Posted by: Rex Boyles | November 26, 2007

Brandon (August 22, 2007 – November 18, 2007)

He lived in Christ for 88 days. He was born into God’s family on a Wednesday night at the “OPEN” Church. He came at the invitation of a friend – a friend who wanted him to hear the “good news”. There had been enough bad news in his life … sins, struggles, and weaknesses that I will not list here. (They are covered by God, and I will leave them covered.)

As he listened to the “old old story” … Jesus calming the storm for those who were so afraid … Jesus casting out the demons for the one who was so miserable … Jesus curing the diseases for the one who was so desperate … Jesus conquering the grave for those who were so hopeless … he wanted to know if that good news was for him, too. He knew something about fear … misery … desperation … hopelessness. He wanted something better – a better life – and he got something even better – a new life.

He came to believe that Jesus could and would forgive his past and guarantee his future. He confessed that faith in the presence of a dozen or so men, who were eager to hear him say it … who were eager to see him obey it. They watched – as the friend that brought him to the OPEN immersed him into Jesus and raised him to walk in a new life.

We celebrated that night. We knew something of his past – but now it was forgotten by God, so we wanted to forget it as well. We spoke specific encouragments to him for his future, hoping that God would hear and secure such blessings. It was a good night … the best kind of night. He went on his way rejoicing. We did too.

Eighty-eight days later – 88 days after he began his new life – he died. A tragic accident – a tragic end to a promising young man’s life.

But he is alive – in Jesus he is alive – with Jesus he is alive. Such is the good news he heard … believed … obeyed that night. His life ended here on earth – yes – and that is tragic; but his real life – eternal life – began on August 22nd and continues even now.

We will miss Brandon. We will miss his eager joy in Jesus. We will miss the man that he would have become. But we celebrate – that on November 18th – he made it “all the way” and received a rich welcome home.

So we thank God … 

for His grace in Brandon’s life …

for His work through the friend that brought Brandon to hear good news …

for His promise that when He forgives, He forgets …

for the rich welcome home that Brandon received – that we too will receive one day …

for His reminder that we do not know the day nor the hour of our own departure …

for His patience, as He waits for our friends to hear good news …

for His Son, who gives new life to all – even me …

for His victory over the final enemy, death, which will come on that last great day – the eternal day …

for the hope that now seems “even more real” that He is working all things for good to them that love Him.

(In our assembly at the OPEN we shared the feelings this news brought up in us and the lessons this news taught us. I think our folks would be interested in hearing what insights you might have and might be willing to pass on to us.)      

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