This evening I have the honor of speaking at the home-going service of one of the greatest men I’ve ever known. Brother Vernon Rosenbaum was not only a great man but an incredible Christian. For the past twelve years, I’ve watched him fight like a real champion. He faced some incredible challenges, and even though he was confined to a walker, and eventually a bed, his strength was astonishing. I guess the thing that stands out in my mind about Brother Vernon, was even though he faced so many physical challenges; never one time did he complain. He would look at me and ask for prayer, but complaining about his condition was just something he fought against and won.
He leaves behind a beautiful wife, along with some great children and grandchildren. This man will be missed, and we will truly grieve for him, but what a testimony he has left behind. Let there be no doubt, that when Brother Vernon closed his eyes on earth, they reopened in the presence of God.
2 Corinthians 5:8 (NKJV)
We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.
You may wonder if this is indeed what happens when a child of God passes from this life to the next. I would say to you, do not only read verse eight but also read the one before it.
7 For we walk by faith, not by sight.
So, yes, I believe it because I have faith in God and His Word. Let there be no doubt in the minds of every Christian that our Heavenly Father has prepared for us a place and where He is; we will one day be with Him.
That is what Brother Vernon believed, and I am confident that he is in the presence of God today. You see, this is the faith that we hold on to as children of God. It’s why the Bible says we weep, but not as others do who have no hope. We don’t carry our loved ones to the cemetery without hope, we lay their earthly body down to rest, while we know they’ve entered into the presence of God waiting for us to join them.
Solomon said there is a time to cry, and for now we will do just that. The memories will be like a waterfall ever flowing in our minds of the great times we shared with this great man. But we won’t cry forever, in fact, where we’re going, tears are not allowed. It’s in moments like these; we must hold on to our faith while we hold onto each other, knowing this is not a forever goodbye, it’s just a pause until we meet again.