Thoughts on Life and Death

The plight of a middle aged woman… a new season is upon me. I’ve blogged quite a bit on it recently. My life is transitioning. I’ve went from minivans, toddlers, chauffeuring the kids to summer swimming lessons… to a sports car, kids in their 20’s (one teenager left), and spending the morning at the bedside of my mother in love in long term care as she lies here going through her own transitions as well battling the final stages of cancer.

Watching her as she steps one by one into the final stages of death has brought me to a place of great contemplation. (There’s plenty of time to think as you sit in the quiet watching someone breathe). When I was younger I was fairly certain I was the master of my destiny, or at least I had a pretty good say over it. Do everything just right, speak the right words, confess the right scriptures, and do the right stuff. Things will go my way and I will change my world. It’s easy when you’re in the middle of building your life: cars, houses, careers, kids, etc. Making decisions and taking action to forget how much you actually control. It’s funny, (not ha ha funny) that we can so quickly forget what we actually control until pain comes, tragedy strikes, or we sit watching a loved one slip away into eternity. The list of all the things we think we are in control of dwindles down to little or nothing. Thankfully God truly does control it all.

I’ve often objected to such a view of God because I felt it reduced me to nothing more than a pawn in God’s chess game of life. The older I get, I see the comfort of knowing that God truly has every aspect of my life in His hands.

It’s easy, as the self made woman, when things are going my way, to feel good about my smart decisions, my fortunate circumstances, and how I deserve to pat my own back. When it all falls apart, I look around wondering where God was and why He didn’t bail me out. Questions and mistrust come in the wake of such circumstances. Knowing that God is in control in both the good and the bad, the big things and the little, brings peace. Because I am sure that the same God who values my life enough to send His son to die and pay the price for it, is the same God who values me and my broken heart more than I could ever know when I walk through pain and sorrow. He doesn’t leave me or forsake me. He has all this and eventually it will turn around for my good. Even if “my good” is leaving behind my temporary home, my body, by dying. It is then I receive my eternal body, my eternal home, The ultimate good in store for those who are in Christ.

Sitting here today has brought to mind that it would do me good to not be so attached to all the things here. I am passing through. The focus that brings peace is a life centered on the Holy One, Jesus, who assures me that this earth is not the end all. He has went away to prepare a place for me so where He is I can be there also.

Even though there is much here I love about my life and many more joys I plan to experience here, this cannot compare to Heaven. This life I live right now is just the prelude to the “Masterpiece of Heaven” God has written for my life to play a part in. For my mother in love, lying in front of me, the full orchestra of her life has only heard the tap of the conductor’s baton. The beauty of the Eternal Concert in Heaven has barely begun.

(Much comfort was found looking at this book that was placed in my Mother in Love’s hospice room.”Hope in the Dark” by Bart Larson. Years ago I knew Bart’s wife. I knew he was a hospice chaplain. That piqued my interest. It is where I found these quotes. Once again God weaves the details of our lives together. It is a good read.)

Pour Out Your Heart to Him- He Already Knows What’s Inside

I’ve often thought that the Psalms of David in the Bible are perfect examples of how God does not expect us to live in denial for the sake of “Faith”. David had this way of taking the good, the bad, and the ugly to God. At times, his writings were gut wrenchingly honest. He told God about his fears, his doubts, his trials, his anger, etc…and still God commended David not for how perfect his faith was, but how in all things David pursued Him and was “a man after God’s own heart.”

This morning I have been contemplating Psalm 62:8.

I am a “stuffer”. I’ve been one for a long time. Adversity hits and I try my best to push down the feelings that arise from dealing with it. I’m not British, but the whole “stiff upper lip” thing would be my mantra if I could only achieve it, but quite honestly, that isn’t working so well for me. Apparently “stuffing” oozes out after awhile, whether it be in depression or anxiety, or both. After awhile it begins to take it’s toll. It’s the little things, like lack of sleep, loss of interest in activities, etc. that start to add up to the big things and boom, you’re overwhelmed. That is where David’s words written thousands of years ago offers wisdom for a “stuffer” like me. “Pour out your heart to Him”.

I’m not sure what makes the proposition of telling God exactly what you’re feeling so scary. He already knows it. He’s God. Letting it out and leaving it in the open gives Him the opportunity to work with it. Stuffed away it is held on tightly by ourselves and He’s not going to barge in and rip it from our hands to work with it.

