"It is better to go to the house of mourning, than to go to the house of feasting: for that is the end of all men; and the living will lay it to his heart."
His oldest boy who was only 8-years-old, was standing at the foot of the box, just looking forward. I cried for this boy knowing he would grow up without an earthly father. His guiding would now come from his Heavenly father as he enters the rest of his life. The other children were held in many arms, the arms that offered love and comfort during this difficult time. Most of the children were so young, they may have a hard time understanding.
His wife, Joy, came forward to share words that were so courageous and pure. It was of her beloved. Her adoration of a man who cared for her and their children well. They had a blessed marriage. On his way home from ministering to the inmates, he told her he would be home soon and that he could not wait to cuddle with her and share in a cup of hot cocoa since it had been raining. They did everything together and NEVER missed opportunities to enjoy the simple things in life.
She told us what a loving, dedicated father, husband, and believer he was. How he trusted the Lord with all his heart and how important the word of God was to him. People came from all over to seek his advice because they trusted that he would be "real" with them. He never held back the truth he understood in his heart. She said this was her worst nightmare come true–she never thought his being late meant that he would never come home. The "home" he was going to be coming soon to, was not the one they both had in their mind that day.
As I saw her weep the loss of her precious lover and friend, I laid something on my heart. We are only here but for a moment and every moment counts. The things he poured into in his life before his death were treasured as memories now. People saw the dedication he had and it is now laid upon their hearts. We all looked at his box where his body was laying still, knowing that it will be our turn to die one day. How will we live out our days? Will we fill our days with purpose? Will we fill our days with regret? How will we treat our husbands, friends, children? Will we be like Vlad and be bold for the sake of the gospel? What will we do with our time? Fore we know there is a time for death because there is life. Everything that lives will also die–It is as sure as the sun shining. We do not know when or how because those matters are in the Lord's hands.
The Lord said it is better for us to go to the house of mourning than the house of feasting because we all need a wake up call. Our hearts are softened when we grieve and it makes us think of things that are eternal. If we are at the house of feasting, we think about temporal things, things that do not always matter in eternity. It is better for us, but it does not make it easy.
We also have hope. We know that Vlad is with the Lord. It is like a wedding. The bridegroom was there waiting, anticipating his bride. Vlad walked on before us, he fulfilled his time on earth. There is joy and there is also mourning. When the bride leaves her home to be joined to her husband, her family both cries tears of gladness for her happiness in her new home but they also cry tears of sadness because she is no longer with them the way she used to be. Things change and it causes a flood of emotions. We are sad for our loss but we rejoice because we know he is in a better place.
We all cried for the loss of such an amazing man of God. He touched many lives. It is sad to see an entire family watching as his casket was carried over to a 6 foot hole in the ground. His closest friends carried his body along with his oldest son. And as the box was lowered and dirt was filled in on top, you know there was a seed planted in each of our hearts. The sound of the dirt hitting the wooden box and the sight of his many friends scooping the dirt upon his grave is something I will never forget. Some may wonder why God would call a man so young and full of life, a man who was eager to share the truth of His promises with others, home early. Things do not always make sense to us but we take comfort knowing that God knows the beginning from the end and that there is a purpose for all things.
"To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant,
and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace."
"A good name is better than precious ointment;
and the day of death than the day of one's birth.
It is better to go to the house of mourning, than to go to the house of feasting: for that is the end of all men; and the living will lay it to his heart.
Sorrow is better than laughter:
for by the sadness of the countenance the heart is made better."
It is in times like these that we cry when we think of our future without him.
It is in times like these that we gather together and hold each other close.
It is in times like these that we stop our busy lives to help those in need.
It is in times like these that we cherish what we have.
It is in times like these that we think about eternity and about our creator.
And times like these that our heart reaches out to God in prayer.
We sometimes forget to thank God for all the wonderful little miracles that we have each day. The God that gives us the air we breath is the same God who allows us to keep living even when others have gone on before. He has also given us each the chance to believe in Him or to deny Him. It is in times like these that we find comfort in knowing that our loved ones who pass away are in a better place in the presence of the Lord. Not one of us has ever lived a good enough life to deserve God’s gift of salvation, but he offers it to all free of charge. It is simple–just believe.
"For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, the just shall live by faith."
"Vlad Robles was not only a man who loved cayenne pepper, he loved and cherished his beautiful family as well. Some have called him brother, father, husband and mentor. We now know him as one who has gone before us.
Vlad Robles loved Jesus, his wife Joy, his children and cayenne pepper. He left his beloved earthy home in the hills of Tennessee Saturday August 30, after a car accident. Vlad was returning home after his regular Saturday morning prison ministry. He and Joy (Swanson) Robles, his wife of 11 years, have 6 children. Boaz (8), Jasmine, Enoch, Job, Sapphire and Phinehas (20 months).
This campaign is in honor and memory of a man who’s life impacted countless people.
All proceeds will be directed to Joy Robles."