In The Blink Of An Eye
“Listen! I am telling you a mystery: We will not all fall asleep, but we will all be changed, in a moment, in the blink of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we will be changed.”
– 1 Corinthians 15:51-53
Questions can compel us to learn subjects in school. Questions can help us get to know someone and develop a deeper relationship with them. Questions can get us the proper treatment in a medical triage setting. Questions can be literal or rhetorical. Questions can enlighten, and they can annoy (Mom, are we there, yet?!). Questions can build up and destroy.
My family recently went to Texas for a somber occasion, in the midst of this already trying COVID time, to attend my dear cousin’s 13-year-old son’s memorial service. Koby battled Burkitt’s Lymphoma cancer starting May 2, 2019, with chemo treatments and a more recent bone marrow transplant. He received eternal healing on May 9, 2020, when he stepped into his Savior’s arms. I could not help but ask the question…where could the hope be in all this?
The service was held in my hometown’s open-air football stadium due to current social distancing protocols. With the breeze blowing across my face and my teary eyes tightly closed as “I Can Only Imagine” played over the intercom, I asked God to answer my question there in the midst of this huge disappointment for my family. It is an age-old question that He’s heard many times before, so He was not surprised that day when I asked. Such a question can arise when we face tragedy and difficulty in our lives like this. The good news is that God is faithful to answer, and it was the accounting of Koby’s life in that service that made clear the answer. Maybe you need to hear about that same hope today.
Koby’s life impacted so many others, and it showed by the hundreds of people that attended his service; it was even broadcast on Facebook so nurses and doctors at OU Children’s Hospital could pay their respects. He was loved by family and friends, his classmates, his travel baseball team, his teachers, his nurses and his doctors, the Vernon College baseball team that wore his number, the OU Baseball team that came and met him, the OU football coach that came and met him, the entire town of Vernon, Texas and the entire town of Elgin, Oklahoma. I believe it was all because Koby lived that year in such a way that it illustrated how he already knew the answer to my question.
Koby placed his trust and hope in Christ, and in an act of obedience and love for his Lord, he shared it immediately in a public way by having his granddad baptize him right in his hospital bed early on in his fight. Koby’s paternal grandmother shared with me how his hope would often extend outside of himself. During his fight, he had a specific conversation with one of his buddies where Koby told him to get into the church. When his buddy told him his mom would not take him to church, Koby told him it was important enough that he should just walk there because he needed to go! He wanted his friend to experience the same hope he had in Jesus!
In the weeks leading up to him going to his Eternal Home, Koby began frequently expressing things to his loved ones that made it clear he was growing more confident of that hope he had in Jesus. He told his parents he was not afraid and not trying to hold on to life here for himself, but he told them he was staying a little longer to make sure they were ok before he left this world. He told them he knew exactly where he would be, and instead of telling everyone good-bye, he started telling everyone “I’ll see you in the blink of an eye.”
Koby’s expression was straight from God’s Word. 1 Corinthians 15:51-53 tells us that, as Believers in Christ, we will all be changed in the blink of an eye. Koby was alluding to the fact that he would once again see those of us who have put our trust and hope in Christ. Life is, without a doubt, short especially when we compare it to eternity. But Koby’s reference also points us to the hope of Christ’s promised return. When He does return, those who know Him will be changed instantly and all the difficulty this life brings will be gone “in the blink of an eye.” Koby’s story pointed me to the answer all along. Peace then followed with new questions. Questions that I must re-visit each day God grants me another breath on this earth. Do I live my life as Koby lived his? Do I live actively acknowledging Christ’s presence in and with me? Do live my life pointing others to that same hope that they can find in Him and in His promises?
Pray: Lord, we do not know all the answers to all the questions that this life throws at us, but You do. Lord, help us to cling to the hope that can be found only in You. Let us be hungry for Your Word where we can find the answers You want us to have. Finally, Father, help us to live like we have the hope of eternity in us so we may point our hurting families and friends to Your promises. In Jesus’ Name, I pray, Amen.
6th Grade Girls Sunday School Teacher
First Baptist Broken Arrow