Six years ago, Tim Burke was told by his doctor, “You are terminal.” His response was, “Well, aren’t we all terminal?” That’s Tim. Full of life and making the most of every moment. Tim was diagnosed with prostate cancer and given five years to live. Living in Southern California, he was a successful mortgage banker with a wonderful wife and two great kids. Tim had been a Christ-follower for a long time, but that moment was a catalyst that drew him deeper in his faith, endeavoring to use every moment he was given for the glory of God.
Two years later, Tim, his wife, Colleen, and two kids, Nolan & Irelan, moved to Franklin, TN, and joined our church family. Then in February 2018, he was told by a different doctor, “You have 90 days to live. You better get your affairs in order.” While preparing to finish this race we call life, Pastor Jeff asked Tim if he would impart some of his wisdom onto us as we studied 2 Timothy. A book, in which Paul was writing to Timothy. As his life was drawing to an end he encouraged Timothy to finish well. Tim agreed to impart some of his knowledge, and here is what he had to say:
Part 1 | Speak Out
We are accountable for those in our circle of influence. We should have a desire to speak out about Jesus until we are out of breath.
Part 2 | Step Up
Instead of asking God to take away our adversity, ask why did He allow it. Did He allow it to happen in order to give us a new platform from which to speak? People are seeking help on how to deal with their issues. Step up, own your adversity and proclaim Jesus’ name.
Part 3 | Sharing Wisdom
How would you prepare your children for a future without you? What wisdom and mistakes would you share with them? Take some time and think about what you can share with them now.
Part 4 | Finish Well
Adversity was not meant to cause us to stumble or to stop us. Lean into God and pray out to Him, “I don’t like this, but you brought this into my life and help me, God, to grow from it. Help me to understand it. I want to grow from this and learn. And if it be your will, take it out of my life.” Nonetheless, we have to be okay with giving our all-even if He does not remove it from our life.
On May 19, 2018, Tim Burke went home to be with Jesus. He truly “finished well,” and he has heard those words we all long to hear, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.” He has seen Jesus face to face. Few of us will ever know anyone else like him. Someone who lived life to the full. Someone who never lost his joy and humor even in the midst of suffering. Someone who used every moment God gave him on this earth to further God’s Kingdom. He was larger than life, even in death. He inspired us all. How will he inspire you?