More Than a Board
I had come home from Rotary and my phone lit up. Dr. Toussaint, the professor who took me through the Gospels in my early years at Dallas Seminary, and continued to anchor the Bible department until his retirement in 2012, had suffered another stroke and was gone. He was not only my teacher but also a special friend. Whether it was at Seminary or at a Bible Conference where he was teaching, I’ll never forget him approaching with that childhood limp but then that smile. He combined a pastor’s heart with strong scholarship and challenged me to do the same.
Struggling to conquer a stroke and his weakened voice, he was still anxious to get back to Word of Life to teach as he approached 90. Dr. Toussaint modeled what it means to use your gift for a lifetime, and he continues to teach through the free online course on Revelation being offered by DTS on Facebook now.
When the Apostle Paul’s ship broke apart in the surf on a sandbar off Malta, many of his fellow travelers only had a piece of wood to hang on to.
“Now when daylight came, they did not recognize the land, but they did notice a bay with a beach where they decided, if they were able, to run the boat ashore. They jettisoned the anchors, leaving them behind in the sea. They loosened the ropes securing the rudder, hoisted the jib into the wind, and tried to hold course to the beach, but they struck a shoal, grounding the ship.
With the bow jammed and refusing to budge, the stern started being broken up by power of the surf. Now the solders planned to kill the prisoners to prevent them from swimming away and escaping. But wanting to save Paul, the centurion kept them from executing their plan. He ordered those who could swim to jump into the sea and swim for shore. The rest could latch onto planks or pieces of wood and make their way to shore the best they could. And so it happened that everyone made it to shore safely.” Acts 27:39-44
Paul told his shipmates they would all make it safely through the storm and arrive safe on shore. Jesus promises that he can land us safe after the far more intense storm of death. Strokes, heart attacks, natural disasters, and even death can’t separate us from the love of God we’ve found in Christ Jesus. Dr. Toussaint had a lot more than a plank to cling to when he battled his last stroke. I love my brother’s lyrics in his song “Finally Home.”
“But just think of stepping on shore and finding it heaven
Of touching a hand and finding it God’s
Of breathing new air and finding it celestial
Of waking up in glory and finding it home.”
Can’t wait to see Dr. Toussaint again and that glorious warm smile—next time with no limp.
For more from Dave Wyrtzen please visit TruthEncounter.com!