On Wednesday we celebrated the life of my Grandpa, Harry B Hill. The night before the funeral my Mom handed me one of Grandpa’s prayer journals from 1996 to read. I always knew my Grandpa as a faithful man in his Christian walk. He was a committed member of his church choir, actively participated in his Methodist Men’s group (which he abbreviated in his journal as ‘Meth Men’), and exhibited Christ-like character in his dealings with people.
One thing that I did not know about my Grandpa, that I learned from his journal, was the intensely intimate relationship he had with Jesus. Every day of the week through January, February and so forth, my Grandpa recorded his prayers. He normally would begin with ‘Dear Jesus’. He often would write about ‘how real’ Jesus was to him and over and over again he constantly thanked Jesus for His personal guidance, comfort, and daily help.
It was very clear that my Grandpa’s best and most intimate friend was and is Jesus. He truly saw life as a journey that him and Jesus were taking together. Christianity was not a weekly church service for my Grandpa, but a moment by moment journey with a very real and personal Savior.
In my Grandpa’s last moment on earth we believe God gave us a special gift. My Mom and her brother and sister were with Grandpa in his room last Saturday. One of the local ministers had just come in and was reading some Scriptures over him. All of a sudden there were three knocks on the door. My mom remained with Grandpa holding his hand while one of her siblings went to go open the door. As they opened the door, no one was anywhere in sight. At that exact moment, my Grandpa took his last breath. It was as if Jesus, Grandpa’s intimate Savior and Friend, came knocking to come and bring His servant home.
I was reminded of the song, ‘What a Friend We have in Jesus’….
What a Friend we have in Jesus,
all our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry
everything to God in prayer!
O what peace we often forfeit,
O what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry
everything to God in prayer.
May we too experience the joy and richness of walking with Jesus daily as our faithful friend and personal Savior!