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January 28

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I bury a friend today. I haven’t known him long. Little over a year and a half but the past year found me taking multiple hour long trips to the hospital to visit and multiple trips to his house as he fought a brave fight against an ugly form of cancer. He lived 18 months longer past the original 18 months they gave him to live. The power of prayer. The power of medicine. The power of the will to live and not give up.

How God-like it is then to read this morning from G. Campbell Morgan’s book in a chapter called When a Loved One Dies. Here are some of his thoughts:

Death is the wounder of hearts. It is the assailant of faith; it is the challenger of hope. (p.44)

We need to remind ourselves that nothing that happens today has its full explanation in here and now. Some day we will see things in perfect Light, and then we will understand…I believe that whereas the gap will always remain and the sense of loss abide, as it does with me…you will be lead into a place of quiet assurance that God is too wise to make any mistake, and too good to ever be unkind.” (pp.44-45)

“Our tears he never rebukes.” (p.45)

There are some things I will never understand. A godly woman (my mother) taken before her 72nd birthday by cancer while a man who had no regard for God that I knew of lived to be 90. I don’t understand why I’ve stood at the graveside of a child or a young person or a young mother/father. I don’t understand why a man of 47 with a new grandson is taken. I’m not meant to understand everything. Someday I will but until then I need to, no I must, trust the One who is the Giver of life. It’s simply not for me to know now.

I just know I have to trust the One who said, “I am the resurrection and the life”; the One who conquered death, hell and the grave; the One who said He is preparing a home for His people; the One who welcomed Billy into his arms of grace last Thursday afternoon. I will not say “Goodbye” but “See you later” to Billy- a friend of God and a friend of man.

“Father, I rejoice Billy was your child to the very end. And while Becky and the family and friends mourn (me included) I rejoice Billy has no more excruciating pain and now rests in his heavenly home. Be with me as I speak today. Let me be a giver of hope and life because of Your promise.”

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12 thought on “January 28”

  1. Glynn says:

    Yesterday after church, a friend stopped me as I was leaving and said, “I don’t know if you know that Nancy died.” At first I didn’t know whom she was talking about, and then she reminded me — Nancy had been a church member who lived not far from my own home. Last summer, she needed weekly rides to her chemotherapy treatments, and I had signed up to help. And then she was added to the list for a regular county government taxi service, and I didn’t see her any more. What I remember most is watching her painfully navigate her stairs while I held her walker. She never complained, never bemoaned her illness.

    1. Bill Grandi says:

      I admire those who never complain and never bemoan their illness or lot in life.

  2. Ryan S. says:

    Bill, a warm tribute to a friend… My prayers are with Billy’s family, though I did not know them, I will pray that God will provide the peace and assurance that is needed.

    1. Bill Grandi says:

      Thanks Ryan on all counts.

  3. I will keep you and all Billy’s family and friends in prayer, Bill. May sad good-byes be transformed one day into joyful reunions . . .
    Blessings!

    1. Bill Grandi says:

      Thank you Martha. And I am going to attempt to show that thought.

  4. Ed Damas says:

    Sorry for you loss Bill. Cancer is one of those situations where I always seem to question God, while other times I accept things as they are.

    1. Bill Grandi says:

      Thanks Ed. But knowing Billy is in heaven makes it a whole lot easier to stomach.

  5. Debbie says:

    Thank you for sharing your heart about this. Praying for you and for Billy’s family today, that God cover you all in His love and comfort. Even when we don’t understand.
    I read something in The Hiding Place, that helps me at times like this. Corrie’s father asked her to pick up a heavy suitcase . . .and she couldn’t. She had asked her dad a question about something that he knew she was too young yet to be told about. So he used this illustration with the heavy suitcase, and told her that as he would carry his case for her, so her Heavenly Father would carry the weight of the knowledge of things that she just couldn’t carry herself right now.

    1. Bill Grandi says:

      Thanks Deb for your comment. The funeral went well and in many ways Billy’s faith and the importance of it were emphasized. Not just by me but by others. It was a God-honoring funeral while also remembering the man. But thanks again for praying. And thanks for the illustration. Have to remember that one.

  6. floyd samons says:

    Sorry f0r your loss, Bill.
    God gave you and Billy the gift of friendship through brotherhood.

    “To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord”.

    I guess it doesn’t get any better than that.

    I’m praying for Becky and her family.

    1. Bill Grandi says:

      You are right Floyd. God did give me the gift of friendship with Billy. It was a wonderful one while it lasted. But I wouldn’t wish him back in the state of pain he was in. Thanks for your prayers.

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