Who are the most influential mentors in your life? For me, three of the most influential men in my life are Walker Moore, my father-in-law John Bond and my father Terry Hobbs.
Each of these godly men have made an indelible mark on my life, propelling me to be a better man and a better follower of Jesus. I am saddened to share that each of these men recently passed away.
As Baptist Messenger readers know, Walker unexpectedly passed away in June. My father-in-law John unexpectedly passed in July. Finally, my beloved father Terry passed away in August, after a courageous battle with cancer.
I could write pages about each of these great men, paying the highest tribute to them and to the Lord they served. I could share extensively about all they taught me, and about God’s work through their lives.
Yet each of these men would tell you, they are only sinners saved by God’s grace and that anything good we saw in them was Jesus. At the same time, I am thankful that these three—Walker, John and my dad—fought the good fight, kept the faith and finished the race well (2 Tim. 4:7-8).
With each of their passings came an increasing sadness and challenge in my life; and, of course, in the lives of all of those who individually knew and loved them.
But the Bible says, while we grieve, we do so with hope. Perhaps you also are in a season of loss or grief. I know many who are in a time of suffering, disappointment or loss. Amid such times of challenge, it is easy to grow weary.
As my father battled his illness, someone asked him, “Terry, how are you today?” He simply replied, “Weary but worshipping.”
What a powerful statement about the Lord’s work in our lives. When sickness, sadness and challenge come, we can (and should) still worship the Lord.
My father also told me that as his hands and whole body grew weaker, Jesus’ strong, but gentle hands were holding his. Dad’s message to anyone he met amid his cancer journey was this: “Jesus loves you.”
This powerful image of Jesus’ hands holding us reminds me of another person in the Bible who encountered Jesus. After he went to the cross and died, Jesus gloriously rose from the dead and appeared to His disciples. Yet one disciple, Thomas, was not there during the appearance of Jesus, and Thomas refused to believe Christ was risen.
“Suddenly, Jesus appeared to Thomas and said, ‘Peace be with you!’ Then He said to him, ‘Put your finger here; see My hands. Reach out your hand and put it into My side. Stop doubting and believe’” (John 20:26-27).
Today, Jesus is holding out His hands to each one of us. He’s there for you, to give you faith to trust Him and strength to worship Him.
So today, if you are tired, saddened or worn—or wherever life finds you—I encourage you to call on Jesus and ask Him to help you worship God, even when you are weary. Just like Terry Hobbs, John Bond and Walker Moore did.
“Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever” (Heb. 13:7-8).