An old friend of mine passed away last weekend after fighting kidney disease for 17 years. He was a big guy with a deep voice. But he was far from scary. Just the opposite actually. The twinkle in his eyes always made me feel safe and welcome. And he gave wonderful hugs. He and his amazing wife boldly proclaimed, and demonstrated, the love of Jesus to the folks they came in contact with at medical treatment facilities, their church and the community. A few years back, my life was forever changed for the better thanks to prayers and mentoring from his dear wife.
For I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last he will stand upon the earth. (Job 19:25, ESV)
My friend is in heaven so I’m not worried for him. I will miss him, however, and my heart aches for his wife and children. Imagining what it must have been like for him to see Jesus face to face brings a smile to my face. As does, him swooping up my little sister Bethany to give her a great big bear hug.
And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 22:37-40, ESV)
Life is short, folks. Give Jesus your life. Trust him fully. Don’t harbor bitterness. Forgive people. Love unconditionally.