William Frank Fata (July 5, 1976–February 10, 2024)

William Fata exchanged this tired world for the arms of his Savior last evening at 1:00 AM Switzerland time. I don’t have enough pleasant words to say about this gentle soul, my brother, my friend: kind, compassionate, caring, patient, long-suffering, loyal, charming, funny, talented, optimistic, courageous, and noble are but a few. 

Throughout his battle with cancer, I never heard William offer a complaint. Even as we tromped the streets of Romanian villages in 98-degree weather, he soldiered on through pain and misery, never displaying a sign of discontent. The Lord was merciful to give us those twelve days with our William. We will cherish them always, particularly that one blessed hour of prayer, shared between brothers, when he gave his life to Christ. 

The Lord works in ways we often cannot understand. His thoughts are not our thoughts (Isaiah 55). They are higher, perfect, and purposed for our good and for His glory. We can ask, Why would God take William home at age 47? Why did He take my brother Cliff home at age 44? We can ask God questions, but we cannot question God. The pot does not demand its own way from the Potter because it cannot; we do not possess that kind of control or authority. We surrender to the Author of Life because we must. If we claim Him as Lord only when His ways agree with our ways, then we have misunderstood both who He is as God and who we are as His people. He isn’t God because He does what we want; He is God because He is God! And He does what is best, even when we cannot understand it. There is abundant comfort, rest, and peace to be found in this simple yet profound truth.

Our lives have changed dramatically with this devastating loss. To say the ground has shifted under our feet is a gross understatement. There are a thousand unknowns for the future. And yet, the truth is we are standing on the Rock that will not be moved. We may feel unstable, but that is merely a feeling. To be in Christ is to stand strong, firmly planted in truth, wisdom, and power. We are pleading with the Holy Spirit to pour all three on our heads in obvious ways. 

If you are tempted to feel unstable today, remind yourself of your “in Christ” condition and position. Regardless of how you feel, you are standing firmly on the Rock. 

I waited patiently for the LORD;
And He inclined to me and heard my cry.
He brought me up out of the pit of destruction, out of the miry clay,
And He set my feet upon a rock making my footsteps firm.
He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God;
Many will see and fear
And will trust in the LORD.
How blessed is the man who has made the LORD his trust,
And has not turned to the proud, nor to those who lapse into falsehood.
Many, O LORD my God, are the wonders which You have done,
And Your thoughts toward us;
There is none to compare with You.
If I would declare and speak of them,
They would be too numerous to count.
(Psalm 40:1–5)

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