I had woke up early that day in an effort to carve out some time in the word and prayer before my kids got up and destroyed any shot at solitude. As is my custom, I got my coffee and proceeded to sit down in my prayer chair in the corner of my living room. With my Bible open and my dog at my feet, I closed my eyes to pray, and, like the disciples, on the night Jesus was betrayed, I fell back to sleep. ("The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak"). As I drifted off to sleep, I had a dream, or more specifically, a memory flash into my mind. This wasn't Deja vu; this had actually happened and was now replaying in my mind.
I was brought back to the memory of the last time I saw my uncle David Leroy before he passed. He was at the end of a long battle with cancer, about to step into the forever life with God, and had been slipping in and out of consciousness. Our family knew these were his final moments in this life. Now, any family who believes the Gospel and is there with a loved one whose name is written in the Lamb's book of life, as is my uncle David's, you'd know how sacred and special those last moments are, even as they are painful and heartbreaking. Our loved ones often hang in an in-between state somewhere between this life and the next, and many families have been assured and greatly comforted by the words coming out of their loved one's mouths as they were clearly experiencing the life of eternity overtaking them even as their bodies were dying. Those final words are treasured glimpses of the world to come.
As my family had been gathered around my uncle, I was told his time was close, and I headed to Moncton to say, "see you soon." When I got to the hospital and walked into his room toward his bed, I'll never forget that he opened his eyes, looked right at me, reached out his hand and said, "there's a great man."
Those were his last words to me. "There's a great man."
Up until recently, I always took this moment as my encouraging, loving uncle, as he had so many times before, seizing the opportunity to call me forward in my life and ministry. And, I'm sure, in part, that is what was happening. But, as I abruptly woke up from my dream memory that morning, having not thought about that moment for some time, I heard the words from the Spirit of God say to me, "he (your uncle David) was seeing you in the way I see you. He was seeing more than what you could or can see."
The thought arrested me. Was it possible that my uncle wasn't only encouraging me in the natural, but in some mystical, we won't understand until we're all in glory kind of way, that he saw a future, heavenly, finalized, glorious version of Brent Ingersoll? I now wonder if that indeed is what he saw.
That morning in my prayer chair was a revelation. A reminder to my weary, discouraged, and at times self-deprecating heart that there is a version of me that is GREAT. There is a version of each of us that God Himself is working on that if we could see, we'd be blown away. We can't see the final product, only the work in progress. If we could see ourselves from Heaven's viewpoint, we'd see glory, goodness and greatness. There is a version of us that is great. Everyone who trusts and follows Jesus is on the path of greatness and are presently, at worst, pre-great.
In our lives, we often get caught up with our temporary circumstances and all of the challenges we face, our inadequacies, our cracks, our deficiencies and flaws, and often lose the big picture that we are a work in progress and that God Himself is the one who is working on us.
There in my prayer chair, God, in His infinite knowledge of me, knew I needed a reminder as I have been facing my own challenges, insecurities, fears, faults and inadequacies in recent days. He spoke His word over my soul through the mouth of my uncle, "there's a great man."
God is great, and He makes great things. This is what He is doing in all of us. For those who have given their lives to Him, God is shaping and moulding us into a version of ourselves that we cannot fathom, and that is so glorious and incredible that we'd need Heaven's eyes to see it.
You might not feel like it right now, but you need to know, God is bringing greatness out of you.
You might not feel like it right now, but you need to know, there is a version of you that the hands of God are shaping.
You might not feel like it right now, but if you are in Christ, you need to know, from Heaven's viewpoint, there is an eternal, glorious version of you that is simply put... great.
This is who we are, destined to be great. And this is who God is, the one who makes things great.
The prophet Jeremiah had a similar vision and reminder to me that day when,"The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: "Arise, and go down to the potter's house, and there I will let you hear my words." So I went down to the potter's house, and there he was working at his wheel. And the vessel he was making of clay was spoiled in the potter's hand, and he reworked it into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to do. Then the word of the Lord came to me: "O house of Israel, See can I not do with you as this potter has done? declares the Lord. Behold, like the clay in the potter's hand, so are you in my hand, O house of Israel." (Jeremiah 18:1-6)
Can the potter not mould you into someone useful and beautiful to Him? Yes, He can.
You may be a work in progress, but you wait until you see the finished product.
May you be reminded today that there is indeed a great man or a great woman inside of you. Heaven can see it.
May you trust the potter with how and when he chooses to bring shape and colour to your life.
May you not lose heart as he sometimes painfully removes the flaws and redeems the inconsistencies.
And may you rest in the fact that you are the eternal project of The Great Potter and that He will finish what he started.
"being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus" (Philippians 1:8)