Forty. That’s how old Mike would have been today. In my human brain, I cannot fathom how it’s right or good that he’s not here. I know that God’s timing is perfect and the plan good. However, the struggle persists. He never even made it to 26, let alone 30. Or 40. Or…

I’m not deceived into thinking that Mike was perfect or blameless. He was a sinner just as I am a sinner. However, Mike was a good man. He collected possessions like us all, but his life did not revolve around them. He bought  things that he wanted, but he also freely gave them away. If ever he had something that someone else needed, he would offer it to others. Of course, then he’d go right out and buy the new one, but that was just him. He loved being with people. Loved fellowship.

We grew up in a church that did a terrible job of delivering the gospel, but Mike overcame that. He had a very close relationship with our Lord. No matter the situation, he always put his life into God’s hands. I don’t believe he knew any more about God’s plan for his life than any of us do, but he knew that there was a plan and he would follow it. Mike frequently told people, “My time is determined by God. When HE is ready to take me home, then that’s when I’ll go.”

That’s how he lived his life. He lived each day to the fullest like it was his last. I envy that and envy his courage. He stood up for what he believed and said what he thought. In the last 15 years, I have tried to emulate him in some of those areas. He didn’t hold grudges, never let the world get him down and always had a child-like way of looking at things.

It’s hard to put into words my feelings for him other than to say, “He was my hero”. One day; though, I will see him again–in God’s time, not mine!

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