and only to those who have eyes but see not. There is an awful lot of darkness in this world right now but in this darkness there is light and you can see this light and come to this light if you earnest look for it. Jesus is that light.
Bill would echo what I have just said here on earth right now but he won’t because he’s not here anymore. Right now he is standing face to face with his Creator. And I am oh so happy for him.
Worthy is the Lamb! Blessings!