My friend pastor Jim McCord passed away earlier this week. Jim was a mighty man of God! During a season of life when many men would rest on their laurels, he was serving as interim pastor at Ivalee Baptist Church. Every Sunday morning, he would make his way over to my area, shake my hand and inquire how I was doing. Jim would tell me that he loved me and was praying for me. When I asked in return how he was doing, he never complained, because he was always blessed.
It’s pretty hard to complain when your leader leads by example like Pastor Jim. His desire was for the entire valley to be evangelized. The congregation witnessed his preaching while within his body he endured great physical torment. Everyone knew Jim had some health issues, but this never stopped him from preaching the Word of God in and out of season. Jim asked only that the congregation continue to pray for he and his family. Anytime time Jim preached about the goodness of God, tears accompanied his words. Jim was both tough and soft, as most good men are.
The poet said, “Go not quietly into the night, but fight, fight, fight.” That was Pastor Jim personified; not afraid of the night, but a fighter until the very end. When he couldn’t stand and preach, Jim did so from a stool. Each time his body was afflicted, Jim fought back with faith and prayer.
I am reminded of the Bible passage that states, “We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body. So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.”
Pastor Jim’s faithfulness, grace, and courage moved the members of Ivalee’s congregation. It is written: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”
We know about the streets of gold and the pearly gates and about the house with many mansions, but there remains some things so great that we cannot even imagine. I am convinced that the moment Pastor Jim left here, God fulfilled those long-awaited promises.