Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Summoned Home

For nearly 4 1/2 years we've been witness along with thousands of others to the rapid decline of our dear friend & Arizona pastor, Greg Rohlinger.  He's contended with a cruel & debilitating illness known as Multiple Systems Atrophy ~ a disease that acts like Lou Gehrig's, Parkinson's and Multiple Sclerosis combined. He has fought the good fight on every level possible.  

When he first learned that his was a terminal illness, he was not given to asking "why?" or seeking a way around the pain.  He was quite clear that God had allowed it, and that he & his family would endeavor to thank God and give Him glory each step of the way. He did not fail in that mission, inspiring people all across the U.S. with his famous encouragement:  "There is value in the struggle."

Greg's struggle is over.  We bid him farewell.

Just yesterday Greg's wife, Lori, posted the following.  My words would pale by comparison, so hers will suffice.

Greg Rohlinger 

December 11, 1969- December 6, 2015 

Last night Greg went home to be with our Lord. God embraced His servant in the most peaceful of ways possible- for which I can't thank Him enough. Greg fought the good fight, he finished his course and he certainly kept the faith (1 Timothy 4:7).

In the last weeks, I have read to Greg so many times Revelation 21 & 22, trying to wrap my head around what heaven will be like. My brother, Steve Engram, came in to see us last night and asked if he could read us some scripture. You'll never guess what passages he chose to read! I love Revelation 21:4 "He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away." 

I also love what it says in 2 Corinthians 5:4 "...so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life". It's hard to believe, but Greg is more alive today than he has ever been! The body that has held him captive these last almost 5 years has been healed in an eternal way that is more functional, more alive than when he was at his best here! I imagine Greg is RUNNING around and TALKING to whoever will listen!  He was saving up many stories to tell.

😂I know he was saving up plenty of stories to tell!
While I have grief beyond description, I also have joy beyond description. I lost the love of my life, but I would never want him back. He is in the place I yearn to go and I can't wait to see him again one day! God didn't answer my prayers the way I wanted, and while that made me sad, angry and desperate, I can say without hesitation that God was faithful through it all and can be trusted with the most valuable things in your life. He is more than good, more than fair, more than loving, more than faithful. 

So I am praising His name today as I wake for my first morning without my mate and agree with John in Revelation 22 when he says "Come, Lord Jesus!