“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love Him.”
1 Corinthians 2:9
In 2001, Contemporary Christian artist, Bart Millard struck hold when he penned the lyrics, “I Can Only Imagine.” The song pictures how amazing it will be to be in the presence of God. Little did I know that Millard’s lyrics brought great comfort to me on December 30, 2016 . . April 3, 2021 . . and May 9, 2021 when my Mother, Father and Sister, without warning, suddenly passed away. In each of those moments, I paused to imagine what it was like for all three of them to be face to face in the presence of God—and again reunited with my young 4-year old brother who died in 1977. However, “I Can Only Imagine” spoke to me in a different way in the weeks, months and years following the sudden death of my family members. As friends, coaches, scouts and colleagues approached me, full of concern and questions, and said, “I can’t imagine what you’re going through.” Their expressions were meaningful, showing they too were grappling with my loss in an empathetic way, finding it unimaginable.
David pinpointed the depth of great loss when he described walking through “the darkest valley” (Psalm 23:4). The death of loved ones certainly is that, and we sometimes have no idea how we are going to navigate the darkness. We can’t imagine being able to come out on the other side. What now? How will this impact my life? What does the future hold? However, through all those questions in our life we do come out on the other side. God promised to be with us in our darkest valley. He says that He will walk “through the valley” of the shadow of death with us (Psalms 23:4). He doesn’t leave us or abandon us in the valley.
Listen closely: God provides great hope for His children by assuring us that beyond the valley, and beyond the grave, we will be in His presence. For the believer, this means to be “absent from the body” is to be “present with the Lord” immediately! (2 Corinthians 5:8) That can help us navigate the “unimaginables” in life as we “Imagine” our future reunion with Jesus, our friends and loved ones.
“I Can Only Imagine”
Love God! Love People! Live Sent!
Be Worth Being,
Kevin Burrell has worked in professional baseball as both a player and MLB scout for the past 41 years, and currently serves as an area scouting supervisor. Kevin was drafted in the 1st round of the 1981 free agent amateur draft (25th selection overall), and played ten years of professional baseball with four different organizations. He and his wife, Valerie, live in Sharpsburg, Ga.
Imagine that you could sit down and pick the brains of some of the top leaders in the country! That’s the premise behind the Linch with a Leader podcast. Learn how these leaders – all among the best in their respective field – have risen to the top, while continuing to grow spiritually and chase after the Lord.