“We never really know what we have until it’s gone.”
It may be a cliché so to speak, however these words have a truth behind them that go far beyond common sense; and learning the truth of them really can call upon the feelings of guilt and regret.
…they all set in and remind us of what we have done, and not in a good way.
Back on May 28, 2008 – not long after our son was born – I was prompted to contact our former Pastor’s church office seeking to contact him about potentially officiating a dedication service our newborn baby boy to the Lord. I hadn’t even thought of the day when I made the call (Memorial Day), and normally the office would have been closed. However, this day it was open – and not for the best of reasons.
Pastor Frazier had passed away the day prior while on vacation.
He was a healthy man, physically, spiritually and emotionally – and though we had departed from the church he pastored for so many years, he held a very special place in my heart.
See…this man you see in the image above…had a very important role to play in my coming to know Christ. Certainly, seeds through prayer from others (and my own seeking to learn about Jesus more) rooted within me years prior to my salvation moment…but it was through Pastor Frazier whom God reaped the sowing of those seeds. In turn, not only did I come to Christ – seeking to enter into relationship with Him – my husband rededicated his life to Him as well a month later.
Also, he was the very man whom baptized me.
Aside from this, however, there was one thing about Pastor Frazier that has stuck with us since we met him.
He loved serving people.
He loved equipping people.
He loved me…and my husband…and though he never met him, I know he loved our son, too. For I remember calling him not long after our son was born to tell him the good news of his birth…and the elation in the tone of his voice was beyond joyous. I will never forget his voice or his happiness…and when he heard our son’s name, his cup overflowed.
See friends, he knew our story…mine and my husband’s. He knew where we came from. He knew we struggled with our relationship with God, and it was through his love for Christ that he loved us with a passion unlike any we had never experienced. He was this way with anyone and everyone he met, as well. In summation…he was the genuine package.
He was the passionate, on-fire, “heart-is-for-Christ” man who served with this whole heart and beyond. He put everything of who he was in Christ into the work he was commissioned to, and he lived his life our boldly…passionately…and lovingly.
He asserted to inspire me and my husband early on to grow into maturity in Christ, but alas – for myself – I still sought out my own way (walking to the beat of other Christian’s drums…rather than walk to the beat He put in me). This was until God grabbed ahold of my heart after my son was born and shook me awake.
I so desired to have Pastor Frazier place his hands upon our son and help us lift him up to the Lord, and pray over his life – and to have him pray over ours as well to help us raise our son in the way he should go, so even if he should ever wander…he would never fully depart from God. Though he was unable to do this with us in a ceremony, I know in his hearing of our son’s birth through my phone call to him, he prayed these very prayers for us.
He was faithful to prayer for those he knew, and those he didn’t know.
I’m pretty certain this man had his fair share of flaws, however, we never saw any of them. We didn’t know him in that manner, and I believe it was necessary [above all] for me to see him as such; for he was emulating Christ’s character and love into our hearts.
I needed the image of Christ in my life, physically – right before my eyes – to help reassure me that Jesus was truly real. My husband, he had faith from the moment of his rededication…and he understood a bit better who Christ was outside of a man, a pastor. However, I didn’t. I needed this physical image because of the background I came from…and God knew this.
He also knew that there would come a point when I would need to have my eyes taken off a human man, and place my eyes fully upon Christ – and in Pastor Frazier’s passing, God did just that.
I’m eternally thankful to God for Pastor Frazier in my life. He gave me a gift, beyond His very own Son within my life, to help me understand what it meant to live the Christian life maturely. Lovingly. Passionately.
I have referred to Pastor Frazier at times on a few posts, particularly in reference to his book [Armor of God] that his wonderful wife, Ruth, wrapped up for him to put out for publication not long after his passing on to be with our Heavenly Father. And wouldn’t you know that God knew exactly what he was doing placing me in the midst of this man, to not just teach me just how to live the Christian life…but also how to point me in the direction to help me discover the way to protect my heart within the Christian life.
It’s been a struggle for me to understand this, but time and time again, I come back to his book…and of course Ephesians 6:10-20.
Every time I read this verse, putting on the armor God has given us all to put on, I remember Pastor Frazier and the servants heart he had. I remember how he passionately, and boldly, reminded others in his midst to the do the same. I also remember how much he loved, how much of a friend he was, and how much he never [in front of my eyes at least] parted from the truth of God’s word and His character. I also remember how he passionate he was to assert that everyone has a story [in Christ] worthwhile telling, and to simply tell it. (aka: write it.)
I’ll never forget Pastor Frazier, and I will be certain…every Memorial Day I have left to celebrate…to tell my son about a great man who affected his Daddy’s and Mommy’s lives in such a way, that they’d never be the same again because of Whom he pointed us to for our own lives.
Today…I remember a great man who passionately served Christ and fought in the battles of this world [on the spiritual levels] for the hearts of man to come to know Christ as their redeeming savior. He was a brave and mighty soldier for Christ, and his memory will forever be honored in our hearts…and in our home…for generations to come.
Who do you remember today?