I recently saw a buddy of mine. There was a time when he was a stranger. Then he became a friend. And then a dear brother.
Now, to me, he is a hero and an inspiration. I marvel at his walk with our God and his service to our Lord.
He is a hero because he gave up the familiarities and comforts of home for a strange and foreign land.
He is a hero because he lives as a light in a very dark place.
He is a hero because he gives of himself and pours out his energy to a people who yearn for attention and meaningful relationships.
He is a hero because he is bold and courageous with a message of peace.
He is a hero because he fights to demonstrate love and patience in an environment that would try and frustrate most Americans.
He is a hero because he will almost certainly shake his head in disregard at me calling him a hero.
You see, he believes the Gospel and sees himself through it. Thus, his view of himself is marked by humility. It is a humility that recognizes that his shortcomings are overcome by the power of Christ. Those things about his life that I see as so remarkable, he views as obedience to the calling of his Master.
Obedience to the Master no matter the cost. To see a life lived out in such a way should be inspirational. It should push me to serve Christ more faithfully.
His extraordinary obedience in extraordinary circumstances is a reminder of our call to live extraordinarily as children of God even in ordinary circumstances.
Live life and live it for Him. My friend has encouraged and challenged me. If there is not a friend or brother in your life who spurs you on towards a closer walk with Christ, find one. We are to “stir up one another to love and good works” (Hebrews 10:24). Find someone who does that for you. Be someone that does that for others.
And always look to the one who has called us “brothers” (John 20:17; Romans 8:29). No one has lived a more extraordinary life than Jesus, the Son of God. And in time, by His grace, He will make the extraordinary possess the same familiarity as the ordinary.
Brother, my friend, stay strong.