My best friend finished his earth race in the early morning hours of Friday, May 2nd. His home going wasn’t completely unexpected because he had lung cancer, and barring supernatural healing the prognosis for long term recovery was not good. There was thankfully time to talk, enjoy each other’s company, share our faith on an even deeper level, leave nothing unsaid, perhaps even grieve the possible loss and absence to some extent? But there is still a void, a numbness, a surreal quietness in my spirit, as I long to reconnect with his spirit, or listen to what the Spirit might impress me about his home going, or earth life in general.
In short, I’m OK with it because I’m so certain of Brian’s faith in God, and in God’s faithfulness to Brian, as to all of the family of God. I believe in God’s goodness. I believe in God’s power to heal and save. I believe in eternity as promised and spelled out in God’s Word. I believe in the vapor of an earth life, also spelled out in the Bible. I believe in the love of God and the sovereignty of God. Brian and I both believed and said many times, “We believe God’s plan for us is better than our plans for us.” So why wouldn’t I be fine with what happened to Brian, and will eventually happen to me? I am. At peace.
The book of Job was one of our favorites together, with the greatest man of the east making the deeply felt, beautiful confession, “Even thought He slay me, yet will I trust Him.” We also noted what it cost Job to see his vision and revelation of God. And what a beautiful revelation it was! Recorded for us and for eternity in Holy Writ.
We would often sense and discuss the deep truths of Solomon too, the wisest man who lived, inspired by the Spirit of God, writing things like, “The day of one’s death is better than the day of one’s birth.” “The house of mourning is better than the house of feasting.” And, “A man has no authority over the day of his death.” Or Paul, as he spoke by the Spirit on Mars Hill, “God chooses where men should live, and their times.”
Still there is a sense in me, that a mighty one has fallen, along the lines of David’s lament for Saul and Jonathan when they fell in battle. Or in the sense of Isaiah’s prophecy, ““For behold, the Lord God of hosts is going to remove from Jerusalem and Judah Both supply and support, the whole supply of bread And the whole supply of water; The mighty man and the warrior, The judge and the prophet, The diviner and the elder,” (Isaiah 3:1–2)
I rejoice for him, and for heaven. He’s pain free, and experiencing what we can’t even imagine. The Psalmist says, “Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of His godly ones.” And, “… as it is written: “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived”— the things God has prepared for those who love him—” (1 Corinthians 2:9)
All that said, I miss him.
Please take a moment to contemplate your own mortality, and your prospects for eternity. That’s what times like this are best for. And it’s the main thing Brian always talked about to those he loved. And he loved most everyone. 🙂
If you want to read the eulogy I gave at his home going service you can click here. If you want to read what others have said of him, or say something yourself, you can click here.
My prayer is that you have a friend like Brian Douglas Fields. If you don’t, start praying for one, or seeking one by being friendly, and keeping your eyes and heart open.
The Lord’s grace abound to you and yours. Amen.
Job 13:15 NJKV, Ecc 7:1,2 NKJV, Ecc 8:8 NASB, Acts 17:26 NASB, 2 Sam 1:25 NASB, Ps 116:15 NASB