” Sometimes the best question is not Jesus can you just change these things around me but instead God can you change me so I can handle the things that you’re walking me through.” -Micah Tyler
Several months ago I received a Facebook request and a message from a new friend. It’s weird to say “new friend” because I actually met him years ago. We met at his brother-in-law’s funeral. I had the honor of speaking on that day and in the fog of losing one of my best friends, I didn’t remember meeting him. Regardless, Jim and I became fast friends. He was reaching out because, just like his brother-in-law, he wanted to start a blog.
Jim was battling stage IV cancer now too.
Obviously my response was yes what do you need? We quickly set up his blog so he could share his journey.
You can find his blog here – https://my-cancer-story.com/
Jim and I would begin to message and share on a regular basis. When the opportunity to see Micah Tyler and meet my good friend Gary Miracle in Florida for a concert came up, Jim was all in. You see this man was the most generous, life-giving, encouraging man I have ever met. Even in the midst of his battle, his focus was his family and those he cared about.
Before we ever met in Florida, we met for the first time in our town. Jim was here to make sure his niece had a good car. He was here to make sure his sister was doing well. He was here to pour into the lives of his nephews. He was once again standing in the gap for his brother-in-law who had passed on that day we first met.
On the day we met in Florida for the concert, it was a whirlwind of texts. The other friends I went to the concert with and I got to venue early. Too early. It wasn’t open yet. We decided to go across the street to just wait it out and kill some time. When we walked in, guess who was there…. Jim. Not just Jim, his whole family. You see, he had purchased tickets to bring a village to this Christ centered evening. He wanted to make sure they could all worship, praise and enjoy the event too.
We were all blessed with the opportunity of a meet and greet with Christian Music Artist Micah Tyler and my good friend Gary Miracle before the concert. We made our way over and I just smiled as Gary and Micah loved on Jim and his family. When Jim shared his story with Micah, he took a sharpe and wrote his name on his hand to remember to pray for him.
I will never forget talking to Jim after the concert. He was full of joy and life and hope. He was with his family and friends. What a moment and memory.
The months that passed have been tough. Jim has been a warrior and encourager. Through it all. He has been the rock for so many.
Yesterday, Jim laid down his sword. He fought the good fight. He won the race.
Today he sits in the presence of his Savior.
Far beyond a handwritten name in sharpe, Jesus KNOWS his name. Today, Jim is worshiping the one who gave him hope, peace, joy, strength and taught him to love. When he was born, Jesus wrote his name on his heart.
It’s the rest of us that now wrestle with the questions, frustrations and pain.
That is why I find comfort in the words of the man that wrote Jim’s name on his hand in sharpe.
” Sometimes the best question is not Jesus can you just change these things around me but instead God can you change me so I can handle the things that you’re walking me through.”Micah Tyler
I have lost two good friends in the past three months to cancer. I have wrestled and fought and questioned everything. I always come back to the words of Micah.
God can you change me so I can handle the things that you’re walking me through?
I rejoice for Jim.
I am so glad he is healthy, whole, and in the presence of his Savior.
I would be doing Jim a disservice if I didn’t do what he did. Love and care and check in on his family.
I would be doing Jim a disservice if I didn’t live a life that leaves it’s fingerprints everywhere.
I would be doing Jim a disservice if I didn’t say “yes” to every opportunity.
I would be doing Jim a disservice if I didn’t leave the 99 for the 1.
As I write this today, Jim is in the full presence of his Savior. He earned his crown.
As I write this I ask myself and almost feel his saying “it’s your turn.”
The best way I can honor my friend Jim is to do what he did. Love his family. Stand in the gap. When opportunity comes, take it. When you are blessed with resources, give them away. Have a passion for those that don’t know Jesus. Pursue them with all you have. Love your bride. Love your children.
Even on their worst days, love them.
I will miss you Jim. I celebrate that you are home. I am changed by our friendship. I am challenged by your capacity to love.
I want to be different. I want to be changed.
Save a place for me Jim, I’ll be home soon.
The best question is Jesus can you change me so I can handle the things you’re walking me through.