© 2013 Andy Woods
It was with mixed emotions that I wrote to friends earlier this week to announce that, around 2 AM on February 12th, Dr. Mal Couch lost his battle with cancer and passed into the presence of his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
“The reason my emotions are mixed is because on the one hand I am happy since I now know that Mal Couch is in a better place. Paul indicated that to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord (2 Cor. 5:8) and to depart and be with Christ is far better (Philip. 1:21-23).
On the other hand my heart is heavy tonight with sadness knowing that I have temporarily lost the companionship of a mentor and even more important than that a very good, close, personal friend. The life of Dr. Mal Couch was nothing short of extraordinary. I hope to blog about it in more detail at a later time. God used him in so many strategic ways to touch many people, including myself. I've had the privilege of knowing him personally over the course of the last decade. Volumes could be written on the things that I have learned from this man philosophically, theologically, and professionally. He invited me to contribute to a plethora of journal issues, books, conferences, online resources, and CD interviews. Despite my busy schedule, only one time I remember did I ever turn him down. In many ways, he was a father-like figure to me. Outside of my immediate and extended family, there was probably no one who was a greater supporter, influencer, encourager, and cheerleader for my life and ministry than Dr. Mal Couch. I owe the current trajectory in my life largely to his positive influence. His passing certainly makes heaven richer and earth poorer.
Besides my mixed emotions of happiness and sadness, one other feeling strikes me very strongly this evening. That sensation is urgency or motivation! His passing reminds me of how brief life really is (Ps. 103:15-16; Jas. 4:14). It's imperative to all of us likeminded ministers and believers to invest what limited time we have left in this fleeting life into eternal things. Mal Couch seemed to understand that his time on earth was limited, and so he wanted to make every second count for Christ. We should follow his example. His passing is a reminder that the spiritual baton has now been formally passed to those of us that he influenced. Let us take that baton, consisting of the rich things that we learned from him, and pass it on to the next generation while there is still time and freedom to do so. His passing has personally awakened within me a desire to reconsecrate my life to God so that He can use me as His channel of blessing to others. I want to bless others the same way Mal blessed me. The death of the giants of Mal's generation remind us that we can no longer count on these older Christians to disseminate what their generation stood for (Dispensationalism, pre-tribulationism, Zionism, literal interpretation, conservatism, and constitutionalism). It's our turn now to take the lead in these issues. Let run our race with boldness and endurance knowing that we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses (Heb. 12:1). May God strengthen us for the task ahead. Thank you again Dr. Mal Couch for what you have meant to so many and for the encouragement and training you have given us to follow your wonderful example.
During this difficult time, my thoughts and prayers go out to Mal's family, especially his wonderful wife Lacey.”
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