Mark 9:14-29 is an account of a man who brings his tormented son to Jesus. He had brought the boy to Jesus’ disciples prior, and they were unable to deliver him from the demons that haunted him. The man says something that does not fit comfortably in the circles of some schools of thought regarding faith. He says, “If you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.” to Jesus. Jesus responds with, “If you can?… Everything is possible for one who believes.” The man then says, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” I don’t know how many times I have sat in this man’s shoes. I’ve tried everything I know to fix a situation on my own. I find myself at Jesus’ feet, wanting to say “If you can do anything, take pity on us and help us”. All the while, I know Jesus can do anything. I believe, but I need help to overcome my unbelief. The comfort I find is that in this man’s honesty he did not find Jesus turning him away saying, “You didn’t believe right. I cannot do anything for you.” Instead, Jesus cast the spirit out of the boy and brought wholeness and healing to a seemingly helpless situation. The man “poured out his heart” to Jesus. He did not hide what was inside, and Jesus responded.

The words of Paul in Philippians 4:6-7 have been rolling around in my heart as well this week.

The Passion Translation really struck a chord in me, “Tell Him every detail of your life, then God’s wonderful peace that transcends human understanding, will make the answers known to you through Jesus Christ.” “Tell Him every detail…” that includes the areas of struggle, fear, anxiety, anger, bitterness, etc. Letting God in on everything, letting the “stuffing” out is the key to peace and answers for the struggles and questions we face.

Tough times are upon us: Nationally, Spiritually, and the daily stuff as well. To be honest, tough times are upon me. Denying the struggle does not make it go away, but taking every aspect, “every detail” to God and telling Him is the key. Letting the feelings out so I can let Him in: His answers, His peace. It is only at that point that I can experience God the way David did, as a “refuge” from the storm and the winds of adversity that blow and rest in His peace.

“There Was Jesus”

July 2nd 1984, 36 years ago at a small church camp, Camp Sharon, was where I had my awakening. It was where I suddenly became aware of God’s desire, not just for me to give my life to Him, but my awakening to His desire for me to be close to Him. It all started when He began calling to me to let Him have everything, my plans, my life, my hurts, etc.

For an 8th grade girl, I’m sure I had become quite a surprise to those around me. I wanted to do this relationship right, and I wasn’t sure how to get there. I went to the local Christian Bookstore and bought a book that talked about how to have a relationship with God. It covered praying and reading the Bible. It said I should read 10 chapters of the Bible a day. So that is what I did. I wanted to experience God. Not just know about Him. I would spend hours in my room reading the Bible and praying. It was such a surprising response that my mom, a faithful Christian, was worried about just how much I was reading and pursuing. She was afraid that I would burn out on it. I was just HUNGRY. Hungry to know more of that feeling of peace and love I felt kneeling and uncontrollably sobbing in the sawdust near the altars of an outdoor church camp tabernacle. I remember telling God, “If you really want me you can have me.” It’s funny how much I didn’t understand. “really want me”?!?! He wanted me so much He walked the lonely road of Calvary and died on a cross to make a relationship with me possible. He tugged at my heart so heavily that night at camp that no matter how hard I tried to walk away, I couldn’t ignore it anymore. I’m so glad I didn’t! I left that time of prayer new and free and filled with joy!

Through the years I’ve had my “hot on fire, so close to you” relationship with God, and others I’ve had my “It’s getting cold, where are you at God?” relationship. I’ve had my times of feeling like I had it all together and understood it. I’ve had times when I understood that I will never have it together and I won’t ever understand life. 36 years that Jesus was right there. His Holy Spirit living inside of me gently speaking to me which way I should go even when on my own I couldn’t figure out the way.

Lately I’ve been listening to Zac William’s album “Rescue Story”. I kind of have a tendency to get stuck on a song that speaks to me. Surprisingly to me, the song that sticks out to me the most off that album is a duet with Dolly Parton. “There Was Jesus”.

It hits where I find myself as of late. I’ve been looking at where I am in my life, where I’ve been, and where I’m going. The thing about the lyrics of that song that sticks out to me is that no matter where we’ve been, no matter where we are, no matter where we go, “There Was Jesus”. So the days of blessing that I laugh and smile through, He’s there enjoying the times of joy with me. The days that I struggle to understand and see, He’s there holding me up showing me the next step to take. He’s there with me when I feel nothing. He’s there with me when I feel it all.

