Thursday, August 27, 2009

Hope in the Midst of Sorrow...

"Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don't try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way." (James 1:2-4).

Grief...2 years ago, August 23, my mother unexpectadly and abruptly left this earth.  Last year, my wife and I lost our first "un-born" child (a mis-carriage)...this year, my grandmother is about to join them in heaven.  I expect the call any minute, any hour, that she has left this planet.  Some people have grandparents who live in another state and visit on the holidays...not so for me.  I only knew one set of grandparents; (My Mom's parents were dead before I was gorn).  "Boomp and Grammie" have been a huge part of my life since the day I was born...and my life is full of memories with both of them.  I am not ready for her to leave...

It was with a heavy heart that my reading took me to James this morning.  While I realize that James is referring to trials and tests in the context of the church being persecuted, I also realize that I am in a time of "pressure" in another way.  What stuck out to me about my reading this morning were these words; "under pressure, your faith-life is forced out into the open and shows its true colors..."

In a few days, maybe a week, I will be officiating the memorial service for my dear grandmother.  Not all of my family are believers...and so I pray that during this time, my "faith-life" shows its true colors and that I am able to convey hope in the midst of sorrow.

I write all of this because it helps me process...and because I know that some who read this are grieving as well.  Jesus was a man familiar with suffering, sadness and grief...I take comfort in that.  My goal is not to be "fake" or pretend that I'm ok...I'm not.  I'm close to tears 24 hours a day.  However, beneath the grief, beneath the sorrow, beneath the sadness, I have a firm foundation...a hope called Jesus Christ.  And in times like this, I cling to this hope...the hope of a new life to come, a new earth, a new body, and being reunited with my Mom, my grandparents, my child, and most of all, my Savior.

"In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." - Jesus (John 16:33)

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Been awhile...

Ok, so its been awhile since I've posted...what can I say?  :-)

Actually, I've been busy (like everyone) and also a little down.  It seems that life has taken a turn for the "harder" lately, and so it was on one rainy morning, (the only rainy morning we've had lately), that the Holy Spirit brought to mind this Scripture...

Why are you downcast, O my soul?
       Why so disturbed within me?
       Put your hope in God,
       for I will yet praise him,
       my Savior and 6 my God. (Ps 42:5-6)

I have taken those words to heart...literally, to my heart.

When life gets hard, the answer is never to just "try harder" - the answer is to rest in the Sovereignty and Love of God...and I chose those words intentionally.

Sovereignty: God is all seeing, all knowing, all present, and always in control...
Love: He describes Himself as a God of Love.

Put those two things together, and you have a God that you can trust and rest in.

So if you're in that place, then I encourage you to do as I have done lately; rest, wait patiently on the Lord, and put your hope and trust in Him...He will never fail you.