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What I have learned from the Life and Death of James Reeder

(May 28, 2011)

Lesson #1:  What love really means:  “I will love you for you, not for what you have done or for what you will become”.  It was when I was able to love James like God loves me that he was set free.  I accepted him as he was not for what he had done or for what I expected him to become.  I loved him right where he was, exactly how he is.

Lesson #2:  “Impossible is not a word, it’s a reason not to try.”  Many people bail on their marriages because they believe (or say) that person will never change or their relationship will never be good again.  They use the word impossible.  God says “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26.  We forget that God wants us to keep our promises as He does with us.  That attitude of “impossible” is an escape, an excuse, and reason to give up.

Lesson #3:  Ask the question: “What would I attempt to do if I knew I would not fail?”

This question hits a deep part of the soul.  It evaluates the courage and belief of a person.  As I watched James’ life, he had big dreams.  Becoming a firefighter was one of the biggest.  When I believed in his dream with him it seemed to fuel his courage and push him forward.  Conversely, when I didn’t believe in him it crushed him.  I guess that’s what God meant when He said “It is not good for the man to be alone”, Genesis 2:18.  Thus, he gave Adam, Eve.  I learned to be the “helper” God called me to be, and fuel his fire!

Lesson #4: Love God, love others and never give up

I have learned the power of unconditional love.  First when I received that love from God myself, then when He poured it out of me to James.  He taught me that kind of love “covers a multitude of sins” and it “never fails”.  I never gave up on loving James because God never gave up loving me.

Lesson #5:  Jesus will never leave me

This perhaps has been the hardest lesson to learn.  It is not difficult to realize that Jesus will never leave me, but it was difficult to realize He never promised me that James wouldn’t.  I value the relationships I have with people and really struggle when someone moves away or leaves my life.  But the reality is, people don’t last forever, but God is eternal.


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