“Remember those who rule over you, who have spoken the word of God to you, whose faith follow, considering the outcome of their conduct.”
In Week 6 of 52 Weeks of Gratefulness I give thanks to God for a mentor’s model.
A few days ago we had tacos and pound cake. It was the favorite foods of Josh Liddell, the son of Pearson and Pepper Liddell who they lost tragically.
It’s a sort of communion shared among people from all over the world in loving memory of him.
I remember at his funeral, during the family’s procession, my mentor Pearson Liddell, thrust his hands toward heaven and with a shout that was as much a heart-wrenching grief-stricken cry, yelled, “Hallelujah! I praise Your name Lord!”
That broke something in me.
It broke, if just for a moment, my preoccupation with this world that is passing away and shifted it toward what is and will be forever: eternal life through Christ with God and each other.
“I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me.”
It shifted my focus to such powerful Life that it subdues even death, reducing it to “just sleeping” so that when we die, we await our rising with all those who have fallen asleep to a New Day that never ends where we’ll never be afraid again.
“These things He said, and after that He said to them, ‘Our friend Lazarus sleeps, but I go that I may wake him up.'”
“But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope.”
—1 Thessalonians 4:13
But, eternal life, as my mentor demonstrated, is not just something we look forward to for later. It’s something we have right now.
“He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God.”
—1 John 5:12-13
Christ gives us inextinguishable Life now.
“Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?'”
This Life could not be suppressed or snuffed out even by the unbelievable pressure of an ocean of grief. In the midst of all they were going through, eternal life erupted and burst through to praise.
“We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed– always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body.”
—2 Corinthians 4:8-10
My mentors showed me what this means.
They made eternal Life real to me.