We just started a series in the book of Hebrews at church…whoa, heavy duty…and definitely NOT a fast read…kind of like mining for precious treasures…or coal with a three-foot ceiling with a pick axe. Not easy, but the effort is worth it!
Actually, Hebrews is one of my FAVORITE books…partly because of what I read long ago. I remember a book I read as a young adult attending Mount Vernon Nazarene University…
When You Run Out of Fantastic…Persevere! by Reuben Welch…the best down-to-earth book on Hebrews I’ve ever read. I had no idea Hebrews was so challenging…as this was my first real exposure. But Reuben is down to earth…having heard him speak multiple times, one of his Reuben-isms he used often was, “I think I think…” and then would go on with his point. But I digress…
Another way of saying the theme of Hebrews is: when you run out of FANTASTIC…HANG ON!
About ten years ago, I worked for the vice president of manufacturing for a major printing company (before I changed careers). When he walked enthusiastically around the plant and the corporate offices, people would say, “Hi Bob…how are you?” His response was always, “FANTASTIC!” He wanted to project a good attitude to those he led, whether he felt it or not.
Sometimes you do run out of FANTASTIC…and I’m sure that it’s important to continue to show gratitude and praise to God before the world.
My fear is that we lose our authenticity, at least among each other in Christ, if we do not openly share about waning level of FANTASTIC, so we can encourage each other and lift each other up.
Reuben once wrote in his best-selling book, We Really Do Need Each Other,
We Christians can be awfully hard on each other,” said my friend Reuben Welch once. “We are especially hard on each other when it comes to the things that matter the most. And we can be just as hard on each other about the things that matter the least.”
….My friend Reuben once said that “Sure, people need Jesus, but most of the time, what they really need is for someone to be Jesus to them.”
Regardless…I know I have a High Priest with whom I can be authentic…without shame…without hesitancy…because of one of my favorite verses that just happens to be in Hebrews 4:15-16:
15For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.