I was forced to consider the legacy I’ll leave behind after reading the obituary of Jacob Sliter. Jacob is the great- great grandfather of a dear friend, Dana Kamstra, who passed away in May of 1884. May we read what his pastor had to say about him as we consider what people will one day say about us. Are we living in way that will force people to say the nice things that we would like to be remembered for?
SLITER.- Thus we lost our best brother. God is no respecter of persons. God’ s ways are not our ways. Although Brother Sliter was suddenly taken from us and in the prime of life, he being only thirty-five years , ten months and five days old, the brother has left one of the best of Christian examples for his friends and the church to follow. His kind admonitions will not be buried with him; especially with the church and young people. He was a man that was highly esteemed by all with whom he was associated…Funeral services were conducted by the writer. Text Amos iv. 12. Prepare to meet thy God. It was the largest procession that I ever saw in the county. He was a kind husband and a loving father. His home was a home for the homeless. We were always greeted with a smile , and we shall be lonesome without him. While we mourn his loss, yet we know that our loss is his great gain. If we are faithful here below we shall meet him on the resurrection morning. May the Lord sustain his companion. May the children often think of a father’s good advice and kind admonition. To the young folks let me say, Seek the Lord while yet he may be found, and remember the request Brother Sliter so often made to meet him in heaven. Farewell to Bro. Sliter. May we each one strive to meet him over on the golden strand.
Wm. H. Prescott, Pastor.
“His kind admonitions will not be buried with him.” This phrase really struck a cord with me. The general thought is that death is the ultimate ending. But that’s not entirely true. Not only does death bring forth eternity, but death is far from the ending for those that knew you. Every good word we’ve spoken, every healing touch, every good deed will live on in the lives of those we knew. Just like every scornful word, every broken promise, and every spiteful touch will continue even after we’re gone. This man, Jacob, lived his life for the Lord. And because He lived to honor Christ, his good deeds would continue on without him. How do you feel about your current deeds living long after you’ve expired? If you left earth today, would you be satisfied with the deeds you’ve left to carry on or will you regret them?
Every good eulogy takes the time to prepare the reader to meet Christ. Once again, Jacob becomes the example for us by his shocking death at the young age of 35. “Prepare to meet your God.” Jacob was young and healthy, so no one expected that when he ate breakfast that morning, it would be his last. His wife never imagined that she had just served him his last lunch. Jacob Sliter died as a result of a tragic accident. There was no warning. No illness to count down his days by. He was working one minute and gone the next. Yet, his sudden death didn’t leave Jacob regretful. It didn’t leave him wishing he had done something more before it was too late. He had already purposed in his heart to live every day as if it would be his last. He had already made peace with God and lived every day in light of that. Jacob didn’t put off the important things in life — the spiritual things. May we learn from his example and turn to Christ today. “It is given to man once to die then is the judgment.”