Monday, April 4, 2011

Jesus is All the World to Me

This is Grammie's favorite song. She wants all her kids and grandkids and great grandkids - well anyone who is able to sing it at her funeral - to do so. I have listened to it over and over, and I love the words. This showed who Jesus was to Grammie. He was her faithful friend. What a testimony of her faith and the faithfulness of Jesus to us!

You can pause the playlist at the bottom of my page to listen to this song--

Sunday, April 3, 2011

He has set eternity in our hearts.....

The events of this past week have left me in many ways at a loss for words, and on the other hand my brain is overflowing with thoughts. Thoughts about life, God and wouldn't you know it, many other things. Yesterday I went to the funeral of my step aunt Cheryl Bratt. It was beautiful. She was such a servant of Jesus. Her soul's desire was to be obedient to Christ, whatever he asked, and to know Him more. Everywhere she went she loved on people and shared Christ with them. That was evident by all who attended her service. She died on Monday suddenly after a short illness. It doesn't make sense to me, so tragic. And yet, nothing is circumstancial in the life of a believer. God is Sovereign. And I think of the day today being April 3rd. Esther was due today. I feel the normal sadness that I do everyday, but in a way, because God IS Sovereign, I kind of feel different about today. Yes, in the first trimester we planned on having a baby this day, but then things changed. God's plan was different. He was to take her straight to Heaven at 26 weeks. So her story was not to involve being born and living on this earth. So strangely, today doesn't feel as bad as I thought it would. And i don't want to make it into something its not. It also could be that I have experienced more death in the past weeks that has distracted me and made me even more focused on eternity. I am thankful that God gave her to us for the short time that He did, and we will get to spend eternity with her! This life is so fleeting. I woke up this morning and opened my Bible to Ecclesiastes 3. This chapter has left me with so much peace as I try to make sense of life......and death. And this is what I have come up with. I don't understand............and I never will. And really that is just fine with me. My view of God is bigger because I will not understand. But HE is in charge and He is good. Period. His ways are higher than ours, and His thoughts are not our thoughts, therefore we will not be able to comprehend. In Ecclesiastes 3:11, God speaks through Solomon and says, "He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end." I will NEVER be satisfied with earthly pleasures and pursuits, because God has created me and set eternity in my heart. I believe he has used the loss in my life to make me care less and less about earthly things. God is everything. I will not be satisfied with anything else. And its interesting as I read Ecc. 3:1-8. I love it because it reminds me of Grammie. She always said, there is a time to come and a time to go. Ecc. 3 says: "There is a time for everything. A time to weep and a time to laugh; A time to mourn and a time to dance. " I used to think that life should be all good and happy; and when it wasn't, I just thought something was wrong, and I just lived in a funk until I was happy again. I have now experienced the "dance" as I have heard it called, of mourning and joy. The two can coexist and through this season I have experienced that. I feel the sadness and the breaking hearts for my family who lost their mom, and for the sadness I feel of losing my Grammie, and still grieving for Esther, and yet I feel hopeful, and joyful. That HAS to come from God. I think that is the reward we experience from Jesus as we press in through the pain. We mourn, and we grieve and we question, but we are still turned to Christ and look to Him. He is our only Hope. HE knows that we are in pain, and we should be. When we love, and then lose, we hurt, dare I say, experience agony! Don't mask it or hide it or pretend we aren't in pain. The pastor shared yesterday, and we also have talked about this in Griefshare, there are more psalms about lament and mourning than there are about praise! What does that tell us? Be free to mourn, and grieve and cry out to God. That is the ticket I think. He is there with us in our pain. In His word, God tells us that we will have trouble, but take heart! I have overcome the world! There it is. Its not that God has led us to believe that things are going to be good all the time, and then its not, so crap! now what? No. He tells us we will have trouble. But the bottom line is, "Take heart! (Exclamation point, i love that.) He has overcome the world. Praise the Lord!