The brother-in-law of a very good family friend went home to be with the Lord last week. He was an uncommonly brave soul who endured years of debilitating pain as his body was attacked by brain and spinal tumors. Although I didn’t know him personally, I had asked for updates on his health and prayed for him for the last 3 or 4 years. Through all his suffering, I am told, neither he nor his lovely wife lost their faith in God. Although there may have been agonizing moments when cries of “why?” were excruciatingly left unanswered, these two saints allowed “the peace of God” to envelop them, comfort them and urge them onward. On the day this precious man passed from this life into eternity, he no doubt heard the most cherished words, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” I am grateful for such examples of suffering saints, who choose to run their race with endurance rather than succumb to the enemy’s desire for hopelessness or bitterness or self-pity. Their steadfastness is an encouragement to me in persevering on to the indescribable rewards that await all believers who endure to the end.
This watercolor was a gift to this man’s wife to recall his great love of lighthouses scenes. As I painted I wondered, was it the strength and safety of these stalwart towers that drew him to this theme? Or was it their enduring light in the darkest nights? Whatever the answer was, I am heartened to know that he sought refuge in our strong tower, in the “light of the world,” Jesus Christ, during the enormous “storm” of his life.
As I think about this dear man, I picture him gathered into Jesus’s arms, safe forever from pain and Satan’s other devices, and joyously awaiting the day when his family and friends in Christ meet up with him again.
“Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us…” Hebrews 12:1
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