When you were a youngster growing up and going to school, who did you admire? If anything like kids today, you may have been infatuated with some celebrity, musician, or sports star that you got to see from afar. But what about a real person in your life that you could talk to directly, was there someone you looked up to and listened to? I recall some classmates having conversations about my dad better than your dad, and one tractor better than another, because most of us looked up to our parents when we were young. Eventually, we come to find out that no one is perfect, even our grandpas, dads, or older brothers, though we may still have been influenced by them. Maybe there were others as well, like a teacher, a coach, a pastor, or someone else who made an impact on us, even for a short time. That person may not even know what they meant to you, even though it may have been significant. Having someone in your life to look up to is important for each of us, as we all need good examples of how to live our own lives. Who were those people in your life?
All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance, admitting that they were foreigners and strangers on earth. Hebrews 11:13
This past couple weeks, some older gentlemen that I had come to know, at least a little, have passed away. One was not a practicing Christian, but was a former neighbor and still had many admirable qualities that I had come to know in our conversations. The other was a Christian and left a family legacy of many others in the Christian faith. I truly believe there is something we can learn from every person in our lives, even if it is what not to do. I also believe it is healthy to have someone you trust and admire in your life that you see as a mentor. A person you can call and talk to about almost anything, and a person that you feel is strong in their faith. In fact, you can also be that person to those younger than you, your own children, and even to those you see and can encourage even if for a short time. Do you know who those people are for you?
But you are our Father, though Abraham does not know us or Israel acknowledge us; you, Lord, are our Father, our Redeemer from of old is your name. Isaiah 63:16
After I was born again, I came to know and understand that I have a heavenly father who I can go to with any question or concern and He will listen to me, and counsel me. Though he was not perfect, I loved and still talked to my earthly father, but not in the same way as my Heavenly Father. My heavenly father adopted me into his family and taught me things like grace, forgiveness, and compassion that I had not always learned from others around me. I eventually came to know others who did model some of these things well in their lives also. It is a big family and requires lots of grace, but it give us all hope that we can endure and remain faithful to the end when we see others around us doing the same. I hope you will rejoice with us all in that!
Yours in Christ,