Today I attended the funeral of a dear friend’s adult son. Aside from the obvious sorrow attendant upon losing a close family member, what made this particular situation especially thought-provoking is the fact that this particular man wrestled with physical and mental limitations all his life that most of us have not had to face. As a result, he was quite a remarkable man.
Although I have many memories of my friend’s son that make me smile, God used one situation to teach me a foundational lesson about His Presence and power. One day several years ago, I had dragged myself to church after an extremely trying week. I felt heavy-hearted and full of despair, in spite of my best efforts to resist falling into an emotional tailspin. It turned out that my friend’s son was serving as a back-up greeter to his parents that day at the service. I greeted my friend and her husband and proceeded to stop by the bench where their son was seated and said hello to him. He looked back at me in response, and I literally saw the eyes and heart of Jesus for me reflected in his eyes and face. I recognized the Presence of the Lord in him, and the heaviness that had weighed me down simply evaporated!
Clearly, the power of God’s Presence in us is NOT hindered by our limitations (real or imagined). I believe this truth is part of the mystery Paul was describing in Colossians 1:27, the mystery of “Christ in us, the hope of glory.” God’s power is unfettered — it is not something that depends on US! That is certainly good news for those of us who find ourselves continually striving to hear God, to please Him, and to speak on His behalf the right way at the right time to others. While those goals are certainly noble, all we really need to do is trust that His Presence in us will shine through us and touch the hearts of those around us.
Although my friend’s son was confined to a physical body that limited his activities, and he never was able to read a Bible, he had the TREASURE, for he knew Jesus, the Lover of His soul. Jesus used him in countless situations and allowed him to leave a profoundly rich legacy in the hearts of those who knew him. Thank you, Steven, for the rich deposit you made in my heart!