Tag Archives: mourning

May 23 – Joy in the Mourning

2 Samuel 24, I Chronicles 21-22, Psalm 30

Sing praise to the Lord, you His godly ones, and give thanks to His holy name. For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for a lifetime; weeping may last for the night, but a shout of joy comes in the morning. (Psalm 30:4-5)

I don’t know what losses you have had in your lifetime. I have buried loved ones and it hurts. The thing about death is, it’s irreversible. Our loved ones are gone from this world and they are not coming back.

I’ve wept more than one night over the deaths of my parents and nephew. Weeping for a night followed by joy in the morning doesn’t necessarily describe my experience. Yet the psalmist says it like it’s a given.

As I realize joy is a gift God wants to give me, I am convicted. David goes on to say God is his helper, God turned David’s mourning into dancing, and God removed David’s sackcloth, the outward expression of David’s sadness, and instead God clothed David with gladness.

God did that. David didn’t have to manufacture some positive thoughts or light a candle. David only had to let God do His thing.

And so do I.

 

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October 26

John 11:17-57; Mark 10:32-52; Matthew 20:17-34; Luke 18:31-43

Jesus wept. Our God shed tears over the death of his friend. He cried for Mary and Martha at the loss of their brother. 

As someone who still feels the pain of losing my dad and nephew last year there is a measure of comfort knowing my Savior knows how I feel. When he was sad he cried. And that makes me know my tears are ok.

I’m glad the Bible doesn’t tell us not to mourn. In fact Jesus told us that Blessed are those who mourn for they will be comforted. Scripture assures us that as Christians we don’t mourn like those who have no hope. Oh, we mourn. But within that mourning is the blessed hope, the assurance that one day we will be with Jesus and he will wipe every tear from our eyes.

I want to share a verse that has become very precious to my sister since her son’s death. It’s found in Psalm 143:8.

Let the mourning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go for unto you I lift my soul.

Jesus wept. And if you are mourning the loss of a loved one, the loss of your health, a job, or a relationship I pray that you will lift your soul, that you would put your trust in God and allow him to be your Comforter. He knows how you feel.

Dear Jesus, thank you for walking this earth, for experiencing life first hand, and knowing how we feel. I know you didn’t really do that for your benefit, but for ours. It is comforting to know that we can come to you with confidence, knowing you know first hand what we are experiencing. Thank you that we can trust you in our mourning. I pray for those reading this blog today who are sad. May they shed the tears that need to be shed and rest in your comfort. Give strength to meet the challenges of the day and may you be glorified even in our mourning.

September 2

Daniel 4:1-37, 7:1-28; 2 Kings 25:27-30; Jeremiah 52:31-34

Nebuchadnezzar lost his mind. Literally. He found himself living in the wilds like an animal. He was a king who had it all according to the world’s standards. But all that didn’t prevent him from suffering.

Later, after the king regained his sanity and his throne he wrote a letter to the people about his experience. And do you know what he said about those dark days? Daniel 4:2&3 says:

It is my pleasure to tell you about the miraculous signs and wonders that the Most High God has performed FOR me. How great are his signs, how mighty his wonders! His kingdom is an eternal kingdom; his dominion endures from generation to generation.”

Do you believe that even your darkest hours, your hardest challenges, your toughest circumstances are opportunities for God to do something FOR you? I have shared that in 2012 we lost two very dear men in our family. It’s been almost a year since my dad went to live with the Lord. At 87 and in poor health he was ready to go and that helped us to let him go a little easier. But the hole he left in our family is still there and I miss him.

But I’ve also shared that we lost my 22 year old nephew in an auto accident. One minute he was with us, loving us, making us laugh. The next he was gone. His death has been and continues to be a source of great sadness for me and my family.

There have been many dark days since that June Sunday. And in many ways Geoff’s loss is still fresh. Can I honestly say that it’s a pleasure to tell you about it? Can I look at our situation and share what God has done FOR us through this?

I’m getting there.

I have seen God’s hand obviously working in our lives this past year. I’ve seen my sister, a grieving mother, reach out to help others in Jesus’ name. We have praised God for the privilege of knowing Geoff for 22 amazing years and look forward to seeing him again one day because he knew the Lord as his Savior. That confidence helps us get out of bed every day.

I’ve learned things about myself this past year. I’ve learned my faith is as strong as I had hoped it would be. I’ve learned that God is true to his Word and provides strength when we have none of our own. I know first hand that, although it takes time, joy returns to those who mourn and it’s ok.

Now I can honestly say that as grateful as I am for the lessons I’ve learned through Dad and Geoff’s deaths, I wish I could have learned them and still held on to those two. I wish Geoff would walk through that door and tell me I passed the test so we could get back to life. I mean, Nebuchadnezzar got his kingdom back, didn’t he?

I don’t know what valley you are going through. And I don’t know the extent of your pain. But I know mine. And I can tell you that God is able to carry you through the worst situations because he’s carrying me through mine. 

I may not be quite at the point where I can say it’s a pleasure to tell you about Geoff. But I can say without hesitation that it is a pleasure to tell you about my Savior, my source of strength, my joy. It’s Jesus. Simply put. It’s Jesus.

Nebuchadnezzar reminds us that God’s kingdom is eternal, his dominion endures. This life is so short compared to eternity. My prayer for you is that, if you are going through a difficult situation you won’t waste time blaming God or being angry at him because things aren’t fair. My prayer is that you will trust him. That you will allow him to do something FOR you in the midst of the pain. 

He will, you know. Draw close to God and he promises to draw close to you. I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.

 

July 15

Isaiah 37:14-38:22, 39:1-8; 2 Kings 20:1-19; 2 Chronicles 32:27-31

Sometimes it’s hard for me to read things in the Bible like Hezekiah’s miracle. When Hezekiah prayed while on his deathbed, God gave him fifteen more years to live. He even gave Hezekiah a miraculous sign (as if healing wasn’t sign enough) and time went backward.

But as I read on it seems Hezekiah wasn’t all that grateful. When God revealed to him that his children would suffer for Hezekiah’s sin, Hezekiah thought, Oh good. At least there will be peace in my lifetime. Nice.

It’s hard for me to read this because I find myself asking why did Hezekiah get fifteen more years and our Geoff didn’t? Why did my mom die in 1996 when we prayed for a miracle believing God would heal her?

Maybe you’ve been disappointed as well, when a loved one died too soon. Maybe you’ve prayed believing for a healing for yourself or a loved one and the miracle never happened.

I want to encourage all of us today that God is love. As his children his goal is for us to join him in heaven. For the Christian, death is not a punishment but a reward. Their absence hurts those of us who miss them on this earth. But their deaths are not about us. It’s about them in the presence of Jesus. It’s about them free from pain and the worries of this life.

May God encourage each of us who mourn today. May we trust him even when we don’t see the why’s of what happens. And may we be able to rejoice with those who get their miracles when we don’t.

Father, forgive me when I question you. I know that you are trustworthy, that you love me and those I love more than I can imagine. But I hurt sometimes, Lord. I miss those who have joined you before me. Would you give me a sense of your Presence, your Peace, your Comfort. Give me Jesus, Father, as I mourn. I pray the same for all of us who didn’t get our miracle.