We were given 18 months. Around 540 days. Almost 13,000 hours. The time was our opportunity to love this one person in our life well. Now silence answers the other end of the phone. Gone. We may never see him again.
“Christ in you, the hope of glory. Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ. For this I toil, struggling with all His energy that He powerfully works within me.” – Colossians 1:27-29
We have the very hope in us that our friend is refusing to cling to, to trust. He testified he had this hope of glory, that Christ lived in him. I don’t know what he would say right now.
But I know my God, He does not leave or forsake us. He’s steady when we are chaotic. He’s faithful. He’s true. His nature does not change because we change.
Lost and wandering. That phrase I hate that humanity uses, “I need to find myself.”
We are commanded to proclaim Jesus. And the truth is we don’t need to find ourselves, we need to find Jesus.
Flesh wants. Flesh lies and flesh says “we deserve this or that.” Flesh is never satisfied. Flesh indulges, but never gets enough. Everything is temporary. Flesh wants a numb for the pain and succumbs to whatever will give the high, buzz, adrenaline rush, “what about me” momentary fix.
Me. Focus on me. No one else matters. Me kills and destroys. The destruction is fast or may be a slow fade. But me will die with no joy, no hope and no purpose.
What a lie to believe anything else but Jesus will satisfy us. Nothing will ever satisfy us. Not philosophy, traditions, sex, alcohol, shopping, food, drugs, people, cigs, entertainment, money, coffee, nothing. Oh, it may feel good for a temporary pleasure, but it will never be enough. We will only want more and more and at the end of the more, there will always be emptiness.
For Christ I want to toil, not with my energy, but His, that He powerfully works in me.
Did our friend hear our warnings or our teachings? Did he know all we wanted was to present him mature in Christ? We never wanted his talents, his time, his money, his resources. We wanted him to give that goodness to Jesus, as an act of worship, as a life of maturity.
We want for him freedom. We will always be a slave to something, to sin or to Christ. We have this hope of glory and we know it is worthy of surrender; worth the life of a servant.
Did we articulate the warnings in a way he could understand? Did he hear the teaching in the meals we shared, the laughter, the moments we screamed at each other in the pouring rain? Did he notice our tears? Did our life give him any hope or did we present Jesus as so dismal that it wasn’t appealing? Could he not feel joy or see abundant life? Did our words and our lives not match?
We may not have another day with our friend, or even five minutes. Our ears may not hear his voice and our phones may never ding a text from him again. Our eyes may never see his beautiful smile or our arms wrap around his skinny self to hug him one more time. Our hearts may always ache because our boy has wandered and he is lost. But we will never forget the time God gave us and we entrust him safely into our Father’s grasp. Maybe we will never again be close in proximity or heart, but God will. He’ll be there, in the nasty, foul, train wreck moments and in the shame, guilt and fear. He won’t leave. He will be in the dark places and He will wait silently on the child He adores. He will keep knocking, but He won’t be a pest. Jesus will never force Himself. He will wait and He will woo. He will keep loving even if He is continually rejected. He will sit there, in all that pain, but He won’t force a rescue. He will always give that choice, accept Me or reject Me.
This I know, many more will cross our path and it is worth the toil. We will keep striving with His energy. Ours is used up. His energy will give us the power to keep going. We will love from Jesus. We will listen, pray, and share from Jesus’ power in us. Grace and more grace, that’s what we will give because we have experienced a life of grace upon grace, the hope of glory! CHRIST.