Update from Lud and Mur, April 19, ’17

April 19th, 2017

On April 17 Lud’s brother, Pete, experienced what Paul described in Philippians 1:21, 23, “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain…to depart and be with Christ…is better by far!” In life, Pete trusted Christ to live out His life through him, even during the tough physical journey of his last few years. Now, as our 14 year old grand-daughter Madison comforted us in a text, “Hey Opa and Oma, I’m so sorry you lost uncle Pete…He’s in an amazing place now sharing the presence of God!” Our son Jeff tried explaining this to his two young children, “He is now getting to see his Mother and Father in heaven.” That was a comforting thought to us.
Pete is in that place which is “better by far,” but we all who are left behind need God’s comfort, grace and peace as we encourage each other to find strength in Christ and through our blessed hope.
When getting my hair cut yesterday the barber asked if I was going to be traveling soon. I responded, “Yes, my brother just died and I’ll be doing his funeral in Vancouver, Canada in a few days.” This opened a conversation about death and… I was able to share about our blessed hope as Christians. Death forces us to ponder tough questions. Fortunately, though we don’t have answers for all questions, the most important answer for Christians to the question, “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” is the declaration of Paul in 1st Corinthians 15:54-57, “Death has been swallowed up in victory…The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But Thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
As I’ve pondered Pete’s home-going I have very fond memories of the relationship we’ve shared over many years. Though I’ve lived a far distance from him since I was 18, whenever we’re together it’s as though we’ve not been apart. There’s a unique bond. When I read Proverbs 18:24, “There is a friend who sticks closer than a brother,” I can think of only one who fits that description, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He has truly bonded us as brothers. I’ll miss Pete, but he is in a far better place. Thank you Jesus!
I’d sure appreciate prayer for his family and our extended family and the many who will be at the funeral, scheduled for April 29. Please pray that God will enable me to be a channel of blessing as I share the Gospel at the funeral.