“But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved.” Ephesians 2:4-5
First, thank you for your patience and following these past months. God has been working in amazing, powerful ways in my life this year. I haven’t had much time for blogging, but God-willing I’ll do more this year.
These past few months have been emotionally challenging. They started in October with the anniversary of the day my husband went home to heaven. No matter how much time passes and though I know he’s with Jesus, that time is always difficult.
A few weeks later, word came of the death by suicide of the 18-year-old grandson of a long-time friend. He was a high school senior with a multitude of friends and his whole life ahead of him. Yet he succumbed to darkness.
Another weekend in November just before Thanksgiving I had arrived home from dinner with our granddaughter and some friends. As I ran water for a bath, my golden doodle began barking furiously. I went to the sunroom to calm her thinking one of the many neighborhood deer were taunting her.
The room was lit with flashing red and blue lights. When I looked across the street, our dear friend’s home was engulfed in flames. My stomach lurched as I immediately began praying, “Oh Lord helps us!” I didn’t know who of the family with eight children were home or if anyone was still in the house. After firefighters battled the blaze for seven hours, the house was a total loss, but everyone was safe.
Then just a few weeks ago, a friend invited our Bible study sisters to an Honor Walk as her special needs son was taken off life support and donating any tissue or organs that might be useful. This same friend’s life was turned upside down with grief in August when her husband died unexpectedly.
The saying that can be so carelessly tossed around about “God never gives us more than we can handle” is not only hurtful, but unbiblical. None of my friends would have wished any of these tragedies on their lives.
Jesus promised in this life we would have trouble. Sometimes the hurts and hits feel like hurricane waves battering against us, barely allowing for a breath before the next one hits.
That phrase appears in the Bible over thirty times, mostly in difficult circumstances.
In her blog “True & Faithful”, Lisa Appelo shares that “God doesn’t just redeem us for Himself. He redeems our stories for Himself.” She uses the Old Testament example of Joseph in explaining the guiding principal is “that God, no matter the circumstances, God holds the ending.”
In every situation I shared I have seen the sovereign grace of God.
My friend Connie was able to donate her son’s lungs for Cystic Fibrosis research and much of his skin will be used to help many people. She attended a service of comfort and hope with me before Christmas. We talked about the amazing reunion in heaven with not only Jesus, but his stepdad and twin brother whom he hadn’t seen since they were seven days old.
Our neighbors have expressed total gratitude for all of their children being alive and safe and have been strong witnesses for Jesus above the “stuff” of this world.
The family of my friend’s grandson have seen an amazing outpouring of love and support as well as an opening to talk about and share tough conversations about suicide rather than keeping it bottled up or swept under the rug.
On the anniversary of my husband’s death God gave me the perspective that it wasn’t the day I “lost” Tom, but the day he was cured.
Reflecting on these past months and the miracle of Christmas just past, I am so grateful that, even though I only deserve God’s wrath and judgement and could never by my own doing live into His requirements for righteousness, but God…
But God came down to earth from the majesty of heaven. But God humbled Himself to live as a lowly servant on our fallen earth. But God loves each and every one of us so much that He died on a cross and rose again so that we all might have a personal relationship with Him and live together with Him for eternity.
I will be forever grateful for “but God”.
God thank you that you are sovereign. Thank you that in such challenging times, because of your incredible love for us, we can rest in your peace and comfort knowing that You already know the end from the beginning. Thank you that nothing is a surprise to you. That we can trust in You completely with our whole lives. Help us to live this and show this every day. In Jesus precious name. Amen.
Thank you, Joyce, for sharing. That was beautifully written and convicting that in all situations God is with us to lead, guide and carry us. When we look at life through the eternal lens of God, we see things differently.
Always able to relate to your inspiring messages! Thank you, Joyce