Because I bore him in pain. 1 Chron 4:9b
Jabez. Pain. This is how his own mother labeled him. Imagine living like that. Jabez prayed to God that he would not live down to his name and God heard him.
His mother’s phrase caught my attention.
What are the things we bear in pain? What labels do other people give us that we take to heart? I thought about a great man who died last Saturday. His name was Chuck Colson.
Charles “Chuck” Colson was born on October 16, 1931 in Boston, Massachusetts. He died on April 21, 2012 from complications of a brain hemorrhage. He was President Richard Nixon’s Special Counsel from 1969-1973. From his own website it says:
In fact, this aide to President Richard Nixon was “incapable of humanitarian thought,” according to the media of the mid-1970s. Colson was known as the White House “hatchet man,” a man feared by even the most powerful politicos during his four years of service to President Nixon.
He was labeled a crook, evil genius, and later, a felon. He went to prison because of the Watergate scandal.
But he did not let those labels affect him after he was released. This prideful, arrogant, intelligent man was humbled. That’s when he met Jesus Christ. Colson went on to turn the second half of his life to be much better than the first. He founded Prison Fellowship and every Easter he went back to prison to preach to the inmates.
He never stopped.
Colson was speaking at a Colson Center conference when he was overcome by dizziness. Quickly surrounded by friends and staff, Colson was sent to the Fairfax Inova Hospital in Fairfax, Virginia. On March 31, he underwent two hours of surgery to remove a pool of clotted blood on the surface of his brain. At times, Chuck showed encouraging indicators of a possible recovery, but his health took a decided turn, and he went to be with the Lord. His wife, Patty, and the family were with him in the last moments before he entered eternity.
The other day, on the way home, Focus on the Family re-aired an interview with Chuck Colson. He said something that I hurriedly wrote on a piece of paper (while stopped at a Stop sign, of course):
Never give up. At your lowest point, God may be preparing you for the greatest thing you will ever do. ~Chuck Colson
Never give up. No matter what the world says about you, God says otherwise. Don’t give up, because if you let Him, there are greater things ahead.
Rest in peace, Mr. Colson.
[Reading from Blue Letter Bible – Chronological Plan]