Goodbye Bobby

ripBobby Ferrell went home to be with his Father in heaven yesterday at 11:05 AM.

We’ll miss Bobby. He was a great guy.

Most of the people who read this never met Bobby but I hope that you get to meet him in the next life. You’ll like him!

Obviously this is a time of sadness for our loss but it is also a time of rejoicing. 

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39

I rejoice that God is faithful and he always keeps his promises. I rejoice that because God always keeps his promises, I know that Bobby is safe now. I rejoice that Bobby no longer has the pain from his cirrhosis or hepatitis. I rejoice because I know this separation is only temporary and we will get to see him again one day. I rejoice in the victory that Jesus Christ won over death and the grave!

I didn’t get to know Bobby as well as I would have liked. He was my wife’s uncle and he lived a long way away from us so we didn’t get to see him very often. I spent one great evening talking with him once though and he shared something that has stuck with me ever since. So to honor Bobby, I want to share it with you:

Bobby’s wife had recently died of cancer and he was feeling lost and alone and he came over to where I was staying at the time and sat down to talk with me. During the course of our conversation, we got onto the subject of how God uses things for good and how everyone has a testimony to share. I don’t remember his exact wording but it went something like this:

My pastor was preaching the other day and he was telling us a little about his life and his testimony and he was almost apologetic because he said he had never drunk alcohol, never taken drugs, never gone out partying, never gotten in trouble with the cops, never had sex outside of marriage, never been addicted to porn etc etc. He had been a straight-A student his whole life. After high school, he had gone to seminary, done well there, met his wife, got married and became a pastor. He said he’d never experienced many of the things that so many people struggle with, he didn’t have those bad memories from past mistakes – and he pretty much apologised for it, for not being able to truly empathise with people.

I went up to him afterward and told him “Don’t ever apologise for your testimony and don’t ever apologise that God saved you from going down those paths. Your testimony gives me hope. Your testimony tells me that it is possible to not make those mistakes. Your testimony tells me that it is not inevitable that I will start drinking and doing drugs again because of my depression over my wife dying. Your testimony tells me that God can bring me through this. Your testimony tells me that is possible for my children and grandchildren to not make those mistakes, to not go where I went and do what I did. ”

“Yours is a testimony that gives me hope.”

I was blown away by that – by how powerful a testimony can be. No matter how small or weak you think  your testimony is, no matter how irrelevant you feel it is, no matter what you’ve been through or haven’t been through, your testimony is as important, valid and powerful as the next person’s.

It is my true belief that our testimony is one of the most powerful weapons that God puts at our disposal. I can tell you stories all day long that I’ve heard or read somewhere and you can choose to believe them or not but when I tell you “this is what God did for me” that’s a whole different matter. You’ve either got to call me a liar or you have to believe me – and the Holy Spirit dwells in the word of our testimony and speaks to people through it.

So I want to encourage you today the way Bobby encouraged me: 

Don’t be ashamed of your testimony. Speak it out at every opportunity and God will honor and use it for His glory!