This is the Rocky Mountaineer engine which pulled our train from Seattle to Vancouver on the first leg of our fantastic vacation in May, 2018. As we boarded that afternoon I was almost overcome with excitement at what I would see and experience over the next week and a half. I remember the rush of adrenalin at the first movement of the train pulling out of the station, and the unmitigated sense of joy at being in that place, at that time.
I’m thinking this must be what it was like (in some greater way) for my dear friend Jay Wheelock, yesterday morning at 6:20 a.m. CDT., when Jay went to be with Jesus. His passing was difficult for me. I loved this man as much as I ever could have loved a brother.
He was in fact my brother, because I also had the rare privilege of leading Jay to trust in Jesus as his own personal Savior back in the late 1990’s. For the last 20 years or so Jay and I played lots of golf together. We went on many spiritual journeys together, as his mind led Jay to read the Bible constantly and come to me with a list of questions to help him make sense of it all. Now, looking back on all those years, and all that conversation and discussion, I miss him already. I’m sad… but it’s a joyful sadness. Because I know… that Jay now knows… the truth of all we discussed.
Consider for a moment these truths:
Psalm 139:16 ~ You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.
Psalm 39:4 ~ LORD, remind me how brief my time on earth will be. Remind me that my days are numbered–how fleeting my life is.
Romans 8:1 ~ So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.
1 Corinthians 15:53-58 ~ Then, when our dying bodies have been transformed into bodies that will never die, this Scripture will be fulfilled: “Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?”
For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power. But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ. So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless.
The schedule for the Rocky Mountaineer train journey was never precise, they always gave us a general arrival time span. This was because they shared the tracks with other trains and the train traffic controllers determined who went where and when.
However, in the Sovereign plan of God, laid out before Jay was ever born, God had it all worked out. And God is never late or imprecise.
The ultimate truth is crystal clear:
Romans 5:6 ~ You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly.
Thank you God, for my brother Jay, who now knows the truth of these words, and lives now in the power of your presence.