Sunday, November 27, 2011

Well Done Good and Faithful Servant

Dear Family & Friends,

When I offered to update CB for my precious friend, Paige and she accepted, I was instantly filled with fear. What was I thinking!?  Lord, I can't do this! I know like me many of you look forward to hearing an encouraging word from her daily through CB. I am not as eloquent of a writer as Paige but will do my best! 

Our beloved & brave fighter & hero, Pat Easterling, courageously finished his race last night around 6:39 pm. He was surrounded by his loving and faithful wife, children, extended family and many friends. I was reminded of the scripture in 2 Timothy 4:7 "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith."
While we are all filled with sadness and grief, we are also filled with thanksgiving knowing that Pat is healed. He is cancer free in heaven today! 

As this week began with Pat being admitted on Tuesday & as his health began to decline throughout the week, I questioned the Lord. I was like, "Really Lord, during Thanksgiving week!?" And all week long my devotions have be centered around being Thankful. Again, I was like, "Really, Lord!?" But this morning, I realized in spite of the despair and deep sadness that we are all experiencing today at the passing of our precious Pat that there is much to be thankful for too. Yesterday my devotion stated "How precious are My children who remember to thank me at all times. They can walk through the darkest days with Joy in their hearts because they know that the Light of My Presence is still shining on them. For I am their steadfast Companion."

I thought I would take a few lines to share what I am thankful for as we have journeyed with the Easterling family during these dark days and  together chartered unwanted and unfamiliar territory with them.

First, I am thankful for the man of God Pat was. I have had the privilege of being a part of an incredible group of men & women who pray & study God's word together and challenge each other to live in a way that honors and glorifies the Lord. Pat was a devoted Christ follower. 

He was a faithful husband, best friend and lover to Paige for over 27 years. He was a devoted Dad who was so proud of his 3 greatest accomplishments this side of heaven, Elizabeth, Matt & Garrett. He did not need to have those "last words" with his family because Pat lived in such a way with character, honesty and integrity that his life said enough!

I am thankful for my sweet & precious friend, Paige! There are no words that are sufficient or adequate enough to express first my love for this amazing woman but also to describe the selfless way she has served Pat and her family. I know she would be the first to tell you that only by the grace and mercy & the unfailing love of Jesus Christ was she able to do all that she has done this past year. Paige, you have carried us all with your incredible faith. WE LOVE YOU! And your precious 3! Those Easterling kids come from good stock! Elizabeth, who so selflessly moved back home this past year. I know it was not your plan after graduating from college but your obedience to do the right thing was so "grown up". Matt, knowing how hard you worked with your dad this summer to learn the business was so touching. Your unwavering faith yesterday at hospital forever changed us all. And G, your dad was so proud of you! And for you to have played the final game your dad got to watch last Monday, scoring over 30 points!!! Wow, God is good! Y'all are his legacy.

Friends, I know we didn't get the full healing this side of  heaven for Pat. But don't miss that God sustained Pat for over a year with good enough health to travel & make memories with his family and with each of us. And for that I am truly Thankful. What are you thankful for?

And finally, my devotion this morning turned to rest. Which is what I pray most for the Easterling's right now. "Rest in deep assurance of My unfailing Love. Let your body, mind, and spirit relax in My Presence. Release into My care anything that is troubling you. Be awed by the vast dimension of My Love for you: wider, longer, higher, deeper than anything you know. Rejoice that this marvelous Love is yours forever! 

Thank you Lord, for the gift of Pat, Paige, Elizabeth, Matt & Garrett.I know as Pat entered the gates of heaven last night he heard,"Well, done good and faithful servant."

Brenda Ashlock

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