I got word today that a dear friend of mine passed away. I have fond memories of gutting houses and restoring them with Charlie Bevins and our mutual friend, Clancy Trent. These men where many years my senior. Yet as we spent hours upon hours up to our eyeballs in drywall dust, insulation and such, we remodeled homes and built strong, lasting relationships that we will enjoy throughout eternity.
The thing that really drew us together was our mutual love for our Lord Jesus Christ. Many of our conversations centered around some biblical truth or some message by one of our favorite preachers. We laughed a lot and enjoyed our time together.
“Christianity” is easy in those times. Anyone can speak of a love for the Lord when things are going well. Glorifying God comes fairly easy on the mountaintops. But it is when we are led by our Heavenly Father into a trying time, when our faith is tested, that what is really inside of us comes out.
About a month ago, Charlie had some shoulder pains and went to the doctor. Soon, spots on his lungs were found. It wouldn’t be long until he would be unable to move any part of his lower body. Today, only a very short time after his initial doctor’s visit, he went to be with the One who died for him.
Something that stood out among his friends who watched his quick deterioration was his attitude. Charlie refused to get angry. He refused to question God. And in so doing, I believe that he wonderfully illustrated the principle of John 21:19. That verse says that in “…death (we can) glorify God…”
How is that possible? How can something as ugly as death bring glory to God? Simply put, we show how highly we honor our Heavenly Father by showing what we are willing to endure … while still praising Him.
Suppose someone broke into your house in the middle of the night. You bolted out of bed only to find them at the end of the hall with your television in their arms and a gun in their hand. You may simply encourage them to get out of the house. Take the television … just get out. But suppose as you bolted out of your bed, you looked down the hall and you saw to your horror an intruder with your child in tow. All of the sudden, things change. You beg and plead. You may even offer your own life so that your child will remain unharmed.
Principle: “What we are willing to give/endure directly shows where our values and priorities lie.”
Is it not just as obvious where someone’s values lie when in the face of death, they continue to express their love for God? As they willingly embrace the harsh reality of what came from a loving Heavenly Father’s hands, doesn’t it show that in their eyes God is highly esteemed? And in so doing, aren’t they “glorifying God in their death?”
May Charlie Bevins stand as an example of how a true believer is to embrace whatever God allows into his or her life … and glorify Him by maintaining an attitude of praise and adoration.