I visited my friend Jim today. Might have been the last time. I sincerely hope not. As I was thinking about Jim and praying for him yesterday, I realized how difficult it is to know how to pray for a friend with cancer who is in their last days. And so I prayed, “press on.”
12 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.
I couldn’t get Philippians 3:12 out of my head. It’s a verse I have used to encourage my kids to take hold of the life for which Jesus has taken hold of them. It’s a verse that reminds us that no matter how far we have come, we must continue to press on to the next level in purpose and relationship with our God.
And so it speaks to me of my friend Jim. Jimmy.
I shared the verse with Jim and told him that to me, he has lived out these words so many different ways. Jim desires to serve Jesus. In his work life, he represented Christ as he served his fellow employees as a union leader at BC TEL & TELUS.
In his home, he raised his children to follow the Lord. Even as they lost their daughter and then Jim lost his wife, he contended with God’s purpose for them and pressed on in following Jesus.
His own repetitive battles with cancer would make anyone question what and why. Jim wasn’t immune to questions or struggles. He is steadfast, though, in his trust of God. And his example encourages our entire church family.
If Jim could go through all of this and continue following Jesus with such conviction, for the rest of us there is no option or excuse.
Jim, you continue to set the bar high for us.
Jim is pressing on. He is facing each day with faith. He is living Philippians 3:14: “I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” Heavenward.
Jim, I know that you know that you are going there only because of Jesus and what he has done for you. I want you to know, though, that you have shown Jesus to us.
Press on, brother Jim. Press on…