Patrick Hobbs

Patrick Hobbs
Patrick Hobbs has fought the good fight and won.  If anyone has ever heard the Saviour saying, "Well done, thou good and faithful servant" it is Patrick.  Someone who never really wanted to be known, never wanted to have centre stage has lived a life resembling a neon sign pointing to Jesus.  Early in his career in England Patrick actually quit a job to avoid a promotion, because he feared it involved getting up in front of others and speaking.  It is an excellent thing that we should desire to remember Patrick.  He has taught us all many things by how he lived his life and it is well that we should from time to time consider them, and remember them, and consider how we ourselves may live in a similar way.  Patrick, it was said at his funeral, would be very upset if we focused on him and not on Jesus.  I believe we do both Patrick and Jesus a disservice by not looking at Patrick's life.  
 
Patrick as a young man tended to throw himself into things.  In his early life these were not things of the Lord, but they were values based things he had thought about and needed to act on.  Fearing that the government of the day was leading the British people into a nuclear disaster he up and moved his family to Canada and settled in Paradise in Nova Scotia's Annaplolis Valley.  Clearly he was a man who put his convictions into practice.  Again this became abundantly clear when he became a believer in Christ shortly after arriving in Canada.  The description I most think of when I think of Patrick is that, "You don't have to know much, to do what you know."  Almost immediately after taking the step of faith in Jesus Patrick began to lead home Bible studies, to pray ardently for his friends and neighbors.  Both he and Pam were always involved in works of practical service to his neighbors.  This included everything from splitting wood, shingling barns, sharing meals, giving away everything from goats to galoshes and oh, the hospitality of the Hobbs home was legendary. Patrick hired needy friends to work on his property, not because he needed the help but because they needed the money.  At a time when so many Christians are educated way past their obedience, Patrick and Pam (it is so difficult to think of them except in the same breath) were obedient and trusting in God's leading.  When led to go to Acadia Divinity College, off they went, with the three boys, with only enough money for the first year, trusting the Lord to supply.  When reduced to having to consider selling the children’s toys they kept trusting, and the Lord supplied.
 
As a missionary and later as a Pastor, Patrick and Pam invested heavily in simply being with people, sharing their lives, affirming them, telling them that Jesus loved them.  Patrick tended to show up, to help you plant a garden, to pray for you when you were sick, to take your child to the doctor in the slums of Manila, to play chess with the street kids, to comfort the grieving to laugh and live life with you.  He hated injustice; he loved people.  Where you or I might see filth and squalor, his heart ached for the lost potential of those trapped in vice and sin.  He was not blind to the depravity of mankind but saw each one as a loved child of God.
 
I alluded earlier to the problem he had with public speaking and he said that it was only with the Lord's help was he able to speak at all.  Those who have heard Patrick preach know that he was not a particularly dynamic speaker, not eloquent but sincere and always pointing to Jesus.  Why is it then that we all know Patrick to have been a powerful and convicting speaker, who tended to rock your world?  The answer is the same as for those other men, accused of turning the world upside down.  "They noted that these men had been with Jesus."  I know of no other accusation more telling than this very same one for our friend, our benefactor Patrick.  Be it known to all men that Patrick had been with Jesus.  His power to convict, to influence for  good, to be a good example, to encourage, to challenge was entirely dependant on his having been with Jesus.  Was it his personal charisma, his dynamic pulpit delivery, his Bible knowledge and eloquence?  No, it was all because he had been with Jesus.  I believe it is this present reality of Patrick's being with Jesus, even now, that gives us all measure of comfort, of wonder of joy, even though his absence from us is painful.
 
I believe Patrick's greatest joy was in knowing Jesus and his deepest desire was that others experience the freedom and delight in being freed from sin which leads to death and embracing the new life that Jesus died to give us so that we might enjoy the fullness of life in the Spirit now and the joy of knowing God for eternity.
 
It was said at the funeral by Pastor Jeremy that Patrick used to say to him, “…anything worth doing was worth doing poorly.”  He knew that it was important to get on with things, to get moving to do the things you knew God was leading you to do.  Dawn for Asia and Dawn for the Poor both exist because Patrick simply got on with what God led him to do.  That's a really good example for us all to follow.

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