For Josh, For JESUS
The embodiment of living, for adventure, for God, Josh wasn’t fearless (although he seemed to be), he actually had a lot of fear, but he knew the devastating effect of succumbing to fear. I think he got bored if he wasn’t scared, so he did what scared him. He trusted that when he reached the end of himself, he would find Christ, and Christ was faithful every time.
Josh was a thinker. I’m not sure how many people know that about him, he thought a lot. He had a great mind, surpassed only by his heart for people. More people would know of his great mind if he weren’t so humble. It blows me away, he worked so hard to develop well-rounded opinions on the tough topics, he knew where he stood, but it didn’t matter to him if he didn’t have the chance to voice his opinion. To voice his reasoning for why he thought what he thought. He developed his opinions in the pure pursuit of truth. He sought after God’s heart in all venues of thought and life.
He wasn’t purely a thinker though; his thoughts drove his actions. He wasn’t crippled by knowledge; he was empowered by it. He had a methodology. You would never know it from simply seeing him, but what you would know is his heart. To say he wore his heart on his sleeve would be an understatement. He loved people, he found his joy in the joy of others, and he tried in any way to see that joy brought about.
He was a friend during the first week of school when I didn’t know anyone. He was a body to hug when I had my worst day on campus. He was a mind to discuss, debate, and reason thoughts with. He was a spiritual giant, making Kingdom impact visibly from afar. He was a stick to whack me on the head when we both knew I was doing something wrong. He was an amazing musician, with the sole purpose of creating music for God’s glory. He wasn’t perfect, and he never thought he was. He was a realist, a realist of hope, a realist with his eyes fixed on the cross. He was laughter. He was joy. He was a brother. He was a friend. He was loved immensely by us, imperfect beings in a world that was not his home.
He IS home, he IS in the best place imaginable, beyond imaginable, above imaginable. The grace-filled rays of the radiant King shine upon his face, presenting him pure and faultless as a child of God. His body IS redeemed; he IS adopted as a son. He IS made whole in image, spirit, and soul by the all-sufficient Savior. He was bought with a price, and he IS where Christ bought him to be. He was blessed, he is blessed. Eternally blessed. To give him one more hug from any of us on earth would be an insult in comparison to the full embrace he is receiving from his King. From our King. We mourn, for he was a great more-than-conqueror of this earth. But we celebrate, because HE IS HOME. Heaven has never seemed more real than now. We will see him, more than that, WE WILL SEE THE ONE BY WHOM HE AND WE ARE SAVED. Joined in holy, eternal matrimony. A gift above all else, prepared by a God whose feet we are not fit to wash.
So we remember him, not in a false hope that he is in a better place, but with the concrete promise that he is. We mourn with hope, we mourn in hope for what we have not yet, waiting patiently for it. Waiting patiently to smile with Josh as we unite with He who is above all else. I can hear him now, with his goofy Minnesotan accent, “Hunter, this is what we’ve been waiting for, welcome home.”
But as you read this know, our work is before us. The hope we have in Christ is our battle cry in this dark world reigned by the opposition. We will fight, we must fight. God is the victory, souls are the battlefield: our friends, our family, anyone we can reach. God is for us, who can be against us. There is no way of knowing what comes next. Don’t waste your life. Josh didn’t, we cannot.
So watch out Satan, flee in fear. Not from our power, but from the power of Christ in us. Flee, for the death of one saint has awakened the hearts of thousands more. We will not stand silent, we will move, Christ will move through us. Tremble in fear, for the body of Christ is at work, it is awake and it will move. We stand resolute, knowing what is at stake, and knowing how this story ends for us, and for you. Flee.
“For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body. Convinced of this, I know that I will remain, and I will continue with all of you for your progress and joy in the faith, so that through my being with you again your joy in CHRIST JESUS will overflow on account of me.” Philippians 1:21-26
In the words of Sammy 2: We Roll.