My grandfather went to be with his Savior on August 19th, 2023 after 97 years of a full life. He not only left a legacy of five children, sixteen, grandchildren, twenty-four great-grandchildren, and three great-great-grandchildren, and he left a spiritual impact on all those who knew him.
Paul Sherron had a servant’s heart. He served on the Indianapolis police force for forty-two years, well into his 70s. Even at that age, he could still run circles around many of the other officers. But before that, he served in World War II. Most importantly, he was a loyal follower of Jesus Christ. He believed in Jesus Christ for His promise of everlasting life to those who believe in Him alone (John 3:16, Ephesians 2:8-9). Paul knew he could not do anything to earn eternal salvation, or maintain it, or lose it. Jesus paid for all of His sins, and rose from the dead, proving that Paul could rise again as well. I can say confidently that my grandpa is with his Savior today!
During his celebration of life ceremony, countless people spoke about how they never saw him lose his temper–among those being other police officers and his children. When people asked him how he could work such a tough job and maintain his coolness, he would share with them the Person who made it possible. Such an example of how we can live in a way that is intriguing to others and leads to an opportunity to share Jesus’ promise of life.
His example made me think about a verse from 1 Peter…
1 Peter 3:15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear;
The Apostle Peter wrote to a group of Christians about the power of suffering in a believer’s life, and this verse gives us the reason for how Christians can suffer persecution in this life, as well as suffering of all types. When a believer knows that the suffering is refining their character as a Christian, that suffering draws them closer to God here and now, and produces a great inheritance in heaven, they have a great hope they can look forward to.
That’s the answer that they can give others.
My grandpa knew about the amazing doctrine of rewards. He knew that suffering produces a refinement that nothing on this earth can produce. He suffered well and was an example to all of us.
When suffering comes our way, we have two choices. We can make everyone else around us suffer along with us, or we reflect the love, compassion, and character of Jesus Christ. I never once heard my grandpa complain unless it was a joking matter. I have had my fair share of grumblings in the past, but I want to suffer in a way that intrigues others to ask me for my answer for what I am hoping for.