"is the death of His saints." That's what the Psalmist tells us in the Old Testament.
I've been away from the "worldwide web" for the last four days, so I've not been able to "blog" any, even though lots has happened that has caught my attention.
Two events that have taken place since my last post are worthy of my attention today. Both of these are the "home-going" of precious, precious people.
The first person I want to honor is the late Reverend Dr Cecil B Knight, who went to be with the Lord last weekend at his home in Cleveland, Tennessee. Dr Knight was a true Christian gentleman. Having grown up in a Pentecostal denomination, Brother Knight's name was well-known, and well respected.
I first became very personally acquainted with Brother Knight and his wonderful wife Evelyn back in September 1992 when they came to Oslo, Norway to attend the Pentecostal World Conference being held there. It was my grand privilege to give them the "tour of Oslo" and to enjoy their company while they were in Scandanavia. I was stationed in the United States Air Force there at the time. Brother and Sister Knight treated me so wonderfully well on this visit, and he encouraged me to stay in touch with them.
Some four years later I had decided to leave the Air Force and to attend Seminary. I remembered that Dr Cecil Knight was the president of the Church of God Theological Seminary, and so I contacted him. He asked me to come for a visit, and to check out the seminary. I did just that, and made up my mind that I should be a student at the seminary. In late August 1996, I became a first-year Seminary student. Again, Brother and Sister Knight received me so graciously and warmly. Lots of stories abound concerning Brother Knight. But his legacy is that he loved and served the Lord Jesus Christ with all of his heart. He was by no means perfect, but he was a faithful servant of God. He will be tremendously missed by all who knew him. He was that kind of man.
The second person whose death I mourn is someone I never met, but whom I've loved anyway. That is Ruth (McCue) Bell Graham, the late wife of Evangelist Billy Graham. Everyone knows who Billy Graham is--well just about everyone. And anyone who has ever heard Dr Graham speak, or read any of his written works has heard him talk about his precious wife Ruth.
Mrs Graham was a wonderfully wise, gracious, and gentle woman. She and her husband raised 5 children to love and serve God, as well as loving and serving humanity. Anne, Gigi, Ruth, Franklin and Ned had a marvelous mother--one who passionately loved her God, her husband, and her family.
I remember reading a book about Ruth Graham a few years ago, and just doubled over in laughter. Mrs Graham had a tremendous sense of humor, and didn't mind playing practical jokes on anyone and everyone--her husband included!
I vividly remember an interview the Grahams did with David Frost some years ago, and the Mr Frost asked Ruth about her marriage. His question was along the lines of "You've raised these children without the help of your husband, and I know you've been very lonely at times....did you ever consider divorce?" Ruth Graham was very quick, very firm, and very funny in that she said, "No, I never, ever considered divorce, but MURDER did cross my mind many times."
I was in the Billy Graham Museum at Wheaton College yesterday, with a friend who was visiting Chicagoland. I stood near the exhibit where Dr Graham's family was featured, and the wonderful pictures of him and his precious Ruth. Dr Graham said that "Ruth is my most trusted spiritual advisor. She has a tremendously deep relationship with the Lord, and her knowledge of the Scriptures is amazing." I couldn't help but wipe tears from my eyes.
This world has lost two wonderful servants of the Lord. And indeed "precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of His saints."
Even though we mourn now, when God calls it "precious" it is indeed a "precious thing."