Before you can have a beautiful garden, you must till the soil to prepare it for cultivation. You and I are spiritual gardens, and there are times when God sends laborers to work our grounds to make us beautiful. So, before I share how God began to deal with me regarding the life of Chadwick Boseman, let us work in our gardens.
Till The Soil
I do not have any knowledge of whether or not Mr. Boseman was a believer. I pray that he was. I respect him as a person and as a gifted actor that made some amazing historical milestones. But, if he was not a believer, I can still learn from his life.
There were people in Scripture who were not “people of God” but made an impression on God like the Centurian soldier (Matthew 8:5-13), the Canaanite woman (Matthew 15:21-28), and the people of Babel (Genesis 11:1-9). I believe that God allowed these stories in the Bible to show believers that anyone can have faith; what you do with that faith is another story. The Bible says God has given every man a measure of faith (Romans 12:3).
The passing of Chadwick Boseman was different for me. I am like you; I see the news reports of the passing of a celebrity, and it is sad.
But for me, this one was different. Mr. Boseman was young and talented, and we forget that there is no set time for “life.” God gives each person their allotted time. But if we look at the current time, life is following a new trend. Life is not what it used to be, nor as predictable as we used to make it. And, we as believers must wake up.
When I heard of Mr. Boseman’s passing, I had to shut off social media for a minute. The year 2020 has been a lot for the world and me personally. As I began to sit in the presence of God, my spirit could not rest from thinking not only about his passing, but the conditions surrounding it.
I began to talk to God about us, the church. I began to ask God for forgiveness because his life brought a conviction to my spirit.
He lived like the Church is supposed to.
Time to Plant
Here are 3 things I learned from the life of Chadwick Boseman.
1. Chadwick Boseman worked until the end.
The Bible encourages us to be faithful even in the presence of death (Revelation 2:10). Chadwick Boseman did just that. He continued working even after a diagnosis of an incurable disease. Yet, we have people all through the Body of Christ that God has given assignments and they will retreat for as little as the common cold.
Let’s not even talk about the pandemic and how many churches are shut down. Or, how so many people turn on God after they receive bad news. Mr. Boseman could have spent his last days doing other things, but instead, he finished it by making achievements that are recorded in history.
I can understand how Jesus would tell the Centurion, “Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel” (Matthew 8:10) The Lord even told us that blessed is the servant who when the master returns finds them “doing” (Luke 12:43). People of God, we must continue working in the Kingdom, even in the face of death.
2. Chadwick Boseman did it with a smile.
As I looked at a few of his last public appearances, Mr. Boseman made history with a smile. Witness upon witness shared how pleasant of a person he was. Yet, many Christians come into the house of God grudgingly, as if it’s a chore. Or, some of us are mean and unkind.
Mr. Boseman acted like Jesus, where the Bible says, “…for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame…” (Hebrews 12:2). Mr. Boseman endured cancer. What can you bear for God – and do it with a smile?
3. Loyalty is found only in God.
It is my desire that you follow the perfect will of God for your life. Not only by fulfilling purpose, but fulfilling the Word in a holy and righteous lifestyle through Jesus Christ. As believers, we must maintain loyalty to God. The world will show you just how loyal they are. Unfortunately, they did the same to Mr. Boseman.
My husband had expressed concerns about Mr. Boseman’s appearance months ago. Even in his last movie, he looked “different.” Yet people in their cruelty through the media took it upon themselves to insult him, not knowing his condition.
What is so admirable is that Mr. Boseman didn’t reveal his illness in his defense. Just like the position that Jesus took before Pilate and the charges of the chief priests and elders, Chadwick Boseman “… made no reply” to the social media indictments and insults about his appearance (Matthew 27:14).
I looked at this, and it strengthened my loyalty to God. People will love you today and hate you today. It is the way of the world. The public persecutes people daily. Thus, we are better off choosing to please God over man.
So, what’s the play call?
Paul said it best, “Let us press toward the mark…’ (Philippians 3:14) The Church has lost its press. We must get it back!
Chadwick Boseman had death looking into his window and continued to work in excellence and with great commitment. Yet we as believers in Jesus Christ, myself included, faint at the slightest attack of the enemy.
I am charged to do better. I am encouraged to press harder. I am inspired to fulfill what God has purposed me to do and to live faithfully unto Him.
I hope that you can look into the life of another and see a lesson God wants you to learn. God speaks in many ways. And, I believe that through Chadwick Boseman, God is talking to you and me.
I pray for the comfort of his family during this time.
Find Purpose and Live It!
Be blessed and enjoy this clip of Mr. Boseman’s Howard University Commencement address.