Words of Comfort and hope in a time of Bereavement
|A Higher Purpose
|| ecause we live in a fallen world, life inevitably includes sorrow.
When sin entered the human race, it brought death, physical
death and spiritual death with all the accompanying ramifications.
Death or loss of anything we value causes grief. However, God
has a higher purpose for His people, and He is faithful to use our most painful times to mature us, to draw us into closer dependence on Him.
Facing your feelings
| The Secret
|esus was a strong man in a new way. He was at once very weak
& very strong. He was not ashamed to shed tears over Jerusalem,
whom He wanted to gather like a hen her chicks; He was not
afraid to weep publicly at the raising of Lazarus; and He was not
afraid to show His agony in Gethsemane. All this did not make for a"strong"
man in the worldly sense. Yet Jesus' love was so strong that He was able to
suffer the most terrible pain and godforsakenness and in His strength He completed the task given Him by his Father. In True weakness we become
powerless and in true powerlessness we find strength. That is the secret.
J. Heinrich Arnold
|Easter Message 2008
|n his farewell discourse, Jesus announced his imminent death
and resurrection to his disciples with these mysterious words:
"I go away, and I will come to you". Dying is a "going away".
In the case of our own death, the "going away is definitive,
there is no return. For Jesus, on the other hand, his going ushers in a
completely new and greater way of being present. By dying he enters
into the love of the Father. His dying is an act of love. Love however is immortal. Therefore, His going away is transformed into a new coming, in-
to a form of presence which reaches deeper and does not come to an end.
Pope Benedict XVI
Easter Vigil Homily 2008
| God Handles Our Frustration
The Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces...
Isaiah 25:8 (NKJV)
||hough we know God is not to blame for any death, so many
times it seems that He turns a blind eye by allowing His
permissive will to occur. He stands dead-center when we are
looking for a target. I'm convinced that God loves us so much
that He is willing to take the blame, to absorb our anger when we need a punching bag. I think He'd rather us yelling at Him than not speaking at all.
| God Listens
|ou can talk to God because God listens. Your voice matters in
Heaven. He takes you very seriously. When you enter His
presence, the attendants turn to you to hear your voice. No need
to fear that you will be ignored. Even if you stammer or stumble,
even if what you have to say impresses no one, It impresses God and He
listens... Intently. Carefully. Prayers are honored as precious jewels. Purified
and empowered, the words rise in a delightful fragrance to Our Lord. Your
words don't stop until they reach the very throne of God.
The Great House of God
| Learning Through Trials
|ffliction can be a means of refining and of purification.
Many a life has come forth from the furnace of affliction more
beautiful and more useful. We might never have had the songs
of Fanny Crosby had she not been afflicted with blindness..The
"Hallelujah Chorus" was written by Handel when he was poverty stricken and suffering from a paralyzed right side and right arm. David said, "Before I was afflicted I went astray: but now I have kept Thy word" (Psalm 119:67 KJV).
We learn through the trials we are called upon to bear.
Unto the Hills
| He Never Leaves Us
|ear Risen Lord, How hard it is to see clearly when devastating
circumstances fill my eyes with tears. How blurry everything
gets. Even You get blurry, and the sound of Your voice becomes
strangely unfamiliar. Help me to blink away those tears to see
that You are standing beside me, wanting to know why I am crying...
wanting to know where it hurts.. wanting to wipe away every tear from my
eyes. Thank you, Jesus, for being there, for never leaving me or forsaking
me, even in the darkest and chilliest hours of my life.
Intimate Moments with the Saviour
| Grieving Is A Process
Weeping may last the night, but a shout of joy comes in the morning
Psalm 30:5 (NASB)
|rieving is a process, not an address.
Because we have experienced loss doesn't mean we should set
up house with it. When we're willing to let the Lord do some
internal surgery and then work through the recovery time, we
will eventually enter the lighter & brighter season of spring.
Under his wings
| These Small Candles
|here is not enough darkness in all the world
to put out the light of one small candle....
