TITLE: A Man Yearning After God's Own Heart
By Lisa Huber
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You'll read of a man who persevered and truly became a hero through his pursuit to find healing and share Christ.
In August 2001, a man passed away who might well be considered a man after God’s own heart. This man was by no means perfect, but rose above one tragic circumstance after another circumstance to pursue a life threaded with a constant yearning for God and His will.
As I searched through piles of modern day stories about heroes, it is not likely that I would find anything written about this man. He was an ordinary man, one who did not desire to call any attention to himself or cause himself to stand out in anyway except as a servant of God. Ed was an electrician by trade, dressed most often in tattered jeans, a flannel dirtied by long hours of work, and a pair of very worn work boots. More often than not, you would find him helping someone out who was in desperate need such as a widow with no electricity or a furnace that had died. He was a handyman in every shape of the word.
I have known Ed since the early 1980’s, when he came to my church and started helping on our building project. Rare was the time when Ed would not be working late into the night on some project at the church during those years. Not only was he a man of great dedication to his work and his church, but he was also a man plagued by sickness and disease. For at least seven years, Ed battled various forms of cancer. Treatment after treatment, medication after medication, he would find healing and be in remission, until another form of cancer would flare up. Hundreds of people prayed for him and over him. Countless times we had corporate prayer for him during our worship services begging God not only for healing, but for His will. Ed believed he was going to be healed, and many times he was. Ed was not a man to complain about his sickness or question God about why this was happening. He simply trusted that the Almighty God knew what He was doing and followed the plan God laid out before him. Often it was baby step by baby step due to Ed’s lack of strength, but he always kept on going. He was such an example to those around him.
On one Sunday I remember quite clearly, Ed sat in front of the church and shared how God was in control of his life and his cancer too. He told how he struggled daily for strength, praying that God would sustain him. It proved to be Ed’s last Sunday in church. At the point when he shared, he was no longer able to work at all and soon thereafter became pretty much bedridden. Regardless of his lack of physical strength, God was sustaining him spiritually. Ed’s heart’s desire was to see others come to Christ. He admitted that he had made many mistakes in his life, but that God had seen fit to forgive him of those sins and show him how to pray for his family and friends who were not yet saved.
Often Ed would rest in bed reading the Bible or being read to by someone. He wanted to learn and understand as much of God’s Word as possible. Since that day in August 2001, when Ed went home to be with the Lord and was ultimately healed, many people have shared about how he would pray for hours, seeking God and His will. He did not want people to focus on him, but be drawn to God by his story and his life. Many of his own family members were not saved or had walked away from God and he desired that they be brought to the Lord. He even said that if it took him dying to bring them to the Lord, then so be it. He was ready to go, but willing to stay. Whatever God wanted was fine with him.
During a very moving memorial service, many people shared how their lives had been touched by Ed’s life and testimony. He had strived so hard for God through thick and thin, extensive treatments, and great amounts of prayer. That night, as our pastor shared a message of God’s love for everyone and Ed’s desire that each person be brought to a lasting relationship with God, several family members and friends committed their lives to God. They realized how important this was not only to Ed, but also for their own lives.
Although Ed is greatly missed, he would have said that it was all worth it just because those people became a part of God’s family that night. Just as the Scripture says, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few” (Matthew 9:37), we know that there is still a harvest to be reaped from the ministry of Ed’s life.
Ed was an example to us all of how we can rise above any circumstance, draw closer to God for our strength, and never give up hope that God is in control. Thank you, Ed, for being that example to all of us.
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