I’ve been pretty open on this blog about my struggles and questions. It’s kind of the outlet I’ve chosen to let what I’m think about on the inside come out. You all get a little picture of what I’ve been contemplating as you take the time to read my thoughts. Most of the time I am able to lay out “the good, the bad, and the ugly”, but somehow take the turn back to the only answer I’ve found that resonates inside of me, Jesus. Struggles that we all face, whether they be depression, anxiety, addictions, PTSD, abuse, disappointment, etc. only find meaning and healing when looked at in the light of the presence of the only one who has been there for it all, Jesus, the love of our souls. The only One who is able to speak peace into storms of life, bring the dead things that we’ve given up on back to life, take a broken, wrecked life and make it a masterpiece is Jesus.

I can analyze my hurts, categorize my issues- give them names, and get understanding. These aren’t altogether bad things to do, but I shouldn’t stop there. I need to take the tools I learn to deal with the things I struggle with, and go to Jesus asking Him to heal what only He can heal. Do my part and let Him do the rest.

He has proven Himself faithful. I can trust Him where I’m going, even when I cannot see.

“There was Jesus”.

Jesus is there. Jesus was there, Jesus will be there.

Life on this Potter’s Wheel (April 2011)

Sunshine today!! Finally! I can’t express how happy that made me feel. I went out to my place of contemplation, my driveway. My drive is 1/8 of a mile long. I can’t tell you how many trips up and down my drive I’ve made in the 12 years we’ve lived here. It’s been a place of solace when I’ve faced some of my toughest challenges. I’ve walked, thought, and prayed a lot on that stretch of gravel.

Today I was reflecting on just that. As I prayed, I thought about all the things that I’ve prayed about as I’ve walked up and down that drive: sanity to survive head lice on my tween daughter’s heads, grief overwhelming in the days following my father in law and nephew’s deaths 14 days apart, struggles of my adult kids in recent years, my family, my mind…

I remembered a poem I wrote in 2011 during the height of my father in laws struggle with cancer. It was a reflection on how our world spins round and round day after day, and here I sit on it. I am like a lump of clay on a spinning wheel. The pressures of life, unpleasant as they are at times, are shaping me and making me to the very thing I am supposed to be.

This whole Covid-19 thing wears on me at times. I’m probably watching the news a little too much. I’m not a fan of the changes to my life and schedule. Honestly the changes I feel are mild compared to the others in our world and nation that are suffering much worse than my mere inconveniences. My prayers ended on this note: “I’m not sure what you’re doing, and I’m not sure I like it. What exactly are you doing to me?” And like I always seem to conclude I came up with, “I don’t understand You or Your ways, but I know You are good. I will trust You.”

Life on this Potter’s Wheel – originally written April 2011

Life on the Potter’s Wheel

Is sometimes not fun at all

The tools You use to shape me

Dig deep as unholy falls.

You mold me and shape me

As I am sitting very still

My world seems unsettled

As I am turning on this Potter’s Wheel

Trusting and accepting

What You are making me to be

Is the crux of the battle

As I sit here while You’re molding me.

In the Hands of the Potter

Is the safest place I can be

He knows what He’s doing

Even when I can barely see.

Your strength and Your wisdom

Is making me what I should be.

I am thankful and comforted

As Your hands are molding me.

“Little Wonders” God’s Faithfulness

The Spacious Place Psalm 18

It’s been the first relatively warm/ sunshiny day here in my neck of the woods. So with my new found love for gardening and landscaping, I couldn’t wait to get outside and work on a few areas around the house. I’m actually amazed at just how excited I’m feeling about my daffodil bulbs I planted last fall coming up and the lilies behind them are too.

It occurred to me as I worked that there have been a lot of things in my life that didn’t turn out the way I thought they would. In fact, they have turned out far better. Me loving gardens is just one of the many surprises that have surprised me along the way. As I looked around our land and our house, I thought about growing up in a little house in a small town. I don’t really consider myself rich, but when I was a kid if I had seen my current house I would think I was. I grew up in town and had absolutely no desire to live in the country. I currently live in the country with no desire to go back to town. Things really do end up different than you think they will. There was a point in my life I thought for sure I’d be a full time missionary in a Latin American nation. I did a couple of short term trips during college but never did end up living in another country. I imagined at one time that the perfect family would be me, my sweetheart, and ten kids. I’m pretty sure four is the perfect number for me now. And thinking of where my sweetheart and I started, in a one bedroom apartment in a not so nice area of the city we lived in, with a roommate who lived in the living room, digging for change to go out and have some fun once and awhile. I’d say we’ve come a long way.

