Our friend, Quina passed away so quickly on Friday that we were saying that the angels must have had to hurry to prepare a place at the table next to Jesus. Quina was born in Brazil and came to the U.S. with her family about 20 years ago. Her life while simple and not without its own struggles has been an amazing example of Christian love for those who truly knew her. She and her beloved William who shared together 55 years of marriage have been the truest models of faithfulness and love that I have been given the privilege to know. William left on his eternal journey almost exactly two years ago and today Quina has joined him there on the other side where Jesus waits.
Jesus made His disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side, while He sent the multitudes away Matthew 14:22
The disciples came to land,
Thus obeying Christ’s command,
For the Master called unto them, “Come and dine”;
There they found their heart’s desire,
Bread and fish upon the fire;
Thus He satisfies the hungry every time
From Come and Dine by Charles Widemeyer
Revelation 2:10 …. Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life.
We often sing “Standing on the Promises” but with but only a vague idea of what promises we are given in the Bible. Here is a promise right from the lips of Jesus to those who faithfully choose HIM. Though we know we are saved by faith, walk by faith and live by faith; there is little thought given to faith’s companion: “Faithfulness”. While faith is both a gift and a fruit of the Spirit, faithfulness can not be received, it must be lived. A bit more than 41 years back Nancy and I stood before a church altar and said “Till death do us part”. Those words were spoken in faith, but the last forty-one years have been a process of learning faithfulness.
Whether it is in marriage, in church or on our jobs, faithfulness is a quality highly prized by God. God so loved the world that He gave His son… (John 3:16) and God so loves marriage that He hates divorce (Malachi 2:16) Over these years we have had a few mountain tops, many rivers to climb and yes – some deep valleys. Walking together so long we have begun to know what the other person will say or think even before they know it themselves! Our walk with Jesus is very much the same. He is always faithful and our walking out a life time of faithfulness with Him will have a reward. ! On the day we stand in Heaven to celebrate we will realize it has been worth it all!
Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong. Let all that you do be done with love 1 Corinthians 16:13-14
My Grandfather used to say, “When the going gets tough, the tough get going!” But for me as a young man I struggled to be able to grasp exactly what it meant to be a man of God, and how to be both tough and loving. God knew we would struggle with this issue. From the days of Paul till today we men are forever wrestling with how to be who God has created us to be. How can we be both “tough” – standing strong in the most dangerous situations, and also “loving, able to tenderly encourage the most vulnerable?
The answer is no further away than the cross. Jesus told us to carry our cross daily. So every time the sun rises up on our world it is time again to be tough on sin, gentle with people and courageous to follow our Master!
Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. 1 Corinthians 13:7
Remembering 41 Years of never giving up, always trying to be hopeful and still working on getting to know each other!