Last Words from ITA’s John King

Jeff & Susan Turnbough
john-king

Five Things I Wish a Milestone Person Had Told Me

By John King*
I wish a mature believer had told me the following when I was starting out on my ministry journey. It would have saved me a lot of aggravation, frustration, and discouragement. 

 

1) You’ll turn your head and you’ll be old.
When I was in my 20s, a friend in his 60s said to me, “You’re going to turn your head and you’ll be 50.” He was right. I turned my head and I was 50. What I wish he would have added was… “Strive to always live in the present. Savour each moment of your life. Because your life will slip by before you know it. You cannot rewind the clock.” Don’t let the frantic pace of life suck you into a breakneck vortex. Slow down a bit, and take stock.

 

Redeem the time for the days are evil.

 

2) Life won’t get easier.
Learn to accept trials, disappointments, suffering, and incalculable loss. On some levels, life will become easier. But the fact is, you’ll weather one crisis only to meet another. Life will never become void of pain, discouragement and periods of suffering. But remember. These are the tools of your Lord to transform you. So don’t waste your sufferings. Lean into them to see Christ in a fresh way. A crisis is an unwelcomed opportunity to discover a new aspect of Jesus Christ.

 

Casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.

 

3) Colleagues will break your heart.

Some of the greatest pain in your life will come at the hands of colleagues. “I was wounded in the house of my friends.” (Zechariah 13:6) Persecution from fellow believers has come to the doorstep of every person who impacted the Kingdom of God. The pages of church history are blood-stained. There’s carnage in every chapter.

 

Only a relationship with Jesus Christ will enable you to survive without becoming embittered or destroyed.

 

4) A great deal of what you are certain about now, you’ll question later in life.

With experience comes wisdom and maturity. And part of wisdom is discovering that the more you learn, the more you realize just how ignorant you are. Today, I wish I knew half of what my younger self knew.

 

For we know in part.

 

5) The commitments you made while younger will be severely tested.

This includes your commitment as a believer. As you mature, you reevaluate your commitments. There will come a point where your faith will be tested beyond measure by the Shadow of Death. You’ll wonder if God exists; if the Jesus’ narrative is true or makes sense; if the Bible can be trusted, etc. You will either dig in or bail out. Expect it. And don’t make the mistake of quitting before the whistle blows. Make a stake-in-the-ground commitment to play full out for the Lord.

 

The one who endures until the end shall be saved.

 

Live vibrantly. 
Learn continuously.
Love deeply and 
Leave a legacy.
~John King

 

*NOTE: John King was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in March 2017 and died 15 days later, at the age of 68. He served with Wycliffe Canada and with the International Training Alliance as Follow-On Coordinator for the Leadership Matters Course.

About Jeff & Susan Turnbough

Jeff and Susan serve as regional directors for IM missionaries in Europe and CEO of the International Training Alliance (ITA)