Dealing with the Death of a Friend
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Dealing with the Death of a Friend

January 19, 2005

Hope for the Day

By: Pastor Bob Paquet

"Many people will walk in and out of your life, but only true friends

will leave footprints in your heart."- Anon

 This week I experienced the death of a friend. A man with whom God set up a “divine appointment” for me in 1966; a man who affected my life perhaps more than anyone; a unique individual, one of a kind; his name was Bob.  When I first met him he was challenging someone to play basketball and he challenged me, in his own unique way, to be more than I thought I could be. Real friends accept you how you are and encourage you to improve. I know he would smile and agree if I had told him that the easiest way for me to grow as a person is to surround myself with people like him, people smarter than I. Through Bob, I learned, that no matter how serious your life requires you to be, everyone needs a friend to act goofy with.

Several months before he died, God set up a divine appointment again.  This time I was given the opportunity of leading Bob to a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. A skeptical man, Bob always indicated that he could not understand Christianity and how in the name of Jesus so many had been harmed throughout history. However, I always knew in my heart that he longed for and truly wanted to believe. Underneath that tough outer skin was a heart of love, deep emotion, commitment, and consideration for others. Different – yes, but a real, sincere, thoughtful human being.

 Obviously at this time I feel grief, loss, anger, and sadness – in a way my love has turned to grief. However, never to have loved him would mean I would never have to grieve. “Only a person who never loves never grieves. When you love someone, you feel a oneness and fulfillment with that person. But you also open yourself up to the possibility for grief--when he or she break-ups with you, moves away or dies. The relationship is over and that strong emotion of love mutates like some hideous sci-fi monster into equally strong grief.”( James N. Watkins, Has God set up a divine appointment for you? Use the opportunity to show love, understanding and consideration – not only will you make their life better but you will become a better person. Most importantly, if you take advantage of the “divine appointments” you will never have to say to yourself, “I wonder what would have happened if I hadda? God said to Hosea, “I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death: Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” (Hosea 13:14; 1Cor.15:55)  The grief of loss is easier to bear and goes more quickly when we place our faith in God. What if the Bible is true?

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