Not forgetting to mention the hard things I’ve went through. That I thought I would never recover from: loneliness, fear, family deaths, miscarriage, emotional and mental struggles. Plus the things that I fight now. All being put on a back burner of my mind as I’ve spent my day just enjoying what I have been given and living out from underneath the clouds that try to hover in my mind.

Years ago I watched a Disney movie “Meet the Robinsons” with my kids. That movie and the song “Little Wonders” by Rob Thomas always gets to me. The main theme of the movie is how a little boy grows up not really getting what he wanted all the time, his biological parents, but in the end he ends up with the family that was perfect for him. The song talks about how the ins and outs of our lives, even the stuff we see as bad, in the end brings us to a place that is good.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q6wZhd8M848&feature=share

I’ve found that true in my life. I give the credit to God. For some reason, I’m pretty sure it’s just because He loves me, He has brought me through a lot of things in my life both good and bad. Even though there were times I thought the journey was unbearable, He has brought me through.

I’ve made it around the sun 49 times in my life while riding on planet earths orbit of it. Today while taking a break I imagined my life being like a slide show quickly clicking through all its chapters. Some of the chapters happy some sad. Today’s chapter I’ve been writing is: “Me- The Happy Middle Aged Gardner/ New Grandma- Who’s Getting Close to an Empty Nest”. I’m thinking the slide show has been a good one so far. God has been with me every step of the way. Even when I thought He wasn’t, and He has truly brought me to a “spacious place” of His Blessings. God is good to me!

“When I was at my weakest, my enemies attacked— but the Lord held on to me. His love broke open the way and he brought me into a beautiful broad place. He rescued me—because his delight is in me!”
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭18:18-19‬ ‭TPT‬‬

My Heavenly Father’s Workbench (Originally written 5/11/17)

When I was growing up, my dad had a large wooden workbench in his garage. It was the place my dad took things that needed to be fixed. Car parts, plumbing, broken furniture, etc. would find its way to the workbench. It was understood that if something needed to be fixed we could put it on his workbench, and when he had time after he got off of work and went into his garage, he would take a look at it. Usually it would come back to me repaired. My dad always had a knack for fixing broken things.
This morning I have been reflecting on Isaiah 30:15-16, 18.
“This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says:
“In repentance and rest is your salvation,
in quietness and trust is your strength,
but you would have none of it.
You said, ‘No, we will flee on horses.’
Therefore you will flee!
You said, ‘We will ride off on swift horses.’
Therefore your pursuers will be swift!
Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you;
therefore he will rise up to show you compassion.
For the Lord is a God of justice.
Blessed are all who wait for him!”
How often I want to trust in my own self to fix the broken things in my life? How often do I refuse the comfort and compassion of God for situations as I, as the verse says, would rather trust in my own horses and my own strength?
It occurred to me that my Heavenly Father has a workbench, a place I can take my broken things and leave them. He has a place that if I would only recognize that it is not worth me holding on to the broken pieces, but would let Him have it, He can take them and make them better than new. He is waiting for me to have the childlike faith that I used to have for my earthy daddy, knowing that if I just leave it on His bench and not mess with it anymore, my Heavenly Daddy can fix anything.
It’s not easy letting go. Especially when you like to have control, but holding on to the things that are broken in our lives and hiding in our rooms with them, staring at the mess, turning it over and over, studying it, will never solve anything.
We need to place it on God’s workbench, and walk away. Confident that He is able to take care of us no matter what we find broken in our lives.

2020 God’s Year to Restore

I was in high school when God really got ahold of my life, and for a teenager I was pretty radical in trying to communicate it to everyone around me. I was one of those carry my Bible to school teens, and together with a couple of close friends I helped to start and lead a before school prayer group in my high school’s cafeteria. Then came the college years, I got involved in a campus ministry, and I was determined to do everything I could to show my generation the love of God and His power.

God has His ways of tempering a rough around the edges zealot. Lol. It’s called marriage, motherhood, and life. It’s not that I’ve lost my fervor and zeal. It’s just a process of deepening and enriching a relationship. It’s the understanding that comes when your newborn ends up in the NICU because of breathing problems and you feel so alone because your husband can’t wake up due to lack of sleep. So you call out to the only one who never sleeps and who never leaves you. It’s the comfort you receive after the miscarriage of a pregnancy you had been waiting for for a year. It’s the assurance of more to life after suffering two losses of a father in love and a nephew within 15 days of each other. The assurance that a God is there with you when you feel life couldn’t possibly get any harder or feel any worse. That’s the stuff that knocks off the rough edges of pride and self sufficiency in a person.

