Archive for March, 2013

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Helpful Words On Grief

March 15, 2013

“The tears…streamed down, and I let them flow as freely as they would, making of them a pillow for my heart. On them it rested”. – St. Augustine Confessions 

I’ve found the words written below on grief to be very meaningful. They come from Lament For A Son by Nicholas Wolterstorff. Wolterstorff lost his 25 year old son in a tragic hiking accident. Here are some of his thoughts written down during his grieving process.

What We Can Learn

“We took him too much for granted. Perhaps we all take each other too much for granted. The routines of life distract us; our own pursuits make us oblivious; our anxieties and sorrows, unmindful. The beauties of the familiar go unremarked. We do not treasure each other enough.

He was a gift to us for twenty-five years. When the gift was snatched away, I realized how great it was. Then I could not tell him….I didn’t know how much I loved him until he was gone. Is love like that?” (pg. 13).

What To Say

“What do you say to someone who is suffering? Some people are gifted with words of wisdom. For such, one is profoundly grateful. There were many such for us. But not all are gifted in that way. Some blurted out strange, inept things. That’s OK too.

Your words don’t have to be wise. The heart that speaks is heard more than the words spoken. And if you can’t think of anything to say, just say, ‘I can’t think of anything to say. But I want you to know that we are with you in your grief’. Or even, just embrace. Not even the best of words can take away the pain. What words can do is testify that here is more than pain in our journey on earth to a new day. Of those things that are more, the greatest is love. Express you love.

How appallingly grim must be the death of a child in the absence of love. But please: Don’t say it’s not really that bad. Because it is. Death is awful, demonic. If you think your task as a comforter is to tell me that really, all things considered, it’s not so bad, you do not sit with me in my grief but place yourself off in the distance away from me. Over there, you are of no help. What I need to hear from you is that you recognize how painful it is. I need to hear from you that you are with me in my desperation. To comfort me, you have to come close. Come sit beside me on my mourning bench” (pg. 34).

Our Hope

“To believe in Christ’s rising from the grave is to accept it as a sign of our rising from our graves. If for each of us it was our destiny to be obliterated, and for all of us together it was our destiny to fade away without a trace, then not Christ’s rising but my dear son’s early dying would be the logo of our fate.

Slowly I begin to see something more as well. To believe in Christ’ rising and death’s dying is also to live with the power and the challenge to rise up now from all our dark graves of suffering love. If sympathy for the world’s wounds is not enlarged by our anguish, if love for those around us is not expanded, if gratitude for what is good does not flame up, if insight is not deepened, if commitment to what is important is not strengthened, if aching for a new day is not intensified, if hope is weakened and faith is diminished, if from the experience of death comes nothing good, then death has won. Then death, be proud.

So I shall struggle to live the reality of Christ’s rising and death’s dying. In my living, my son’s dying will not be the last word” (pg. 92).

Amen.

 

 

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Hope in Hardship

March 14, 2013

Loss

This week at Calvary we are grieving the sudden loss of a 14 year old boy. His name is Brian. Here is what I want to say from the bottom of my heart to all the young people in our city and our church impacted by his loss.

Hope

Here is what I want you to know. You don’t have to live like your current life is your forever life. It’s not. It can be your former life because through a relationship with Jesus there are new beginnings.

Don’t let a dark today cast a long shadow over all of your tomorrows. A bad day doesn’t guarantee a bad week, a bad week doesn’t necessitate a bad month, a bad month doesn’t demand a bad year and a bad year doesn’t imply a bad high school career. Your today doesn’t have to determine your tomorrow. As I’ve heard it said, ‘today is not forever’.

If it feels like grieve or sadness has kicked in the front door of your house painting all of the walls in various shades of gray and black talk to a friend; but also seek out a parent, or a counselor.

Reach out to God. Don’t ever buy the lie that we come from nothing only to go to nothing; that we are insignificant, inconsequential, the result of accidental atoms in a cold, vast uncaring universe.

You are more than that and you were made for more than that – you were made to know God and be loved by God. You are not an accident; accidents don’t produce artistry and that is what you are – God’s poem, God’s artwork, God’s masterpiece.

And on a dark today there is always a brighter tomorrow with Jesus.

I know it is hard to see past the present. The past and the present always feel more real than the future. In this very moment, however, invite the God of the universe to draw near to you; invite God to heal your past, change your present and provide hope for your future.

Your former life, and your current life isn’t your forever life- God has plans and purposes for you.

Trust him.

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My Savior’s Hand

March 7, 2013

Below is a Guest Post by Five Loaves and Two Fishes. Enjoy!

MY SAVIOR’S HAND

That day He found me, I remember well,

My story of Hope, I’ll forever tell.

Perfect Love, it would not rest,

He held me fast and my life was blest.

That day He found me, He made me stand,

Upon His promises and my Savior’s Hand.

Amazing Grace this sinner did see,

Where would I be, had He not found me?

My Jesus ransomed me a heavy price:

His own Blood and His own Sacrifice.

Faithful and True, is this Perfect Man!

I declare with tears in my Savior’s Hand.

And yet He may lead me where trials are,

I’ll trust my Jesus, my Bright Morning Star.

For in the eye of the storm, I see His Face,

His Hands – they still me in His embrace.

My Jesus never fails and I trust His plan,

I know I’m safe, here in my Savior’s Hand.

Some day my eyes will close at last,

And I’ll awake to my Jesus and to hold Him fast.

Is there another Joy that could compare?

But to be with Him and with Him alone there?

My Immanuel, my Prince-of-Peace in that Promised Land,

And so I’ll rest forever in my Savior’s Hand.

 

– FiveLoavesTwoFish –