Let’s Not Go Quietly Into Heaven
In remembrance of Dr. Robert Couch, who was my partner in the emergency department and dear friend for over 35 years. I was humbled and emotionally overwhelmed when asked to speak at his funeral. I prayed the Lord would give me strength and fill me with the Holy Spirit, as my heart was broken.
As I prepared for this message, I reflected on how fragile our lives are as described in
Why you don’t even know what will happen tomorrow. ‘What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.’
I also thought of Matthew 5:14:
You are the light of the world and …let your light shine before others that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in Heaven.
My friend Bob was a light for many and an example of how every life matters in the kingdom of heaven. By his life he taught that every time we meet someone, we leave a mark: If we respond with compassion, if we show love to those who are hard to love, or if we do nothing and walk away, on each occasion we influence others – for better or worse.
God is performing miracles every day through those around us if we could only see through the eyes of Christ. People end up in places that even in our wildest imagination we can only explain as the hand of God. How have you experienced a divine appointment? Those times when God, in His perfect timing, arranged for you to appreciate the power of love, and empower others with encouragement to understand our identity in Christ.
Coincidence or the hand of God?
When I think of these divine appointments, I think of the scripture written in John 13:34: A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know you are my disciples if you love one another.
I will finish with a devotion Bob shared on one of our Teach To Transform mission trips: He shared a devotion about a businessman named Paul. Paul was with his team and they had just closed an important business deal. As they left the meeting excited to get to the airport and go home, they inadvertently knocked over a lady’s fruit stand in front of the hotel. While the rest of the team hurried on to catch their flight, Paul stopped and helped her pick up the fruit even though he knew he would miss his plane. Only then did he realize that she was blind. As Paul started to walk away, she asked, are you, Jesus? He said, “Oh, I am not Jesus,” and she said, “I only ask because when my fruit stand was knocked over, I prayed that Jesus would help me.
Dr. Bob then asked our team at the end of this devotion, when was the last time someone mistook you for Jesus?
When was the last time someone saw the Love and compassion of Jesus in you?”
When was the last time you brought comfort to someone who was hurting?
When was the last time you took time out of your busy schedule to show compassion when it was not convenient?
When was the last time you visited someone sick, broken, depressed, or alone?
Sharing the message of Love one person at a time, whether it was with family, his neighborhood, or across the world, that was Dr. Bob Couch.
My faith tells me, and I know with all my heart and soul, that when Bob closed his eyes for a final time here on earth, when he opened them again he was gazing into the eyes of our Savior Jesus Christ who said to him, “Well done, my faithful servant, welcome to the Kingdom of Heaven.”
There will be a time for each of us when we, like Bob, close our eyes here on earth for the final time, and when we open them next, we will be looking into the eyes of Christ.
The question is . . . Do you know Him?
I have 100% faith that when my time comes and I close my eyes for a final time, I will be looking into the beautiful eyes of the King of Kings and the name above all names, Jesus Christ. I will fall into Christ’s open arms, but when I glance over Christ’s shoulder, I will see my dear friend, Bob, with his sweet smile and goofy socks. He, too, will have his arms spread wide, and he will say “welcome to paradise, my friend.”
So, let’s not go quietly into Heaven! With the time we have left, lets loudly proclaim the Love of Christ as my dear friend Bob set the example. Come join us at Teach To Transform and be part of something so much bigger than you can imagine, showing the love of Christ to others and declaring the name above all names to those who don’t know him.
Can you imagine?
For His Glory,
Dr. Tom is a Board Certified Emergency Medicine Physician in the USA with over 25 years of experience and an ordained minister by Southeast Christian Church in Louisville Kentucky. His true passion is world missions and he and his wife Karen are the founders of Teach To Transform, an organization that exists to equip partners around the world with medical and vocational skills they can use to share the gospel of Christ. You can subscribe to Dr. Tom’s weekly blog, Divine Appointments, to read more stories and learn more about the mission of Teach To Transform.