I just finished reading three books by Eric Metaxas. The first, Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy, on the life of Deitrich Bonhoeffer ought to be required reading of every serious disciple of Jesus. His absolute commitment to living out a life that reflected the character and calling of Jesus is as convicting as anything I’ve read in the last 20 years. Next came Amazing Grace, the story of William Wilberforce’s battle to end the slave trade 200 years ago in England. Then lastly Seven Men and the Secret of Their Greatness. Two of the seven were covered in the other two books, but the scope of the seven men is astounding—from politicians (George Washington) to sports figures (Jackie Robinson), Metaxas shows the character qualities that made these men truly great figures. I want my grandsons to read these books—these are character qualities that have largely been lost in our 21st Century culture, for which we are paying a very dear price.
I have been doing a lot of reflection these past few weeks as I have faced a health crisis that the doctors basically have given up on. (No, that is a good thing! Now any improvement and the renewed health I believe God is going to give me can be credited to the right Source.) During these reflections, things have come more clearly into focus than ever before. What is important, what needs immediate attention, what can be eliminated. Here is my short list:
What is important: My relationship with God. My relationships with my family. My relationships with other people. Relationships! That is what real life is all about. We have had some wonderful, intense times with our family these last few weeks and I treasure every moment with these amazing children of God who are living out His call on their lives. Nothing gives me greater pleasure or joy.
Now every moment I have to speak to a neighbor is precious. I pray every word will find fertile soil and that they will see Jesus in me.
And my relationship with God. I can’t say it has changed a whole lot. I have been in the practice for more than 40 years of spending quality quiet time with Abba in the early morning which includes large doses of His Word, prayer, listening for His voice. That hasn’t changed. What has changed is the depth of the love I feel from Him. The intimacy with Abba Father, and with my big brother Jesus, and with the indwelling Presence of Holy Spirit—all have taken on a new intimacy. Just this week He revealed a facet of His love for me that was so overwhelming that it literally took my breath away and I have been basking in the glow of that insight ever since. Maybe one day I will feel at liberty to share it here—but for now it is something I must treasure and meditate on.
I would urge you, my friend, to take time to cultivate your relationship with Abba Father. Don’t wait for a life-threatening illness to get your attention. He is waiting there wanting that depth of friendship with you that will take you beyond the limits you have placed on your relationship with Him. You won’t be disappointed. If you seek Him with all your heart, you will find Him.