This last Wednesday I lost a very close friend to cancer. Chuck Friesen was one of those rare jewels who shined even in the most difficult of nights (even when he was covered in his Harley leathers). He was relentless in his study of Scripture and we would often talk at length over minutiae of this or that detail. His beloved NASB (which I occasionally gave him a bad time about) was tattered from being so well read and the pages were covered in highlighting, underlining and marginal notes. In his last year he spent himself on improving his Greek by translating 1 John and writing a commentary on its Greek text (it was heavy plowing to read with all of the details he had added…and I read A LOT of commentaries on Greek and Hebrew text). He did all of this knowing that he had been given a short life expectancy. It was a constant reality check for me to focus on the long-term and not simply the momentary (even afflictions).
Why should someone spend their life in study in greater detail knowing their end is any day? The short answer is that we are not simply biding our time. We are preparing for God’s kingdom (even as we are living in it now). Keeping focus on the long-term means recognizing that what I am doing right now actually has bearing on me now and in the age to come. Thank you Chuck for being a blessing in my life…for the lunches (even when you were too sick to eat)…for the Bible discussions (even when you already knew the answers)…and mostly just for being my friend for this journey. Blessings brother!