The Happiest Hour I Ever Knew

R. G. Lee was one of the most eloquent preachers Baptists have ever known. In 1965, he concluded a sermon with these words:

“One day as a young child, I asked my mother, ‘What was the happiest day of your life?’ I thought she might say something about the day one of her children was born, or the day my father asked her to marry him, or perhaps her wedding day. For a long moment she sat there and then looked across the room as if she could see for a great distance. And then she spoke.

“‘It was during the war between the North and South. The men were all away. My mother, your grandmother, had to do the work of a man in the fields. She eked out a living for us from the farm. One day a letter came saying that my father, your grandfather Bennett, had been killed. That letter contained a great many kind words about his bravery and sacrifice. Mother did not cry much that day, but at night we could hear her sob in the dark of our small house.

“‘About four months later, it was summer, we were all sitting on the porch shelling beans. A man came down the road, and mother watched him for a while and then said, “Elizabeth, honey, don’t think me strange, but that man coming yonder walks like your father.” The man kept coming along the road, but we children thought, “It couldn’t be him.” As he came to the break in the fence where the path ran, he turned in. Mother sprang from her chair scattering beans everywhere. She began to run, and she yelled over her shoulders, “Children, it’s your father.” She ran all the way across the field until they met. She kissed him and cried and held him for the longest. And that, Robert Lee, was the happiest hour I ever knew.'”

Dr. Lee concluded, “And that is but a small joy compared with the resurrection morning when we shall see the face of Jesus, when we shall see loved ones long gone.”

What if it were today?

exerpted from a message by Dr. Jim Denison

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