A life of no regrets…. is that even possible? I think if we are all honest, we all have regrets in our lives. Things we wish we could do over. Words we wish we could retrieve, opportunities we wish we could have taken. (I know I do)
Yesterday Dr. Steve Wilkes went home to be with the Lord. And I know he heard the words, “Well done my good and faithful servant,” as he entered into the presence of Jesus. He wasn’t perfect, no one is… and he probably had regrets as well.
Yet, this was a man who unashamed loved Jesus and who was just real. You didn’t have to pretend with him and he surely never pretended with you. He had a passion for winning souls to Christ, and a huge sense of humor. When I first began seminary, and met him. He broke into Barry Manilow’s song, “Mandy.” (which I had never heard 🙂 )
My first ever mission trip out of the USA was with Dr. Wilkes, as we traveled to French Guiana. Every morning he would break out his guitar as we sang praises to the Lord. As I have read note after note on his Facebook page from students, I have stood amazed at the countless lives he has touched and impacted for the Lord. So many students took their first mission trip with Dr. Wilkes, so many were inspired by his passion for the lost world.
Just a few weeks past, Dr. Wilkes sent an email to my husband and I, telling us how proud of us he was, that we were doing what Jesus said, going into all the world. He encouraged us to start as many churches as possible through our students, telling us that the world would only be saved, as the Gospel is shared and churches are started.
On Friday I read that a church in India, had an all night prayer vigil for Dr. Wilkes and his family. I’m telling you the Lord used him to impact the nations! And as he has now gone on to be with Jesus. His life has inspired me as well as convicted me.
It has convicted me over my lost opportunities but it has inspired me to want to live each day loving Jesus with all my heart. It has inspired me to want to make every day count for the Kingdom of God. It has inspired me to invest my life in the people God has given to us… because as we invest in others… the circle continues when they go on to invest in others.
Dr. Wilkes may never know the impact He had here on this earth (though I’m pretty sure he does). Yet, his impact upon student after student, church after church, nation after nation will live on.
I don’t know about you… but it is my prayer that God will use my life to make a difference in the lives of others for the glory of God, just as God used Dr. Wilkes.
As I look back, regrets are there… but praise God, tomorrow is another day, and great is His faithfulness!!!
As Dr. Wilkes would often say, “Let’s win the world to Jesus!”