It’s Thanksgiving week, so I’m trying to take time to reflect on the gifts in life which the Lord has graciously given to me. I have much to be thankful for, but today I want to focus on one particular gift that has and continues to shape me.
This picture is hanging on the wall in my office at the church. When most people see it, they comment on how cool it looks. I agree that it does look good, but that isn’t the main reason I have it hanging on my wall. I have it there so I can remember one of the greatest gifts with which God has blessed me: my brothers in Christ.
The photograph, taken in northern India (By the way, I’m the short one.), reminds me of the blessing it is to have brothers in Christ who yearn to live out the gospel in every facet of life. Though there are only five others in the photo, my tightly-knit band of brothers number many more. Ever since high school, the Lord has surrounded me with guys whose passion for His glory was contagious and convicting.
I remember the days at Copiah-Lincoln Community College when their passion for the Word drove me to discover my own views on theology. Many nights were spent in the coffee shop or sitting on tailgates discussing God’s ways in this world, our desire to be used by Him, and too many other topics to list. We weren’t (and still aren’t) perfect. I have the scar to prove it. But by the grace of God, we were being transformed into the image of Christ. Those memories are some of my fondest.
I remember the phone calls and visits I received during a particularly tough time in my life. My brothers were there for me. They were praying for me. And they wouldn’t let the heartbreak result in sin. “Cody, are you dealing with bitterness towards God?” “Are you staying in the Word?” “Are you looking to Christ as your ultimate joy and satisfaction?” I cherish all of these questions. They bring tears to my eyes because they’re proof that my brothers care more for my soul than anything else.
The Lord has given me a group of guys who push me to love Him more. I can’t understand why He has been so gracious. All I can do is thank Him for my blood brothers, those who have been washed in the blood that was poured out at Calvary.