Saturday, October 26, 2013

In Joy and Sorrow

This afternoon we had the privilege of joining a very special family as they remembered their wife and mother. Like many of these events, when the person is a Christian the time of remembrance upon his or her death is mixed with both joy and sadness. The sadness comes from those left behind not having their beloved family member in their daily lives, and the joy comes in both the remembrances of their lives together and their hope of being reunited for eternity. As we later moved down to the river and watched her pastor and her son put on their waders and walk out into the middle of the river, where her son let her ashes flow into the current, you could see the sadness in the tears of the family members standing along the shore. As they came back to the shore, her (and our) pastor comforted the family with Scripture concerning this time in their lives where one person is away and the others are awaiting.

Just as they were able to stand with each other in joy and sadness, we know that our God is one who understands both far more than we could ever imagine. And because of His understanding we know that we can come to Him in all things and find Him understanding of us; sharing in our joy and comforting us in our sorrow.

Speaking of our Lord, Isaiah wrote, “He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief….” (Isaiah 53:3, ESV) And it is our Lord to who we are to look even in our own trials; “fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” (Hebrews 12:2–3, NASB95)

Solomon wrote in Ecclesiastes, “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:” Then he went on to list a variety of those matters under heaven including, “a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;” (Ecclesiastes 3:1,4, ESV)

Every single thing we feel, whether it is the highest joy or the deepest sorrow, is something we experience under the watchful eye of God and surrounded by all that He is. And as such we can come to Him in everything knowing that He is there, that He understands, and He knows exactly how to respond.

Today in “Jesus Calling” by Sarah Young (10/26)

Come to Me when you are hurting, and I will soothe your pain. Come to Me when you are joyful, and I will share your Joy, multiplying it many times over. I am All you need, just when you need it. Your deepest desires find fulfillment in Me alone.

This is the age of self-help. Bookstores abound with books about “taking care of number one,” making oneself the center of all things. The main goal of these methodologies is to become self-sufficient and confident. You, however, have been called to take a “road less traveled”: continual dependence on Me. True confidence comes from knowing you are complete in My Presence. Everything you need has its counterpart in Me.

“I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5, NASB95)

“And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” (James 1:4, NASB95)

Today’s blog is written in honor of Cathy Lee, a woman of God through whom people knew the constant watch care and sacrificial giving of our Lord

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