Today (March 12), I gained a new picture of courage. It is the man whose memorial we attended. It was such a joy to listen to the stories of this man and hear the beautiful story shared of his life. But what kept hitting me was his courage – he faced life with the courage of one who knows God. And he did. A quote that was shared about him today was “John did not just believe in God; he believed God.”
That kind of courage gives us the ability to face life with hope. And John did just that. I wish you could have seen him lovingly caring for his wife during her years of decline. I wish you could see the friends and family that packed the church building today to remember this gentle man. I wish you could see the light in my daughter’s face when she speaks of Mr. John and how she knew he would have loved the cookies she was planning to give him. I wish you could have seen the smiles and the joy and the handshakes he freely gave to those around him.
Courage. It runs deep. Just like the faith that was obvious in Mr. John’s life. We see courage in many places in the bible. Some of the obvious ones include Joshua. God speaks to Joshua over and over, reminding him to “Be strong and courageous.” Look just in the first chapter and you see it three times. It keeps coming up but those same words come up in other books throughout the Bible.
When I was writing Luke 6:48-49, I found myself contemplating courage. The man who built his house with a deep foundation had courage to dig deep, to set down a foundation that couldn’t be rocked, not knowing for certain he was going to need that foundation but not willing to forgo it. The man who built without the foundation, well, maybe he had a different kind of courage but not the kind that will get you safely through life. It wasn’t deep and strong so as the stream broke against the house, it also broke.
As I wrote those words, I pondered again the faith-filled life that Mr. John lived, showing that deep foundation that he had. Believing God. He set his roots, his foundation, deep and when he needed it, that foundation was the courage he needed to step each step of his journey.
What a legacy Mr. John left us as his brothers and sisters in Christ.
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.
I Chronicles 22:13
Then you will have success if you are careful to observe the decrees and laws that the Lord gave Moses for Israel. Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or discouraged.
46 “Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say? 47 As for everyone who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice, I will show you what they are like. 48 They are like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built. 49 But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete.”
Lori, At Home.