Yesterday I went to the funeral of a dear man of God. Don Kizer, husband to one – for 70 years (WOW!), father to 3 – plus 2, grandpa to 7, great-grandpa to 15 – he was so proud of all his babies of all ages. And, most importantly – servant of God. He gave and he gave and he gave. Never begrudgingly.
No one ever asked Don for anything – they didn’t have to – he beat them to it. My father-in-law, Don’s pastor for many years, tells of a time when he told the church board he would need to take a week of vacation time to re-roof his house. Early Monday morning, Don pulled up in front of his pastor’s house with his tools. He was ready to work. And work he did. This retired workhorse came back every day until the job was done – drove an hour home and was back the next morning – all week long. Not because he had been asked to help – only because he wanted to.
His granddaughter similarly tells of a time she was painting in the basement when she was scared by footsteps in her supposedly empty house. Armed with a baseball bat, relief flooded over her when Grandpa rounded the corner. He explained, “You said you were going to be painting, right?”
When we bought our first house it had some work to be done – including adding a shower to the bathroom. Don to the rescue, again.
Don showed up for others – always serving, always giving, always working. The church yard received his loving care for years and years. He was even more dedicated to the people in his life – 70 years with his lovely wife Norma. Life was not always easy for them. But they remained dedicated to each other and the God they served.
The verses that come to mind when I think of Don are from Colossians 3. “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.” (3:23,24). Don didn’t need to check with his pastor about roofing his house, or with his granddaughter about painting, or any of the other people he just showed up for. He was on God’s time clock, and he showed up for work, again and again.
Don is done working now. He is awaiting his inheritance from the Lord which he will receive when the dead are raised and the Lord’s New Kingdom will begin (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18).
You might not be a roofer, or painter, or plumber, or lawn care specialist, or able to fix anything and everything with some wire and duct tape. But, you ARE gifted by God to serve. So, get out there and get to work. Work as if you were working for the Lord (because you are when you serve others). Work as if you were working alongside Don. Keep at it! Your reward may be closer than you know, or you may be given 89 (or more) years to serve. Either way, do it with all your heart.
Thank you, God, for the gift of knowing Don. May I work as he worked – on your time clock.