The witnesses in Heaven.
1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, (NIV)
I’ve been meeting with many people in the last several months dealing with great loss. Someone they loved has passed. Some are experiencing anniversaries of their passing. The pain of this loss is never easy. When people lose their lives suddenly, there is the pain of it being unexpected without an opportunity to say goodbye. When people suffer for months before passing, it is the pain of watching them die little by little every day. Loss by death is pain reaching into the deepest part of our soul.
The Lord is our portion the Bible says. We don’t need anything or anyone more than Him it would seem, but then the Spirit tells us in Hebrews that our loved ones, even those who have already passed, are intended by God to play a major role in our spiritual formation.
God would have the love we have for these in Heaven to motivate us to remove sin from our life. It is not only those we loved but all believers. Their faith in life and their interest in us in their afterlife is intended to inspire.
We don’t want their faith to be for naught in our life. The productivity of their faith landed them in eternity with God, but no one’s faith is for them alone. The faith of others affects us and we affect theirs. Christianity, by its very nature, requires connection and community. The absence of their physical body does not negate their spiritual presence in our life. They are watching us and we are remembering them.
The struggles they faced might have led them to release God, to abandon faith. Yet, they remained strong, stronger as the battle burned hotter. We watched them face trials, tribulations, and finally death with a faith that works to move the mountains of doubt in our spirit. Their memory is a strong component in our shield of faith.
One day we will be gone from this Earth, and it is God’s intent that our faith will follow us in the hearts of others. We live to make a difference, but not just for today, but forever. My faith will have an impact on my children, even my grandson who has not even been born yet. I want to clear the path for them so that they might clear the path for generations to come.
Prayer: Lord, thank you for the faith of those you put in my life. Let their influence remain even as their soul returns to You. Amen.