The Empty Chair

W. A. Criswell

I heard a preacher one time tell one of the most moving things.  There was an old gentleman whose wife died, and he went to live with his daughter.  And they built a room onto the house for the aged father to live in.  The father went one time to the pastor, who’s telling the story, went to the pastor and said, “Pastor, sometimes God seems so far away.  Just so far away.  I wish I knew how to get close to Him.  And then He would be close to me.”  And just of a sudden there came into the heart of the pastor an answer.  He said, “Tell you what you do, you draw up a chair by the side of your chair.  And you just talk to the Lord Jesus in that chair, just as though He were there in the days of His flesh.  You just talk to Him.  And He’ll listen and He’ll talk to you back into your heart.  You just talk to Him.” So the old man did it.

And, upon a day, the daughter came to the pastor to arrange for his funeral service.  He had died in the night, her father.  And she said, “You know, it’s the strangest thing.  When I went into the room, there he lay in the bed.  He’d gone to be with the Lord.  But the strangest thing—in the night, in the night he had pulled up an empty chair.  And he had died with his hand on that empty chair.”

He’s as near as your breath and as close as your hands and your feet.  The approachability and the availability of our Lord!

Story told by Dr. W. A. Criswell, long pastor of First Baptist Church / Dallas

Author: Editor

An ordained Baptist minister. Worked for 10 years with a Christian publishing ministry where I was the circulation manager for a growing publication, The Sword of the Lord. I also did most of direct mail fundraising and promotion. I have pastored churches in Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama & Arkansas. I served for some four years as Vice President of The Spoken Word of God ministry, Orlando, FL. This ministry was active in church planting in India and broadcasting the Scriptures via Trans World Radio and other radio outlets. My associate in this ministry later invited me to join him and his dad in starting a business working with churches providing multimedia equipment. I have done this work for the last 16 years. This blog, hopefully, will scratch an itch I have for communicating the Word of God to a broader audience via the Internet. I would be honored to hear from you via email.

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