Death of a Brother

My family and I have been blessed by the care of many people in this last week as we have dealt with the death of my older brother, Doug. We have seen the church in action, our church, my parents’ church and many others, including the Union University community.

We are grateful, and God has been faithful.
For the funeral, I gathered a lengthy Scripture reading from the Psalms believing the Psalms give us words for expressing grief, and in the midst of the grief finding hope in the character of God. I told the family I would pass on the reading, so I post it here as one step to accomplish that.

142:1 With my voice I cry out to the Lord;
with my voice I plead for mercy to the Lord.
2 I pour out my complaint before him;
I tell my trouble before him.
3 When my spirit faints within me,
you know my way!

5 I cry to you, O Lord;
I say, “You are my refuge,
my portion in the land of the living.”
6 Attend to my cry,
for I am brought very low!

38:8 I am feeble and crushed;
I groan because of the tumult of my heart.
9 O Lord, all my longing is before you;
my sighing is not hidden from you.
10 My heart throbs; my strength fails me,
and the light of my eyes – it also has gone from me…
15 But for you, O Lord, do I wait;
it is you, O Lord my God, who will answer….
17 For I am ready to fall,
and my pain is ever before me…
21 Do not forsake me, O Lord!
O my God, be not far from me!
22 Make haste to help me,
O Lord, my salvation!

143:4 my spirit faints within me;
my heart within me is appalled.
5 I remember the days of old;
I meditate on all that you have done;
I ponder the work of your hands.
6 I stretch out my hands to you;
my soul thirsts for you like a parched land. Selah
7 Answer me quickly, O Lord!
My spirit fails!
8 Let me hear in the morning of your steadfast love,
for in you I trust.
Make me know the way I should go,
for to you I lift up my soul.

17:8 Keep me as the apple of your eye;
hide me in the shadow of your wings,
22:11 Be not far from me,
for trouble is near,
and there is none to help.
22:19 But you, O Lord, do not be far off!
O you my help, come quickly to my aid!
34:4 I sought the Lord, and he answered me
and delivered me from all my fears.

73:23 [You, O Lord, are continually with me];
you hold my right hand.
24 You guide me with your counsel,
and afterward you will receive me to glory.
25 Whom have I in heaven but you?
And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you.
26 My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

40:1 I waited patiently for the Lord;
he inclined to me and heard my cry.
2 He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog,
and set my feet upon a rock,making my steps secure.
3 He put a new song in my mouth,a song of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear,and put their trust in the Lord.

46:1 God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.
2 Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way,
though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea,
3 though its waters roar and foam,
though the mountains tremble at its swelling.
11 The Lord of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.


  1. So sorry to hear about your loss but glad to see how you are facing your grief. May you continue to find hope in Christ.

  2. Dr. Van Neste,
    My heart goes out to your family. I have been heartbroken for you guys this week and have been praying for you.

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