I remember Russell coming up to Good News Mission when he was a preteen and young teen. He lived down the street in a big white house on the corner. He always had a smile on his face and was always interested in the lesson. He and his friend Matthew would often stop by to visit and just talk. They were both good kids. Russell moved away when he was in his teens. Every once in a while I would hear something about him or ask about him. His grandparents moved into the projects a few months ago and I was hoping that I might be able to see Russell again but it never happened. Russell was killed in a traffic accident last Friday. His dad was seriously injured. Russell was only 22 years old. His funeral is tomorrow.
Recently, it seems time and time again, I have been reminded of the brevity of life. The brevity of time itself. 1 Thessalonians 5:2 says:
For you yourselves know full well that the day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night.
We don't know when the Lord will return. We don't know when our last chance to reach someone might be. We have to be ready in season and out of season to give the gospel to someone. That person may not be there tomorrow. The day the Lord returns is not getting further away but closer every day. We could be gone tomorrow. Just think of Russell.
I know that Russell heard the gospel. I know that after he moved away he was baptized. Although only God knows the heart I believe that Russell was saved. I am praising the Lord for that.
What about the next person, though? What about the next person who comes into your life? What about the new neighbor across the street? What about that old friend that you always meant to catch up on but never seem to have the time? When will it be the last chance to reach them?
Time is short. I am praying that God will give me the courage, power and urgency to tell people while I can because tomorrow they may be gone.
This is how I remember Russell.