This inscription was found on a small, new gravestone after a
devastating air raid on Britain in World War II. Some thought it
must be a famous quotation, but it wasn't. The words were written by a
lonely old Lady whose pet had been killed by a Nazi bomb. I have always remembered those words, not so much for their poetry & imagery as for the truth they contain. In moments of discouragement, defeat or even despair,
there are always certain things to cling to.Little things, usually: remembered
laughter, the face of a sleeping child, a tree in the wind or a memory of
something deeply felt or dearly loved. No man is so poor as not to have
many of these small candles. When they are lit darkness goes away...and
a touch of wonder remains.
A Touch of Wonder
| Dealing With Regrets
|omeone once said that the greatest part of grief is regret.
Regret includes sorrow and remorse, & has to do with unfinished
business this side of the grave. Since those of us still living on
earth cannot experience Paradise except in brief glints, part of
our task after someone we love dies is to clean up the regrets. Because
regret is a many-pronged thing (remorse over something we did or didn't do, sorrow that time with your loved one was cut short, regret that the dying
one suffered) the main component of regret, as well as the ticket for
working through it is forgiveness. For us who are left behind, we must
forgive others for the circumstances of the death, forgive the loved one for
leaving us, & forgive ourselves for an imperfect relationship with the one
who has died.
| Time To Weep
Burried under the biggest burden is a
good place to find an even bigger blessing... (Janette Oke)
|f you are experiencing grief for any reason, allow yourself time
to mourn and weep. If you try to hold in your tears and ignore
your pain, there may be serious problems later. God gave us
tears to shed in grief, an outpouring of our inner pain. When
were hurting there are two extremes to avoid. One extreme is to block our emotions, determined that we never care so much that we can be hurt that
way again. It is unhealthy to block our emotions to protect ourselves...The
other extreme is to become so consumed by grief that nothing else matters.
The best thing to do is to get back into the normal process of life again.
Facing your feelings
| God Loves You
|od has been intimately acquainted with each human soul since
the beginning of time. He looks upon the world and sees billions
of individuals, one at a time. Each heart, each mind, each soul.
He knows them personally. Intimately. Because He fashioned
each one individually.So when your heart is full of joy, bursting with pleasure over an accomplishment or a deepened relationship or a conquered hurt, He feels it too. And when your heart hurts because someone has wounded it or
you've disappointed yourself by he way you acted, He feels it, too.Out of
the billions of other souls in the world, God sees you. He knows you. He
loves you. And He's willing and able to help you.
What the Psalmist Is Saying To You Today
| Trust And Believe
Save me, O God, for the waters have come up to my neck
|hy is it so so hard to believe Christ and trust him completely?
Christ wants to give us His life and spirit and if we look to Him
for only a moment, our hearts will tell us: Here is One we can
trust. Yet each of us knows feelings of fear and anxiety.
Something in us seeks Christ, and at the same time something in us wants to serve self and is unwilling to surrender to Him completely. But that is what
we must do, for the Gospel says "trust and believe."
J. Heinrich Arnold
| In The Midst Of Our Pain
|ometimes the materials God provides are things of beauty,...
and sometimes they are things which break our hearts, not gifts
in the same sense that Almighty God decrees the evil and
suffering of the world (we only know that He allowed it, we don't
know why), but gifts in that He gives to us Himself, His presence, His never failing love in the midst of our pain. We may offer up those very pains, those inexplicable catastrophes that battle us to silence. We may even give
Him our broken hearts, for the sacrifices of God, we are told, are "a broken
spirit, a broken and a contrite heart." All of it, the gladness and the sorrow,
material for sacrifice, given "day by day without fail." For one who has made
thanksgiving the habit of his life, the morning prayer will be:
"Lord, what will you give me today to offer back to You?"
