Hidden promises are the best kind, don’t you think? Yes, because when they are revealed, we are surprised to see that, for the most part, they are the best kept promises in the world, as this hymn beautifully explains. It is so full of promises, promises, promises. Happy listening. Happy Sunday.
People all over the world die every day. But when it hits close to home death becomes different; personal, sadder, even poignant.
It happened to me this week. Two of my very close friends died within three days. One was a friend of fifty years and the other’s friendship entwined my life for sixty years.
I will miss these ladies and their enduring friendship very much to say the least. But I take comfort in the fact that they are now truly home. Yes, I do believe in life after death.
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” John 11:25,26
I also take comfort in knowing that my loss is God’s gain. And that’s the upside of grief.
We’re here! The week that was has become the day that is. The triumphant entry into Jerusalem, the last supper, the scourging, the crucifying, the entombment…all are brought together in this one message. Jesus did not just live and die. Jesus died and lives. And furthermore we can be confident that life is worth the living just because He lives. Rejoice and be glad. Happy Easter.
I spoke to a lady yesterday whose husband died in January. He was in Long Term Care, and visiting wasn’t an option because of Covid-19 closures. However, she did get a call from the home to come quickly on January 31st because her husband was very weak.
Shanta was able to hold his hand, sing to him and quote scripture, all the while holding him in love and prayer. She felt gentle little squeezes from his fingers throughout this time, and then there was a very definite strong pressure before his hand went limp in hers. It was a poignant time for my friend as her husband bid her farewell with a final squeeze.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Matthew 5:4
One thing I’ve learned from my almost eighty-four years of living is to keep an open mind because there is always something to learn. For instance, scripture speaks of hardships and how they can be borne. God knows how many hardships 2020 threw at us and gives us the answer in 2nd Corinthians 4: verses 8 and 9.
8 We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.
And then verse 16 reads: Therefore we do not lose heart.
Life lessons can be be found everywhere if only we keep open minds.
This month, November, one of my dear friends of many years lost her sister at age fifty-nine.
In September of this year this same friend’s mother died.
In November of 2019, less than a year before her mother, her father was the first of the family to go to heaven.
That’s the bad news. (Not that they went to heaven but that they died.)
The good news is that Anna’s complete faith and trust in God is giving her the peace, comfort, strength, and stamina she needs to release her family into His loving arms, when her arms can no longer hold them.
Yes, the bad news is that my friend has lost her parents and only sister, but the good news is she has not lost her trust. Amen.
Another of my church friends climbed the stairway to heaven yesterday, leaving behind happy memories in the wake of grief. Joanne’s husband, daughters, family and friends will miss her smiling face and gentle ways for a long time to come but will take comfort in knowing that she will be as loved in heaven as she was here on earth.
Dying has to be one of life’s most grievous tasks, and yet, as we all know, it is inevitable.
May we all take consolation in knowing that this dear lady faced the end of life as she had always faced life itself, with grace, dignity and love.
We never know where in the world our paths will cross another’s. Leroy “Butch” Dean entered my life in what I like to refer to as Bloggersville a few years ago. Butch “liked” and commented on one of my blogs and became a faithful follower as I did of his.
With a sense of shock I read his final blog posted on October 22nd, the title of which was “I’ve Changed My Address”. True to his faith, Butch opened his post with this paragraph…
“If you are reading this, then I have left this earthly life to be with my heavenly Father. Now I see face to face and how I wish I could share that with you. What I can share with you is God’s merciful love for you that He tells us about in John 3:16. The most significant moment in my life was accepting Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. I encourage you to accept and trust Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior.”
I, along with many other bloggers, will miss Butch’s posts, “likes” and encouragement, not to mention his very strong and up front faith.
Because Butch is happily home with his heavenly Father, I can still say, Happy Saturday.
When I wrote my book “My Precious Life” in 2014 I had heard this expression many times but didn’t pay much attention to its meaning. Now, as I watch what’s happening the world over, millions of people dying of the coronavirus, others succumbing to life’s natural cycle, it is hitting home just how precious life is.
Are we really living on a daily basis? Are we making the most of our days? Are we looking out for our friends, family, neighbor? Are we saying, “I love you” and then showing that love?
There is more to life than eating, sleeping, working and playing, and because life is precious we need to make sure we are truly living.
Today I am going to make a concentrated effort to really live. I don’t know what that will look like but will let God handle the details. Carpe diem!