By Beau Leaman
As I think about the title of this Last Word, it strikes me as something so easy, yet so difficult. How could I possibly trust the Lord with everything? I’ve failed so many times before, and I wrestle future thoughts of potential failure. What if I fail again? What if I do not know what direction to take? What if I let down my greatest friends? What will my family think of me? What if I disappoint? What if I fail?
On February 11, my grandpa died. In fact, my grandpa died the same day as Helen Eash. Both loved, both missed, and both worshipping and praising Jesus now. The title of this Last Word is the title of Proverbs 3. I read it in the waking hours of the morning, thinking of my grandpa. My grandpa would handwrite me letters or small notes and would always end with mentioning Proverbs 3:5-6. It says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.” The Greek definition of “acknowledge” in verse 6 means “to know thoroughly,” or simply “to recognize a thing to be what it really is.” What a concept this defines. In everything we do, whether we eat or drink or whatever, we recognize Jesus in who He really is as the foundation of that decision we make. If we do this, our paths will be straight. How do we accomplish this? We accomplish this and have success because of one main reason. We have a great High Priest that has done the work for us. My grandpa’s favorite verse that allowed him to live the life Christ wanted him to is found in 2 Corinthians 5:17. It says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” We can trust because we have an advocate, Christ Jesus, who bled so that we can walk with God and have an intimate relationship with Him.
Toward the end of my grandpa’s life there was a small, yellow card he always pulled out and read every day. He would put it back in the same place every day and repeat the process. Part of what he read on the card was, “You are deeply loved.” My grandpa was an extremely active and physical guy. Most folks would rely on this as part of an identity thing, and I’m sure he struggled with this as he began to lose all strength. When he could no longer move, he had a Savior to bridge the gap. At the most difficult time in his life he was deeply loved, and no one would take that from him.
When I read about Paul talking about passing the baton, it seems like an out-of-body experience that is a daily fight. When we think that hope is lost, we have brothers and sisters in Christ encouraging us along the way. I hope you have an experience like I’ve had in this journey we call life, to either be the encourager my grandpa was or be on the receiving end of it like I was. My grandpa means so much to me and I miss him every day. He learned to pass the baton and speak life into people. What a husband, what a father, what a grandpa, what a great-grandpa, what a friend, what a brother, and what a man he was. Thank you for your witness, Grandpa! You are greatly loved!