We have all had that awkward time when we are so focused on what we are looking for that we fail to see in front of us. I have been looking for my keys only to find them in my hand. I have looked for my glasses and find that I am wearing them. We have all had experiences similar to these in our lives. At least I hope I am not the only one. If I really am, just don’t tell me.
Hebrews 11 is a chapter in the Bible which shares inspiring stories of faith in action. We hear of men and women who made extraordinary sacrifices to follow God’s call. They did not follow for the praise or the accolades. They followed because “that is just what you do when God instructs you to do something.” If we would have met some of them during their lifetimes they would have seemed ordinary. They spent years practicing the mundane tasks not realizing they were changing history.
In in the very next chapter of Hebrews these same people are called the “great cloud of witnesses.” They are witnesses to what God can do. Witnesses to what is humanly possible when God is at work in a person”s life. They are witnesses to what happens when heaven comes to earth. They are witnesses of the church being the church. If we are not careful we will see the “great cloud of witnesses” being defined only by those who served during Biblical times. That is not the case.
Today you and I are surrounded by those who seek to follow the calling that God has placed on their lives. They are not confined to any particular demographic or vocation. They are simply the ones who have chosen to follow regardless of the cost.
When we look back at their lives we often see it, but while they walk with us we are often not aware of their greatness. They are there as an example of what life can be when following Jesus Christ.
We see them in our Sunday school classes, serving in various capacities in the church and doing things to help relieve the suffering of those less fortunate than we are. They are right in front of our faces if we will look for them.
Today we should give thanks to God for placing them in our lives. They stretch across time in the past, present and the future. Sometimes we do not see what is in front of us till we open our eyes. But in opening our eyes we see what has been there all along.
It is my prayer that what has been exemplified around us will become realized in us. We have been surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses. And the sight is out of this world.