Two years ago, a long and difficult trial came to an end and a new and different kind of trial began. Faith is needed in every moment to move us forward to glory. Steve, Becky and Dori Ramsey were, and remain, pictures of faithfulness, just as their faithful son and husband, Zach, modeled it for us all. I know that they would readily acknowledge that they were overwhelmed at many points during their long journey with Zach’s illness and that they did not always feel strong or confident. Nevertheless, by the grace of God, with Zach often in the lead, they held on and they pressed on; eyes fixed on Jesus. The power of faith and love is beautiful and lasting; they are sustaining graces. Memories are often bitter-sweet but the certainty of hope in Christ―the hope of glory―is all sweetness. A few days after Zach ran ahead of us to be in the presence of his Savior, friends and family gathered to honor his life and to say farewell. These were the last official words of the service that day:
Finally, as we have paid tribute today to a life well-live―a life full of meaning and value and blessing―we do shed tears for our loss. And yet, the Apostle Peter tells us that even through our trials, as our faith is being tested and refined, there’s a “joy unspeakable and full of glory.” We look beyond the moment and peer into the future with faith and hope. And when we arrive there with Zach, faith and hope will vanish (being no longer needed), and what will remain is love.