“We recall, in the presence of our God and Father, your work of faith, labor of love, and endurance of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ” 1 Thessalonians 1:3.
As many of you are aware, my grandbabies’ dad suddenly went to be with Jesus two weeks ago. His service was one of a life of gratitude mixed with a life of challenges. All of the speakers did a wonderful job in capturing the spirit of Wayne during that service. The last speaker was one of his best friends and co-workers who reminded us of how Wayne lived his life to the fullest, reaching out to help those in need. Little did that friend know that he would see his best buddy at the gates of heaven just two weeks later. I am confident that the other employees/friends at AAA Tree Experts are still reeling from these two losses. Their company is an extension of family so this double blow must be devastating.
Let’s face it, when we are hit with painful circumstances in life, faith is work and even love can be labored. Hope doesn’t come easy and we must endure in our attempt to locate it. While we limp towards this love and hope, God has placed His Spirit within us so we may lean on Him. He reminds us that this world is temporal and we are not to cling to it. He enlists us to rise above our own circumstances and love others through theirs. He insists that we endure through our pain and cling onto the hope that is ours in Jesus Christ. What does this hope look like?
It is the hope in a future spouse when no one is on the horizon. It is hope in healing when the treatments don’t seem to work. It is hope in a job when no one is responding. It is the hope of seeing those we have lost to this world when there are empty seats around the table. This is our faith – to share in the suffering that Christ suffered on our behalf. This is our love – to labor through our own season sharing our testimony with others. This is our hope – to remember that we are not citizens of this world, but just passing through until we come face to face with God and all those who have gone before us.
‘But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ’ Philippians 3:20.
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