Lately, the Christian world was saddened to hear of the passing of Nabeel Qureshi, a Muslim-turned Christian apologist for RZIM (Ravi Zacharias International Ministries). He died of stomach cancer, leaving behind his wife and two-year-old daughter. He was only 34 years old--
34 years old--my age.
The news of his death jolted me. In all honesty, I hadn't been following his story closely. But my sister kept bringing up his name for prayer in church and so I gradually became more aware of what was transpiring at the end of his battle with cancer.
Recently I flew with my husband and our small daughter to California and sat on a crowded plane for 5 hours with people from all different walks of life and backgrounds. I was struck strongly on this trip of how very dark the world is without Christ--for one thing, I was not aware of how powerful the hold of all forms of media have become, strangling out human interaction and flesh and blood "realness." I watched men and women sitting on a plane for nearly five hours, completely immersed in their own worlds and completely distracted by various forms of electronic devices. And I realized how very lost humanity is without Christ, how very lost I would be without Christ.
And we are a light to this dark world. Because we hold the light of truth.
Nabeel held that light; he was not ashamed of the Gospel.
And his light burned brightly, only for a brief hour--but it burned. And many were changed through his powerful, bold, unceasing witness.
He was only 34 years old.
And we, and I am compelled to ask ourselves--am I holding His light? Is it burning brightly? Or am I so consumed and concerned and immersed in the comforts of my world, of my cozy Christian world, that I am failing to see and connect with the dying world around me on a deeper level than wearing a cheesy Christian t-shirt and eating at Chik-fil-A?
It is so easy to become comfortable.
And other dear, faithful saints come to my mind--men whose entire life was Christ and who died very young by this world's standards--David Brainerd (29), Oswald Chambers (43), Jim Elliot (28), and the list continues.
They counted all things loss--to gain Christ. And their lives, although so very short have had an amazing impact upon the church and the world--and even being dead, their testimonies still speak.
Do our lives speak Christ? Are they the aroma of life to some and of death to others?
Are we burning brightly or just flickering in the shadows?
For me to live is Christ . . . and to die is gain.
Because there is a way of living that we gain the world and lose our eternal soul . . .
Are we burning brightly?
And so I thank the Lord Jesus for Nabeel's life, and with sadness, for his death--because his death has caused me to ponder my own life and it's devotion to the One who gave all for me.
One is never too young--or to old--to give all for Christ.
This world is passing away--
We hold the light--may it burn within our hearts and pierce the darkness of whatever sphere the Lord has placed us in.
And may our lights shine.
And may our lights shine.
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