Love has a price tag
| God Promises Mercy
|hen a person reacts positively to a tragedy, thats a miracle. Psalm
23 concludes with the glorious line: "Surely goodness and mercy
shall follow me all the days of my life." That's God's way of saying
that life will often be filled with goodness, but that even when
God's goodness can't be seen, His mercy can be experienced. In the midst
of tears, heartbreak, enormous loss and a terrible sorrow, suddenly a sweet mood, like a gentle kiss,will touch your wounded heart. That experience is
called mercy. It comes as an expression of God's love. The good news I have
for you is: God promises mercy adequate enough to meet any tragedy.
The Be Happy Attitudes
|Easter Message 2010
|n ancient Jewish legend from the apocryphal book: "The life of
Adam and Eve" lays bare the whole of humanity's anguish at the
destiny of illness, pain and death that has been imposed upon us.
Man's resistance to death becomes evident,- somewhere people
have constantly thought; there must be some cure for death. Sooner or later
it should be possible to find the remedy not only for this or that illness, but
for our ultimate destiny - for death itself. Surely the medicine of immortality
must exist. Indeed the cure for death does exist. Christ is the tree of life,
once more within our reach. If we remain close to him, then we have life.
Hence during this night of ressurection, with all our hearts we shall sing the
alleluia, the song of joy that has no need of words.Joy cannot be commanded
,it can only be given. The risen Lord gives us joy: true life. We are already
held forever in the love of the One to whom all power in Heaven and on
earth has been given.
Pope Benedict XVI
Easter Vigil Homily, 2010
| Faith And Tears
No one can travel down the road of our wounds for us..
Robert A. Williams
|oesn't faith dry all tears? Religious people sometimes mishandle
their own grief and the grief of others by thinking that faith and
tears don't mix. A sturdy faith in God and a firm belief in the
promise of life eternal, this reason, should keep us from weeping
or giving way to grief. But grief is not a denial of faith. The shortest verse
in the Bible is found in John 11:35. It states simply: "Jesus wept."
Haddon W. Robinson
| Banishing Worry
|he very best prescription for banishing worry is found in Psalm 37:5
"Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in Him; and He shall bring
it to pass." Think of the things you do not worry about. Perhaps you
never worry about whether you'll be able to get water out of the
faucet in your kitchen, or maybe you do not worry about a tree falling on your house. Now ask yourself why you do not worry about such things. Is it because,
in the case of running water, it has always been there every time you wanted
it, or that a tree has never fallen on your house before? Certainty breeds
trust, doesn't it? We can be just as certain and just as worry-free about God's
love, protection and provision because He has never gone back on a single one
of His promises. He never changes. Great is His fathfulness.
Unto The Hills
| In You, Not Around You
Look at what you've left in your life; never look at what you've lost.
|ll of us have wondered at times why God doesn't do more to fix
our problems. But our human eyes often fail to see that God isn't
rushing to change our circumstances because He is concerned
with a much more serious problem, our character. While you
struggle with the woes of this world, God's main occupation is preparing you
for the world to come. The focus of what God is doing in your life takes place
in you, not around you.
Like A Rock
| A Place Of Healing
|here is someone who hears our hearts and understands even our
unformed thoughts. Christ is that One. He woos us, and He waits
for us to come to Him. With arms outstretched like open wings,
He welcomes us. In this life we need a hiding place, and Christ
offers us that, a place of comfort, a place of healing, but not a place of painlessness. There will come a day for each of us when...we will reside
where He presides and hiding won't be necessary, for we will be home...at
last. Finally, we will be in a place where our tears will dry, our pain will pass,
our hearts will heal and we won't ever need to hide again, not from ourselves,
not from each other and, Hallelujah, not from the One who knows us the best
and loves us the most.
Under His Wings
| God's Strength
|ature is God's workshop. The sky is His resume. The universe
is His calling card. You want to know who God is? See what He
has done. You want to know his power? Take a look at His
creation. Curious about His strength? Pay a visit to His home
address: 1 Billion Starry Sky Avenue. Want to know His size? Step out into
the night and stare at the starlight emitted one million years ago... What
controls you doesn't control Him. What troubles you doesn't trouble Him.
