Brian’s Scribbled Note

Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV)
Trust in the LORD with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.

There’s a note scribbled in my Bible next to today’s verse. It was written by my friend Brian over twenty years ago. The note reads, “My friend, man of God, be steadfast and immovable. Crank on with a pure heart and spirit. Love, Brian.” I considered Brian to be a godly role model. As you can imagine he was a great spiritual encouragement in those days when my faith, when his faith, was so fresh and new.

That was then but sadly since that time Brian’s life has taken a difficult turn. I had become concerned about him a couple of years ago when I learned that he was experiencing some deep spiritual struggles. He had stopped trusting and was now leaning on his own understanding. I could tell by the tone in his communications that he was in a difficult place. I began to try to encourage him, the one who had encouraged me in my own walk with God so long ago. One Sunday morning I sent him another note, trying to reach out to him, only it was too late – his plan to commit suicide was already in motion.

What I have learned through this situation is that the Christian life is often hard and we all need something greater than ourselves to hang on to. When we begin our walk of faith with God we never know what trials or temptations we will face along the way. We need to trust in someone greater than ourselves. I’m sad that Brian is gone and for what had become of his faith and I’m more resolved than ever to trust in God because His understanding is so much greater than my own.

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