I have waited some time following my brother’s death to write this article. While I have given it a lot of consideration, I am not sure that even now I have my thoughts together. I’m not sure I will ever be able to express all of my emotions.
I understand the importance of expressions of concern and love more than I have ever understood. From the depths of my heart I want to express the most profound gratitude for what each of you has done for me and my family over the past few weeks. I am overwhelmed at the number of cards you have sent, the number of hugs I have received, the many phone calls and the countless emails which have been so much part of my life. I have received so many facebook messages that it has been all I could do to find time to read each of them—I have a renewed appreciation for the positive ways the internet can be used for God.
I believe more in the power of prayer than ever before. God’s throne was surrounded by the incense of prayers which went upward in our behalf. We all wanted Jerry to live, but not as a helpless body in a nursing home. He never would have wanted it, nor would we. Knowing the nature of God and the fact that you were praying brought a sense of confidence and peace which filled my heart. God answered our prayers! There is a serenity which comes at times like this and protects us with a peace that no mortal can understand.
I have a renewed appreciation for His words regarding those who are blessed by dying in the Lord. “Their works do follow after them” (Rev. 14:13). In the days since his passing, the events of my life have brought to my mind what Jerry would have said or done. Evidently he lives in the hearts and lives of so many others. Thank each of you for the “Jerry stories” you have shared with me. He lives!
I am more mindful of our mortal nature than I have ever been. His devotion to physical fitness had enabled him to live a life free from sickness and medication. Yet he died. We are all mortals.
I have greater hope for all that lies before than I have ever had. Heaven is more real and the absolute assurance of seeing him again is certain. God, help my faith to be like his and let me die the death of this righteous man! It is not a wish, nor simply a longing to be with him. I will see him again! This is the nature of hope.
Jerry led thousands to heaven, but there is one, above all others, who will be in heaven because of him. Thank you, big brother, for showing me the way!