What fatigues you doesn't fatigue Him..."What is impossible with man is
possible with God." (Matt. 19:26).
The Great House Of God
| A little Place Of Sunshine
What you look for in life...you will surely find.
But the direction in which you look is up to you.
|o know that I have helped someone a little or made a day brighter
will make my own work easier and cause the sun to shine on the
dark days, for we all have them. Tis then a little place of sunshine
in the heart helps mightly. And there is nothing that puts so much
brightness there as having helped someone else.
Laura Ingalls Wilder
Words from a fearless heart
| Love And Trust
|e have been shown the way of acceptance on every page of the
life of Jesus.It sprang from love and from trust. He set His face like
a flint toward Jerusalem. He took up the Cross of His own will. No
one could take his life from Him. He deliberately laid it down. He
calls us to take up our Crosses. That is a different thing from capitulation or resignation. It is a glad and voluntary YES to the conditions we meet on our journey with Him, because these are the conditions He wants us to share
with Him. Events are the Sacraments of the Will of God, that is, they are
visable signs of an invisable reality. These provide the very place where we
may learn to love and trust. Heaven waits for our responce.
The Path of Loneliness
| Look For The Best
|he stone beside me marked the resting place of somebody's
BELOVED WIFE who died in 1865 of A FEVER. Beneath her name
was a line of script, almost indistinguishable. I looked closer,
wondering which biblical phrase her grieving children might have
chosen. But it was not a quotation; it was a statement: EVER SHE SOUGHT THE BEST, EVER FOUND IT. Eight words. I stood there with my fingers on the cool stone, feeling the present fade and the past stir behind the illusion we call
time. A century ago this woman had been living through a hideous war.
Perhaps it took her husband from her, perhaps her sons. When it ended her
country was beaten, broken, impoverished. She must have known humiliation,
tasted despair. Yet someone knew her had written that she always looked
for the best, and always found it.
A Touch of Wonder
| A Part Of Life
|he master musician knows that suffering precedes glory and
acclaim. He knows the hours, days and months of grueling practice
and self sacrifice that precede the one hour of perfect rendition
when his efforts are applauded. The master craftsman knows that
years of work, sacrifice, and suffering as an apprentice precede his being promoted to the master of his trade. The student knows that the years of
study, self denial and commitment precede the triumphant day of graduation
with honors... The Bible teaches that suffering is a part of life for us in a
sinful world. Paul said, "For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time
are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us."
(Romans 8:18 KJV).
Unto the Hills
| God Is In Control
Bad news won't bother them; they have decided to trust the Lord.
(Psalm 112:7 CEV)
|eople who walk closely, steadily with God do not fear the future.
Even when bad news comes, they can accept it. That doesn't mean
they won't have emotions about it, sadness, anger, even despair.
But they know there is no need to fear, even in the face of
disaster, because they trust God. They know God is in control of All things.
God can work all things for the good. So when even terrible circumstances
erupt around them, their immediate reaction is to jump into God's arms and
let Him carry them.
What the Psalmist Is Saying to You Today
| Christian Hope
|he belief that love can reach into the afterlife, that reciprocal
giving and receiving is possible, in which our affection for one
another continues beyond the limits of death - this has been a
fundamental conviction of Christianity throughout the ages and
it remains a source of comfort today. Who would not feel the need to
convey to their departed loved ones a sign of kindness, a gentle gesture of
gratitude or even a request for pardon? Our lives are involved with one
another, through innumerable interactions they are linked together. It is
never too late to touch the heart of another, nor is it ever in vain. Our hope
is always essentially also hope for others; only thus is it hope for me too.
As Christians we should never limit ourselves to asking: How can I save
myself? We should also ask: What can I do in order that others can be saved
and that for them too the star of hope may rise? Then I will have done my
utmost for my own personal salvation as well.
Pope Benedict XVITaken from "Encyclical Spe Salvi" on Christain Hope 2007.