Tag: death

Ever Thought of Giving Up?

I’ll never forget the day a colleague came into my office and slammed a newspaper article on my desk. She was distraught. Her voice quivered, and she stuttered as she tried to tell me what had made the news. I picked up the newspaper page and as I listened to her recap of the story, I skimmed the article.

Suddenly she stopped. “Are you ok?” she asked.

I couldn’t speak. She asked again, “Are you ok?”

“You look ghostly pale,” she added.

I had to sit down. The news article was on the death of a single mother and her three small children. The young mother had killed each of her children, before she took her own life. (I’ll spare you the details, they’re too horrific.) I stared at the newsprint. It was impossible to comprehend how a mother could do that to her own children.

My colleague grabbed my left shoulder and shook me, trying to get me to speak. I looked up at her and started to cry. I couldn’t control the emotions. I couldn’t stop the tears.

Those three children were the same ages as my children. The mother was only a few years older than I.

How? How could this have happened? Had the people in her circle of influence not seen it coming? Had she been so clever to cover up what was going on inside her? – These were all questions my colleague asked that day. I’m sure there were many more people that had the same questions on their mind.

I know it’s possible to hide the truth from even the closest people in your life. Our lives are totally falling apart, but we can still act and put on a great show.

What a difference Jesus can make in our lives! When we choose him to take over our darkest places in our mind and in our heart, he gives us peace, his strength to overcome, and we gain perspective. He says to his disciples, “I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 (NLT)

We are not alone in our trials and sorrows. Jesus is right there, he is with us. The Apostle Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 4:16-18: 

So we’re not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace. These hard times are small potatoes compared to the coming good times, the lavish celebration prepared for us. There’s far more here than meets the eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can’t see now will last forever.” (The Message)

Do you ever think of giving up? Are you stuck and think there’s no way out of your circumstances? There is a way. The way is Jesus himself. “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.” John 14:6 (NLT)

No matter how hard it is, don’t give up. Don’t hide it. Talk to a friend or a family member and ask for help. There is always a way out. There really is. No matter what your mind keeps telling you, you are not alone.

By the grace of God I did make it this far. But I never forgot the woman who didn’t. Her story kept me clinging to Jesus more than ever. There were times I barely hung on by the skin of my teeth. God has been faithful, always! He provided all I needed all these years. He redeemed and restored beyond my wildest dreams.

God can do it for you as well. Will you let him into your darkest places of your life? He promises his peace and a light in your darkness. Don’t ever give up!

 

What Happens When “the Hurt and the Healer” Collide?

DematerializationCreative Commons License Hartwig HKD via Compfight

The news of the sudden death of one of our church members dominated the discussions yesterday. It overshadowed the worship service and the congregational meeting that followed.

Social media has been a great venue, especially for friends, to exchange memories and pay tribute to this 38 year old young man. The sadness is overwhelming. And I am only someone looking in from the outside…

In the midst of life we are forced to pause and think about death, about the end of our own lives.

King David paused and faced these questions as well.

He prayed in Psalm 39:

“LORD, remind me how brief my time on earth will be. Remind me that my days are numbered – how fleeting my life is.

You have made my life no longer than the width of my hand. My entire lifetime is just a moment to you; at best, each of us is but a breath.

We are merely moving shadows, and all our busy rushing ends in nothing. We heap up wealth, not knowing who will spend it.

And so, Lord, where do I put my hope? My only hope is in you

Hear my prayer, O LORD! Listen to my cries for help! Don’t ignore my tears. For I am your guest – a traveler passing through, as my ancestors were before me.”

Psalm 39:4-7, 12

 

King David is putting things in perspective. He is making it clear where his priorities lie. We, too, have to come to the point where we acknowledge:

“My only hope is in you.”

Whatever I’m facing here, it’s temporary. I am God’s “guest -a traveler passing through.” Though the pain might be overwhelming, and questions are right there, front and center, we can know, we will see this young man again. His testimony of faith is expressed in many comments.

As I was reading a tribute a friend had written, I came across this song by Mercy Me. I think it is a beautiful picture of what happens when “The Hurt and the Healer” collide. Please click on the link and listen to the song.

The Hurt and the Healer

This is my Monday’s Prayer today for all who are grieving the loss of this special young man:

“Jesus, come and break our fears,

wake our hearts and take our tears,

find Your glory even here when the hurt and the Healer collide.”*

Father God, may your presence,

your love and your peace comfort all who mourn.

Give us all hope, a hope that overpowers the pain.

“I pray that God, the source of hope,

will fill you completely with joy and peace, because you trust in Him.”**

I pray for this confident hope to flow from those who believe in You, God.

In Jesus name I pray, Amen

 

* From the lyrics “The Hurt and the Healer” by Mercy Me

** Romans 15:13