Nabeel’s death hit me hard. He was so gifted, the way he shared his thoughts, his sincerity, his humility, his passion for our Lord, all of these things and much more resonated with me like a dear friend’s would. I couldn’t help thinking of when the Apostle Paul told the Ephesians that he wouldn’t be seeing them again (Acts 20:38) and how they wept. I wept too, many did, because we loved Nabeel. And we still do.
I’m grateful, for even the sorrow, because it says something about our hearts, that the love Jesus told us to have for one another is there, it is real and it is precious. We need so much more of it. I’ve been graced with a few dear Christian friends throughout my life, some of them are with the Lord now and I look forward to seeing them again when I leave this world.
It’s funny how I seem to be able to just connect with some people, there is a connection, like we’ve known one another all of our lives. There is acceptance, recognition or having walked the same path, I always appreciate what I call “realness” in people, those who make it so easy to identify with them, where there is no masking of a facade or very little, where the love that they have for others shines through. That ability that God has given us to truly love someone other than ourselves is a beautiful thing, a treasure really, that one cannot buy. Caring, truly caring for someone so that your heart is broken when you see them in anguish. Love, what a beautiful gift it is. My family, my friends and even my Internet brothers and sisters that I have come to know, even in a limited way, know what I mean. Love is a gift.
I watched a video when Nabeel was speaking about the possibility of his death and how what he was going through was not even close to what Jesus went through for us on the cross. And that is true. I can’t even imagine. Nabeel pointed out that Jesus willingly suffered so that even those who where instrumental in his pain and suffering could be freed from the consequences of sin. That’s hard to fathom, the depth of His love, for them and for us. But He did it, God our Father wanted us to see how much He loves us, how He wants us to be united with Him again and Jesus said He would do it, He would do what needed to be done. So He left heaven and became one of us, walked this earth like we do, knowing full well what lay in store for Him. Hard to imagine living with that knowledge, that purpose, of what ultimately He would have to go through to free us from the death that we deserved and to give us eternal life, with our heavenly Father. The Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world.
I’ve seen Nabeel, never actually met him but I’ve seen him on the videos and of course his books that he wrote. I could make that connection because I could see and hear him. He resonated with me. But I’ve never seen Jesus, I have heard His words through the Bible and infrequently when He speaks to me, I’ve imagined seeing Him in my mind, but I’ve never experienced seeing Him with my eyes. I’ve been in His presence, when the Holy Spirit would make His presence real to me in a way that is hard to explain, when He, Jesus, is close, you just sense it. Faith in the unseen is not easy, and I suspect it is not supposed to be. Faith is really trust in that which we have not seen but what we can comprehend within ourselves, about what is real, outside of ourselves. Faith is the drawing out of ourselves into a connection with our unseen Creator. Jesus made that possible. He was the only one that could do it and His love for our Father and for us sustained Him through the hours on the cross that He endured for us.
I love Jesus. I wish I loved Him more, I know one day I will, when I see Him face to face as He is and know Him in His glory and majesty. For now I can literally see the fruit that Jesus has produced, people like Nabeel and others that I look up to. And what I see is a gift, a faith well lived out, that makes my walk seem shoddy in comparison. But it shows me what is possible, here, now, today, if we truly give ourselves to God and what He can do in us.
I don’t know why God in His wisdom chose to take Nabeel so early, one day I will, but I do know that God touched me through Nabeel’s life like few others have and I am oh so grateful for that. Jesus said that He that has seen me has seen the Father. I believe that. And the beauty of Nabeel’s short life is that through Nabeel, I saw Jesus a little bit better.
Thank you Jesus for giving us Nabeel, and thank you Nabeel for showing us Jesus in your life. Rest in God’s presence my brother, one day you and I will meet also. What a day that will be.
Worthy is the Lamb! Blessings!