The Good Fight of Faith

At the home going celebration of Minister Angelique Clarke Saturday, many of her colleagues and administrators from the education world, confirmed that she was a “master teacher” or “teacher’s teacher.” It was said of her that she could skillfully and effectively teach on any age level. More importantly, to me, was the fact that despite all her teaching abilities, she always could connect with her students at church and at school and be an inspiration and source of guidance to them. She loved her students dearly, and they were always drawn to the love of God in her.

She certainly taught us so much at Faith Harvest, and we will greatly miss her warm heart and infectious smile. She was a true friend to us all. She was always was so resourceful and willing to help or lead; it didn’t matter which. Even in her passing, it was observed by all that she fought a good fight! Here some observations we made of her life that will have eternal significance for our own.

Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art called, and has professed a good profession before many witnesses (1Tim. 6:12).

1. Life is not about stuff! Death has been called the great equalizer because in death, there are none great or small, rich or poor in death, and there is simply no way around the appointment with death that we all must keep. As has been often said, no matter how hard you try and no matter how much stuff you have, “You can’t take it with you!”

Make the acquisition of eternal life your greatest quest in life, and think less on accumulating stuff.

2. When faced with a life threatening situation, people don’t call for presidents, dignitaries, or even celebrities. No during the final hours of Angelique’s life, her family called from the two most prayerful people they knew, moma Jackson and daddy D’Avilar.

Live a life of prayer. Surround yourself with people of faith, even when things are going well.

3. When people are given hours to live, they don’t call for their treasures, trophies, or diplomas. They don’t call for their money or even their prized automobile. No, during that time, without fail, people call in their family and closest friends.

Live a life that values relationships. Put a premium on family and friends, and don’t dare use people!

4. Not all hospital or nursing home rooms are filled with family and friends ready and willing to serve the patient or just to pay a visit to show they care. Many patients are left all alone to face this difficult time in life. I certainly don’t know the situation behind every case, but in general, people are not standing in line to wait on mean people. In the final hours of Angelique Clarke’s life, her family and friends gave new meaning to the three-person limit in the ICU. As many people as could kept cycling in and out even up until her last breathe. Angelique lived by the Bible principle of: What you make happen for others, God will make happen for you. She knew the meaning of sacrifice and laying her life down for others. In her time of need, there were many people there to serve her.

Sow numerous acts of kindness each day. Think more of others and not just yourself.

5. There are no words to describe the peace of God on the face of believer that dies in the Lord, or the presence of God felt in the room of a saint that has gone to be with the Lord. If you are not convinced, do a survey of your own. You will find that there are many that die with terror on their face as they breathe their last.

Are you at peace with God? If you died tonight, do you know where you would spend eternity?

6. Angelique in her final hours lived through the most sporadic blood pressure readings imaginable. It had to be God that kept her until she made her decision.

For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labour: yet what I shall choose I wot not.For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better:Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you (Phil. 1:21-24).

Paul was faced with a similar decision. Notice that he didn’t say, “It was already decided for me.” No he said, “What I shall choose, I wot (or know) not.” Pastor Martha concluded, that during Angelique’s most crucial time with a BP of 31/11 that she must have caught a glimpse of something so irresistible that she couldn’t pass it up. Something as Paul said in the 23rd verse, “which is far better.” She must have caught a glimpse of him that said, “I am the resurrection and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live” (John 11:25).

To the doctor’s amazement, when Angelique took the pain medicine, after having been warned that what little blood pressure she had left would bottom out, her BP stabilized to 124/60. But soon afterwards, around 11:41PM on 7/18, she decided to go on to a place that is FAR BETTER. A place called heaven where Jesus Christ, God’s Son, was ready to receive her with open arms.

Live this present life with the reality of heaven, knowing that it is more real than this present world. Live in a ready-state so that you can say as Apostle Paul and our dear friend Angelique:

“For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith” (2 Tim. 4:6-7).