Christian pastor and author Greg Laurie has tasted the bittersweet fruit that life has to offer. He has written 70 books, started a church, lost a son, become a grandpa, achieved national recognition in radio and media — all while never knowing his real father. The one constant throughout it all was his belief in God.
When Laurie spoke with Fox News in a phone interview to share his thoughts on faith, he mentioned the passing of basketball legend Kobe Bryant, to highlight what a profound effect his death had on ordinary people and how they should respond.
“Sometimes it takes a wakeup call to get someone’s attention,” he began. “Because you can have everything this culture offers — every toy, every possession, every accomplishment. But death comes to every person. And this was sort of a collective wakeup call to the whole nation when we lost Kobe Bryant. Someone who was so young and vibrant. People obviously had a connection to him, even if they were not a fan of the Lakers.”
Laurie said though tragic, Bryant’s death serves as a staunch reminder of life’s impermanence. This tragedy should inspire us to reflect on our own mortality and use those feelings to sort out what’s really important in life, he added.
“It’s just a reminder that you don’t know when life will come to an end,” Laurie explained. “Only those who are prepared to die are really ready to live. And I don’t suggest that as something morbid.
“Years ago, in another century, people would write a phrase over their legal documents which was ‘Memento Mori.’ That means, think of death,” he continued. “That was not meant to be depressing, that was meant to remind the person — no matter how much money you have in your account, no matter how successful you are, you’ll leave it all one day.”
The California native is an avid lover of Jesus Christ and credits his faith in God with helping him, and his wife Cathy, overcome the death of their son Christopher who passed away 11 years ago after a car accident. He was 33.
“I’ve always believed this and I’ve always taught this, but when our son died unexpectedly 11 years ago, it was just jolting,” he said.
“It was life-altering. It was in many ways, devastating. But the hope that we have that keeps us going is we know that our son is not only a part of our past but that he’s also a part of our future. And we have the hope that, as Christians, we’ll be reunited with our loved ones who have proceeded us to heaven. So I’m confident I’ll see my son Christopher again.”
The nationally syndicated radio host said he still sees Christopher in his dreams and is initially filled with joy to talk to him. He soon realizes, however, that it’s only a memory and that he’ll have to wait until the next life to actually communicate with him.
“I know a lot of other people who have lost loved ones have dreams about them and I’ve had dreams about my son,” Laurie said.
“And in the dream, I’m always in a place where he’s there. And I’m thinking to myself, ‘Wait you’re alive! ‘And in every dream, I’m so happy to see him and I talk to him. And I’m so sad because I know I’m going to lose him again. Because at some point I realize, I’m in a dream. It’s such a deep, internal desire for communication. But I think it’s also a little glimpse of being reunited with them one day again, as well.”
Laurie, who is senior pastor of several congregations, including Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside, Calif., and Harvest at Kumulani in Kapalua, Hawaii, then spoke about the backlash against faith and Christianity in the public square, but remained convinced that those who denounce God out of a sense of rebellion will likely still seek his help down the road and still have a relationship with him.
“I think this is a challenge in every generation,” he said. “In my book ‘Jesus Revolution,’ when we looked at [Jesus’] time in history — in many ways, it parallels today. You had huge political turmoil. You had riots in the streets. It looked like culture was unraveling.”
There have been many moments throughout humanity that have caused us to question whether or not we are witnessing the death of God, Laurie continued. But what makes God so special is the ability to have a personal relationship with him that transcends earthly concerns and anxieties.
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SOURCE: Fox News, Nick Givas