I lost a good friend just yesterday, Saturday July the 6th. Vaughn Butterbrodt went to be with the Lord after a long battle with cancer.
Please pray for his wife Mary and his son Beau, pray that the Lord may comfort them both for their loss of a wonderful husband and father.
Personally, I will miss Vaughn a lot. We were both in a small group together that met every Saturday morning to study God’s word. I have come to love and respect Vaughn over the years and I can say the same with absolute certainty for all the other men in the group.
Vaughn attended Maranatha Chapel, which is my home church, before attending Olive Branch Christian Fellowship, led by my friend and Pastor Scott Gehrman, who just lost his wife due to pancreatic cancer.
I’m sure that many of my Maranatha friends remember Vaughn very well. Vaughn has touched many lives, not only people at church, but lives all over the country because of his bout with cancer. It was because of his cancer that Vaughn became involved with a network of people who have the same disease. People that did not know each other, but were brought together to love and support each other because they had one common denominator. They would be praying for one another and share their testimonies and daily struggles with this terrible disease.
I remember Vaughn telling me about some of the guys that he met through this network. How he became friends with many, exchanging e-mails, lifting people up in prayer and encourage each other. A circle of people who became friends, just ordinary people who would not have met, if it were not for the same disease they shared. Vaughn also lost some of his friends during that time. Some of them were believers in Jesus and some were not. Those who were not, never said no when asked by those who were believers if they could pray for them.
I am truly convinced, that the Lord used Vaughn’s affliction to minister to those who needed a word of encouragement and a word of comfort. Vaughn, despite of his illness, thought of others rather than himself. He helped those that needed someone to lift up their spirits; Vaughn was that man. God used Vaughn’s character and strong faith to minister to others who needed a word of hope and comfort in a time of grief and suffering.
We may not always understand why people have to suffer from various diseases and illnesses and why some people get healed and some people not. We may ask ourselves, why does God allow all this suffering? My answer to that, I don’t know. I don’t know why God allowed Vaughn and others to suffer from cancer or why He allows so many other terrible things happening to people all over the world. One thing I know for sure though, all things have a purpose. Nothing is by accidents or coincidences. There are reasons beyond our comprehension. God is in control and He knows why. God’s ways are not our ways and there are things that our finite minds cannot comprehend or understand.
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” says the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55: 8, 9.
The Lord took Vaughn home, to a place of peace and joy. One day we will understand why things were the way they were. God, Who sees the end from the beginning, had His purposes and who knows, what God worked for good through Vaughn’s afflictions. Whatever Vaughn had to go through, it had a purpose and was not in vain. Whatever we may face in the future, will be for a purpose and to glorify God.
I will miss you buddy, but one day Vaughn, I will see you again. One day, when the Lord will bring us all back together into a new world without pain and suffering.
Vaughn, we who remain will keep on fighting the good fight and run the race as you have my friend. I can’t wait to see you again. Until then, farewell my friend.
“We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.” 2 Cr 5:8.
“I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.” John 8:12
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16