Tuesday, December 16, 2014

"If I become angry at God 
something terrible has happened,
I'm basically saying 
that having (my loved one back) is my supreme good 
God only exists to be the errand boy
to give me what I want, 
and He hasn't delivered." 

David Powlison

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Grieving a Loss by Nancy Guthrie

Nancy Guthrie shares her story of the loss of her two children in this video. Please listen to the end of the video where some of her best advice is given. I appreciate this woman's ministry so much and was blessed by so many things she shared in this video!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Talk to your tears by Pastor John Piper

May those who sow in tears
reap with shouts of joy!
He that goes forth weeping,
bearing the seed for sowing,
shall come home with shouts of joy,
bringing his sheaves with him.
There is nothing sad about sowing seed. It takes no more work than reaping. The days can be beautiful. There can be great hope of harvest. Yet the psalm speaks of “sowing in tears.” It says that someone “goes forth weeping, bearing the seed for sowing.” So why are they weeping?

I think the reason is not that sowing is sad, or that sowing is hard. I think the reason has nothing to do with sowing. Sowing is simply the work that has to be done even when there are things in life that make us cry. The crops won’t wait while we finish our grief or solve all our problems. If we are going to eat next winter we must get out in the field and sow the seed whether we are crying or not.

This psalm teaches the tough truth that there is work to be done whether I am emotionally up for it or not; and it is good for me to do it. Suppose you are in a blue funk and it is time to sow seed. Do you say, “I can’t sow the field this spring, because I am in a blue funk.” If you do that you will not eat in the winter.

But suppose you say, “I am in a blue funk. I cry if the milk runs out at breakfast. I cry if the phone and doorbell ring at the same time. I cry for no reason at all. But the field needs to be sowed. That is the way life is. I do not feel like it, but I will take my bag of seeds and go out in the fields and do my crying while I do my duty. I will sow in tears.”

If you do that, the promise of the psalm is that “you will reap with shouts of joy.” You will “come home with shouts of joy, bringing your sheaves with you.” Not because the tears of sowing produce the joy of reaping, but because the sheer sowing produces the reaping, and you need to remember this even when your tears tempt you to give up sowing.

So here’s the lesson: When there are simple, straightforward jobs to be done, and you are full of sadness, and tears are flowing easily, go ahead and do the jobs with tears. Be realistic. Say to your tears: ‘Tears, I feel you. You make me want to quit life. But there is a field to be sown (dishes to be washed, car to be fixed, sermon to be written). I know you will wet my face several times today, but I have work to do and you will just have to go with me. I intend to take the bag of seeds and sow. If you come along then you will just have to wet the rows.”

Then say, on the basis of God’s word, ‘Tears, I know that you will not stay forever. The very fact that I just do my work (tears and all) will in the end bring a harvest of blessing. So go ahead and flow if you must. But I believe (I do not yet see it or feel it fully)—I believe that the simple work of my sowing will bring sheaves of harvest. And your tears will be turned to joy.”

Learning to sow steadfastly,
Pastor John

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Then they cried to the LORD 
in their trouble
and he delivered them 
from their distress.
Let them thank the LORD 
for his steadfast love,
for his wondrous works 
to the children of man!

Psalm 107:9 ESV

Monday, January 13, 2014

The Second Year

Lord, I have looked for answers in Your Word these past two years since my son passed away. You have given tremendous comfort and help. I will praise you for it until my last breath! I pray Heavenly Father for every person reading the following words that they would be encouraged to turn to your Word to find comfort, peace and help in their time of need. You will not disappoint. You are God and our hope is found in no one else except your Son Jesus Christ and it's in His name I pray!  Amen.

As Christians we are taught that God never leaves us. But, it's not until you are hit with some of life's hardest trials that you realize these Truths found in God's Word are the only safe anchor you can hold onto in the storms of life.  

"I will never leave you nor forsake you." Hebrews 13:5

God's Word is LIVING and POWERFUL and able to discern the thoughts and intentions of our hearts. No counselor or psychiatrist can claim that promise.

The word of God is ...

~ JUDGES the thoughts 
~ JUDGES the purposes of the heart
~ PROFITABLE for teaching
~ PROFITABLE for training in righteousness
~ PROFITABLE for reproof
~ a LAMP to my feet
~ a LIGHT to my path
~ Written for our INSTRUCTION
~ The Word of God is JESUS!!!

I've depended on God's Word as much, if not more, this past year than the previous one. There have been several times when I let my guard down and I did not keep a close watch over my thoughts. Each of those times was a sure path to darkness. I need God's grace each and every day to think on things that are TRUE and to cast down those imaginations that are not. 

(2 Corinthians 10:5, Philippians 4:8)

 YOUR word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. Psalm 119:105 ESV

I think of the above scripture often and picture a lamp being lit in a jet black dark room. That dark room reminds me of the depression that tried to cling to me after my son's death. As I hold the lamp close the light shines in front of my feet and I'm able to see which way to go. It warns me of the pitfalls and the places I might stumble. It makes my way easier to see. I take one step and then another always keeping my eyes focused on the path where the light is shining. That is what God's Word has done for me these past 2 years. When my way seemed dreadfully dark and I felt as if I couldn't see the next step then His Word lit a path for my feet. Oh how I love His Word

How grateful I am for friends who know God's Word and have ministered to me over the past 2 years. I've also made several new friends who have lost children to suicide. We are able to understand each others situation but it’s Jesus who knows my heart. He sympathizes with my weaknesses. He is a man acquainted with grief and sorrows. He can minister to me through His Word at a level that no one else can for He knows my thoughts even before I do. How clear this has become the past two years. When I've felt that I was drowning in regret or guilt and the enemy’s accusations seemed more than I could bare it was God's Word that spoke to my heart. Wonderful, sweet peace. 

You see, today is the 2nd year since my youngest son passed away. Although the knowledge that he is gone is with me daily... today I find myself reflecting on this past year and all God has ministered to me. 

The intensity of the waves of grief have lessened but still there are those times that will sideswipe from out of nowhere. A song or memory can spark such intense emotions. I wish I could say that I've reached that point where my mind immediately thinks of happy times when I think of my son. I've heard people say that they do reach this point. I'm working on it. I practice it. But, the first thoughts are normally ones of deep sadness. Sadness that he chose to leave this world, sadness that he chose to leave those who loved him.

As I think back over this past year the beauty of God’s Word dominates above the sadness and I've experienced the power it has to bring hope and peace. This life is unpredictable and we never know what a day holds but there is one thing that is unchanging and that is God's Word. Through it I have continued to learn more about my God, my beloved Jesus and His love that endures forever. 

Hebrews 4:12, 2 Timothy 3:16-17, Psalm 119:105, Romans 15:4, Mark 13:31, John 1:1