Day 36: "Fulfill Your Ministry"
2 Timothy 4:1-22
I probably highlighted 50% at least of today's reading, particularly the Psalms and 2 Timothy.
But I must discuss the passage in 2 Timothy.
"In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage--with great patience and careful instruction...Keep your head in all situation, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry."
I don't feel prepared to do this subject justice, but I also know most of that is probably silly insecurity and this is something I just need to do anyway.
When I graduated from Biola in December, Nabeel Qureshi came to be the guest speaker. His message was so moving because of his words and how sincerely he said them, but also because the Holy Spirit was moving so powerfully in his message. The president at Biola introduced Nabeel before he spoke and told us all that he had been diagnosed with terminal stomach cancer.
None of us in my family had ever heard of him, but his message at my graduation deeply impacted us all. My mom in particular became very dedicated to following his ministry and praying for him as he fought cancer.
On the 2017 New Year's Eve my mom stayed up to watch one of Nabeel's sermons. I watched a little bit and I became very motivated to devote my year to becoming a person who was entirely satisfied in Jesus. I wanted to read my Bible more, I decided then to read the Bible every day for a year and read through the whole Bible. (A New Year's resolution I kept for maybe 3 weeks and picked up again September 20, when I started this blog).
The day Nabeel Qureshi passed away, September 16, 2017, the news came as a very devastating shock. My mom, myself, and the rest of my family grieved a man we had never even spoken with before. But also on that day I gained clarity I had been waiting on God for. It was the strangest thing but when I heard about Nabeel's passing after the immediate sadness and confusion and heartache, my first thought was "I know I'm not supposed to be a school teacher."
I knew it, and I could hardly put it into words but it was a very clear sense that I was not in the right place. I wasn't supposed to be working on my teaching credential: this was not my ministry. I needed to stop wasting time and do what God had created me to do.
That night I rewatched the message he gave at my graduation and if I thought I was emotional during graduation, I had no idea. "Fulfill your ministry," he preached.
He talked about Paul writing these words to Timothy in 2 Timothy chapter 4 saying these were his last words.
I am a Timothy to his Paul.
And if there could be any doubt I was there, I was amazed to see a clear shot of both me* and my best friend at separate parts of the video. To remind us both that Nabeel said these things and he said them to us.
Please watch the video attached, if you never finish reading this post, that will be enough if you just watch the video.
*you can see me looking wide-eyed at 2:25 with my long red hair
Four days after his death, I started this blog. I don't know if this is "my ministry" that I'm trying to "fulfill," but I know it's a start.
I'm grateful to God for how He used Nabeel in my life.
Part of me is afraid to make my story too connected to Nabeel, because he was such an incredible man of faith, like Paul. I'm afraid to make any of it about me. I never even knew the man, for Heaven's sakes!
But also, I know God used him in my life and it would be just as terrible if not worse to deny that. And I also think it would make Nabeel really glad to know that he impacted my life so much and that I took him seriously and believed I could be like Timothy and he like Paul. After all, Nabeel is just a man, as Paul is just a man, and what is stopping me from loving and serving Jesus just as wholeheartedly and greatly?
We are not just "people" as Nabeel said. We are "adopted heirs, sons and daughters of God."
Our God has loved us mightily, greatly.