John 9:4: “We must work the works of Him who sent Me as long as it is day; night is coming when no one can work.”

Seconds after my wife answered the phone, I knew bad news was coming. “Oh, no. I’m so sorry, Sally. We loved George. So sorry. Yes, he’s here. David!” She handed me the phone and whispered, “George died last night.”

George Villarreal was my ranch foreman on El Cazador Ranch. He and his dad Felipe made owning the ranch a joy. There was nothing the two of them couldn’t do and didn’t know about the ranch. After all, they lived and worked on it all their life and cared for it as if their own. They had the uncanny ability to know what I wanted done even BEFORE I told them. They were loyal, honest and truly good people…and very dear to me.

I frequently brought up Jesus in conversations with George. I didn’t have to worry about Felipe; he knew Jesus. George knew about Jesus, but I was never sure he had a personal relationship with Him. As so often is the case between men, the “macho” thing made it awkward to get too personal and I never directly called George to a decision for Christ. Eventually, I sold the ranch and a few years later George got cancer. Now, with the phone call from Sally, my chance to introduce George to Jesus was gone. I was filled with regret and Jesus’ words in the Book of John churned in my mind, “We must work the works of Him who sent Me as long as it is day (while we’re alive); night (death) is coming when no one can work.”

At the funeral, I shared my regret with longtime friend and fellow believer Ryan Foster, who worked as the biologist on El Cazador after I sold it. Ryan answered quickly with certainty, “George for sure gave his life to Jesus. We talked about Jesus often. You don’t have to worry about him.”

I was flooded with relief and thanksgiving…and convicted more than ever to “work the works of Him who sent Me as long as it is day…”

Posted by David Morris

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