Green – Red – Green

Well, Christmas is coming on soon, but that’s not what these colors are about.  I was traveling down a highway recently that had three lanes going in my direction.  There were signal lights every few miles.  I saw a pack of cars about a quarter mile ahead of me, and glancing in my rear view mirror I saw another pack about a quarter mile behind me.  I was alone in the middle.

I saw a signal coming up, and sure enough, the early group passed on through, but yours truly got the Red.  By the time the group behind me caught up it was green again, and we all moved forward.  Of course, I was overjoyed the group ahead of me did ok, and the group behind me did ok – NOT.

Then I started thinking of the spiritual implications of this little adventure.  I asked myself, “What if – by my suffering, I can somehow ease the burden of those who go before, and those who follow after me?”  And the second question – “Would I be willing to do that?”

Of course, we don’t often think of suffering as being a good thing, but that is because we live in a generation and a time that has known little of true suffering, especially here in America.  Our former generations knew well of suffering, World War I, The Great Depression, World War II, etc…

We’ve had our minor times of suffering and personal loss, but it is still a lot less than our forefathers knew.  Paul, the Apostle, was well acquainted with suffering, but he saw it from the perspective of aiding others.  Because he suffered he could encourage others who were going through hard times.  Because he was persecuted he could understand others who were facing similar situations.

What if – your suffering was going to bless those who go before you, and those who follow after you?  Would it be worth it?

Let’s make this personal.  When I first got saved I had a mentor – Steven Lee Homer Cobb.  I just called him, Homer.  We spent several years together, and then lost touch with each other over the passing years.  In 2008 I got reconnected with Homer, and found out he was a missionary in El Salvador.  What a time we had trading emails, and sharing old times.  Then I heard nothing for about 6 months.  Then I found a news article with his name in it.  An obit.  I contacted the folks in El Salvador and they filled me in.  Homer had been shot to death by a gang on the streets of El Salvador because he had gotten two gang members saved.  I was grieved.  But, as time passed I realized his passing and remembrance of the good times we shared was a blessing to me.  The added fact he gave his life in the service of our Lord and Savior was icing on the cake.  He was doing what he was called to do, and like many before him gave his life for it.  So, Homer was a blessing to those who went before (like me), and to those who would follow after (like those he ministered to in El Salvador who still carry the burden).

So, if you get a Red light, just remember – your suffering is not for nought.  It just may be a blessing to those who go before you, and to those who follow you.  Is it possible to bless people after you leave this earthly existence?  Well, ask Dottie Rambo, who passed in 2008, and whose songs still bless countless thousands even today.  Yes, your work is not finished when God calls you home, but the work goes on.

One Response to “Green – Red – Green”

  1. Barbara L. McGuire Says:

    I love how you get little inspirations out of the ordinary! This was excellent! Gives me a lot to ponder. Mighty good questions asked in this blog. I loved the story regarding your friend! Thank you for always using your talent to be a blessing to others!

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