Saying Goodbye

A dear friend went to be with his Heavenly Father after a battle with brain cancer. I am still in shock that he is gone. We hadn’t spoken or seen each other in a few years. It’s easy to claim that “life” happens as an excuse. But that doesn’t help the guilt. I should have been there for him. And I regret the fact that I wasn’t. Don’t waste today. Don’t make excuses.

Boast not thyself of tomorrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth. Proverbs 27:1

I was unable to attend the funeral, but thankfully my brother and mom were able to. As my mom told me about it, she mentioned Jamie’s favorite Bible verses. After we hung up, I pulled them up on my phone:

20 Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, 21 Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen. Hebrews 13:20-21

The word that stuck out to me was perfect. In the English language,there are many synonyms for the same word. So I looked up the original Greek word.

καταρτίζω katartízō – to mend (what has been broken or rent), to repair

And cue the tears of joy mingled with sadness. I know God didn’t give Jamie brain cancer (it’s a result of the brokenness of our world caused by sin). I don’t understand why His plan was to only share Jamie with us for 26 years. But I know He has a plan and that it is good. Even if it doesn’t seem fair to us (because of us focusing on ourselves), but His plan is and has always been good. And His plan is to make Jamie whole again, perfect. Not in this temporal fleshly world, but in the eternal world to come.

Right now, it feels like death has won. Jamie is gone. But Yeshua, the Good Shepherd, was the sacrifice for our sins. He died and rose again. He conquered death. Jamie may have died in the flesh, but he will be raised in the spirit. He will have victory through his Saviour! Check out 1 Corinthians 15. I copied a few verses, but I recommend reading the whole chapter:

26 The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death…42 So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: 43 It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power: 44 It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body…52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed 5For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. 54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, 

Death is swallowed up in victory.55 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?56 The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.57 But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Don’t let death and the devil convince you otherwise. The Good Shepherd has given spiritual, eternal life to Jamie. Yeshua gave us this parable of hope:

I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. 10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. 11 I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. John 10:9-11

While I mourn the loss of my friend, I also rejoice. Jamie is absent here on earth. And I miss him. But I know that he is now with God.

Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: (For we walk by faith, not by sight:) We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord. 2 Corinthians 5:6-8

Jamie’s battle with cancer is over. His pain is gone. And praise God, Jamie will never experience sorrow, pain, or death ever again.

And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. Revelation 21:4

My prayer is for those left behind. I pray they experience the peace of the LORD. That HE wraps them in His loving arms and comforts them. Trust in the promises of His word, that one day we will see Jamie again – perfectly whole!

Thank you Jamie, for your friendship and for all the wonderful memories. Even though I have to say goodbye, I get to say hello again someday. Love you,

שָׁלוֹם לְךָ Peace to you

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