Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Staying True To the Story

It really happened so quickly. One of the people on a pastors forum I belong to was sharing a prayer request for his senior pastor, David Plaster. Just went back and looked at the date of the prayer request - the 26th of February. What began as weakness in one leg that caused this pastor to be out a few weeks was first diagnosed as Acute Disseminated Encephalomyelitis (ADEM). Thoughts were that he'd recover but with some residual weakness or disability. 

Now he's dead at 59 having passed away March 6th.

From what my friend shared, this was a brilliant man - a former professor, (Diploma, University of Lyon, France , B.A., Grace College M.Div., Th.M., Grace Theological Seminary, Th.D., Dallas Theological Seminary) a consummate pastor (of Grace Brethren Church of Worthington (Columbus), Ohio at his death), a great husband, father, grandfather, and friend. My friend John said that he couldn't remember him ever getting less than a perfect score on any test he ever took. As the disease progressed he became paralyzed, and unable to recognize family or friends. They later pinned the cause down as JC virus with PML. There was no cure or treatment possible. He probably contracted it on a mission trip to Africa in November.

Towards the end, he was totally blind, frustrated at his inability to communicate to the point that tears were all that would come easily. On February 25th, the only words he said were "The Lord Is My Shepherd." On the 2nd John wrote " He's only able to say a few things like "temporary", "Holy Spirit", and "Trust God"."

Pray for his family: wife Ginny, children Rachelle, Rob and Andy, and his granddaughter Shelly.

He fought the good fight. He kept the faith. From the fledgling faith of an 8 year old child to the very end at 59, he followed Jesus.

Friends, I've seen many people die poorly, having veered off the plot of the narrative their life had been on until the last days, weeks, even years. David Plaster was apparently so close to His Lord and Savior that what function as words on a page for most Christians was light in the darkness for him. When the disease robbed him of everything he had learned, all that remained was what he had given away to God.

"The Lord Is My Shepherd." He didn't have to finish the verse. God handled that.

Beloved, if David Plaster was sitting across from you right now he'd beg you to cram as much time with Jesus into your life as you possibly can. Make every effort to secure your heart and mind against the coming storms. For when the troubles come, and your very life is being crushed out of you, don't you want to meet your Lord with His story on your heart? You are writing the story of your life with every thought and action. If you want to know the ending then you'd better live the narrative well.

Well done, Dr. David Plaster. Well done.

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