Mr Renzo, Part 2

Practical Christianity
Tim McCool
Pastor Bethlehem Primitive Baptist Church

Last week I wrote about Mr. Renzo Abrams. (Thanks to all of you who pointed out how I misspelled his name!). There are probably a 100 stories to tell about Mr. Renzo. As I mentioned, he always referred to himself as “such a worm as I” when he prayed.

Here is another nugget from Mr. Renzo. He was sick and close to death several times in his later years. Once he was near death and bedridden, and his grandson Jake came home from West Virginia to visit. All the Grandkids called him “Pap”. While at his bedside, Jake took Mr. Renzo by the hand and said, “Pap, we got all the folks up in West Virginia praying for you.”

Mr. Renzo looked up at Jake, and in his high pitched distinct voice responded, “Lord son, tell ‘em to stop, I’m gettin’ worse!”

Mr. Renzo was quite a character. This was a funny statement, but think about our prayers. There are times when we pray for things that we don’t know for sure if it is God’s will. That’s why the model prayer says we should pray “Thy will be done.” Even Jesus prayed that in the garden of Gethsemane (Lk. 22:42). Jesus knew God’s will because he was God, yet still he prayed “thy will be done”.

I recall a story that a preacher related to me. This preacher was experiencing dark times in his life, so he went to a cemetery to meditate and pray. (Kind of funny, huh? Going to a cemetery to feel better!? Well, it worked.) While at the cemetery, he was drawn to a set of graves from the early 1900s, around the time of the flu epidemic that wiped out thousands of people. He found the grave of a mother, who, according to the times listed on the graves nearby, had buried all of her children, her husband and at least one of her parents – many years before she passed away from old age. Apparently they had all died from the flu epidemic. Some of the children were very young.

The epitath read – “Nevertheless, not my will, but thine be done.” I can’t imagine what that mother experienced – losing all those she loved. I hope I never know. But I know this – she is not suffering anymore, but rejoicing in the presence of Jesus and reunited with her loved ones! Though we suffer, wonder and sorrow in this life, there is a day coming when that will be over. Why? Only because of the success of Jesus Christ – not one of His children will be missing from heaven.

So even when we don’t know what to pray for, we are told that His Spirit makes intercession for us (Rom.8:26). God knows what we need before we ask. Let us pray to Him and trust that He knows our needs and hears our prayers, no matter what we are facing in this life. He will never leave us nor forsake us.

Elder Tim McCool is pastor of Bethlehem Primitive Baptist Church located on the Boyd Road near Echola. For inquiries email Pastor McCool at Please join us each Sunday morning on the March to Zion Broadcast at 8 am on 102.9 FM in the Tuscaloosa area or 9am on 106.5 in the Fayette / Lamar county area.