A Life Lived for Jesus

He was one of those rare individuals that you occasionally read about but almost never get to meet. Odos Craig was born in Auglaize County, Ohio, in 1919. A list of his skills? They were many: music, photography, farming, boating, flying, gardening, mechanics, and carpentry. A record of his accomplishments? It was long: World War II flight instructor, pilot for TWA, building contractor, president and member of the local telephone company’s board of directors, charter member of the area volunteer fire department, and recognized by the Lion’s Foundation for his humanitarian service. He and his wife Rosemary celebrated their 71st wedding anniversary in July and have been blessed with two daughters, five grandchildren, and twelve great-grandchildren. More importantly, Odos loved the Lord and faithfully served Him for decades through the local church as director of music, Sunday School teacher, trustee, and Leading Elder.

We first met Odos and his family in 1996 when I accepted the call to pastor the Bethlehem Christian Union Church. It did not take long to recognize the many godly qualities in his life — especially wisdom, kindness, humility, and a servant’s heart. Even after our ministry there was finished, a friendship endured that has been a continual source of joy for us. Our most recent meeting occurred this summer while we vacationed in Ohio for a few days. We had a delightful evening with four generations of the Craig family. Odos, though a bit slower at 92, was his same friendly and kind self.

But that was to be our last meeting with him — in this life. A few weeks ago, the Lord completed all He wanted to do in and through Odos and so promoted him to glory! This dear man passed from earth into the presence of Jesus — not because of his skills or accomplishments but because of his faith in the Risen Savior! In the midst of sorrow that is tempered with an eternal hope, numerous scriptures came to mind which were clearly demonstrated in his life. Let me briefly mention three:

  1. Colossians 3:17 — Whether fixing a vehicle or a church problem, Odos tried to do everything to honor Jesus.
  2. Philippians 1:10 — Choosing what is best can come at a cost. When Odos had a young family, an opportunity came for him to take a lucrative position with an airline company. He decided against the promotion because of the hardship it would place on his wife and daughters. Looking back over what God has done in his life and family, you can see Odos made the best and right decision.
  3. 2 Peter 1:10-11 — All who knew Odos saw those godly qualities in his life. It would have been a sight to see the rich welcome the Savior gave to him!

Father, thank you for the blessing of people you put into our lives — people who are an amazing testimony to Your grace! Thank you for the gift of salvation that comes through Jesus — the gift of knowing and being with You for all eternity!

by Tim Bruns, Pastor of Children’s Ministries