3 hours ago
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
A life well lived...
"For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain."
This past week a good friend of ours, Brandon Pentz has just experienced the greatest gain a man can know. He was a son, brother, uncle and friend and this amazing man has gone to spend eternity with our heavenly Father. Although we are devastated to have lost him, we can celebrate in knowing that he was a man who loved God and lived life accordingly. He is now experiencing the presence of God in a way we can only imagine.
Brandon's sister Natalie and her husband BD are some of our best friends and Brandon was also one of my brother-in-law Taylor's best friends since childhood. So, needless to say many of the people we are close to were greatly impacted by his life. I wish I could do justice in sharing about the man Brandon was, but I am afraid of failing at such a feat. Instead, you can read about his story here and just by the comments alone you can get a glimpse of the kind of life Brandon lived.
One thing I can say for sure is that in the midst of the darkest moments in the lives of the Pentz family, they choose to praise and trust God. From the first text message Natalie sent us on their way to the hospital to the hours we spent the following days in the hospital with the family and closests friends praying for God to bring healing, to the memorial and burial... the one thing I noticed was the authenticity of their faith in Christ and the hope that He alone can bring.
My brother-in-law, Taylor, spoke at the memorial and several things he mentioned stayed with me. He said we prayed for God to bring healing to Brandon and God answered our prayers. Instead of providing the temporary healing we were all focused on, God brought complete healing to Brandon.
He also said, “If we lose the eternal perspective of our faith, our faith mocks us.”
The Bible talks about how God bring us into the fire and refine us like gold. I once learned how a goldsmith refines gold and the picture has always stayed so strong in my mind. A goldsmith will put the gold on the fire allowing the heat to burn away the impurities. He leaves the gold there watching it closely and the way he knows the gold is pure is when he can see his reflection. I believe in these past weeks, God has seen his reflection in the Pentz family.
During the worship time at Brandon’s memorial I looked over and watched how even in their devastation and in their questioning, Oran, Laura, Natalie and BD were praising their Father. It was like watching the truest form of worship I have ever seen on this earth. I was weeping as I watched this modern day Job story unfold. We sang the song, "Blessed be Your Name". One portion of the song that is taken from the book of Job is always the most heart searching part. It says, "You give and take away, You give and take away, but my heart will choose to say, Lord Blessed be Your name." It is in the moments when God has choosen to take, when the testing of our faith begins.
I stand encouraged and amazed to continue to press on in our faith. Our God is worthy to be praised and in our darkest moments He is the only One who brings hope. He promises to never leave us or forsake us. There is such comfort in knowing that, "The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit." (Psalm 34:18)
Taylor read this verse to us and it is a great representation of Brandon's life well lived:
2 Timothy 4:7 "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith."
Brandon has left a legacy that will continue to impact all those whose lives he touched.