Sometimes the difficulties may wear the edges down too much, and you forget. That’s where I have found myself at times this year, while walking through some very tough situations with ones I love. I know I’ve got a deep well to draw from in my relationship with the Lord, but retrieving the bucket with the extra long rope can be overwhelming at times.

This morning when I woke up I remembered a time when I was younger that I would ask God to speak something new to me about the New Year. I would anticipate that verse or word to come and really set the tone for what is to come. I felt like God was impressing me to ask. But I, in my worn down fashion, thought… “uh no, well ok. What do you want to say to me God?” Then I opened my email to see this verse on my “Abide” app email.

“The years of the locust…”

Immediately my mind went to a time this year while sitting in the waiting room at a hospital waiting to hear what could be done to help my daughter after her suicide attempt. Satan had done all he could possibly do to try to destroy her. But God was bigger.

Then I thought of the positions I’ve stepped down from this past year. My husband and I have joked about how the song “Nobody” by Casting Crowns was our new theme song. If we ever felt like we were somebody we can be comforted knowing we can be “just a nobody trying to tell everybody about somebody who saved my soul.”

There had been struggles in other areas of our lives as well.

2019 seemed like a year the locust had a feast in our lives in some areas. But the good news is when the locusts have been having a feast, God promises to “restore”- to bring back to its former state, as good as new, or even better.

God is a God of restoration. His power “makes all things new” even the things that look irreparable. Because He is good!

There’s a song out by Bethel called “The Goodness of God”. It has been my theme song as of late. When we can’t see which side is up and our eyes are blind with pain we can be assured that God’s goodness is running after us. And the things that have been broken beyond repair are restored in God’s healing hands.

The locusts May have stripped our hearts bare, but God. He restores, and I am anticipating this year to be the year of restoration because of His goodness. Welcome 2020.

Come and See

Skepticism can run a mile deep in me. I’ve come to a place in my life that reflects what a true Missouri girl would say. “Show me”. But even when shown I’m still watching intently for some slight of hand, hidden agenda, inconsistency, etc.

I’ve been reflecting this morning on the words of Nathanael in the Bible: “Philip found Nathanael and told him, “We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, and about whom the prophets also wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” “Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?” Nathanael asked. “Come and see,” said Philip.”

John 1:45-46 NIV.

The more I think about it, the more I realize that Nathanael is my kind of guy. When he was approached by Philip telling him he had found the messiah, Jesus of Nazareth, Nathanael’s caution alarms sounded and his skepticism wheels began to turn. I would estimate that it was all motivated by him going around the block one too many times with the people he had seen coming out of Nazareth. During his time, a Roman army garrison was located there. The very army that oppressed his people. He had probably seen the injustices and watched the politics played out as some of the Jews tried to “make the best” of the situation by compromising their morals and betraying their countrymen all in an effort to win the favor of their unwanted residents. So hearing that the Messiah, the one who was supposed to set all this wrong right, came out of that town set off a huge red flag. Thankfully he did find it within himself to check out the claims he heard, and when he encountered Jesus, Jesus told him “Here truly is an Israelite in whom there is no deceit.” Jesus recognized the truth that Nathanael wanted. He only wanted what was real. Nothing fake for that man, and Jesus assures him that his desire for the authentic would be satisfied with Nathanael seeing greater things than he could have ever imagined.

Jesus gets where we are coming from, and He understands our struggle with vulnerability. Especially in a world where vulnerability can often mean opening ourselves up to hurts that cannot be imagined. But He also calls us out to take the chance to believe and to hope. Knowing that His hope does not disappoint.

Nathanael had a choice that day. He could have declined the invitation to look, to go and see. It would have meant a life of the ordinary for him. If he had stayed where Philip found him and said, “I’m out”, he would have never encountered the one of whom he wondered “How do you know me?” One encounter with Jesus rocked his world of skepticism. It opened his heart to the vulnerability of believing and enabled him to receive things he probably never imagined possible growing up a boy in Cana just doing the daily ins and outs of life.

I find myself this morning sitting at a crossroad. Do I ball up in my corner and shut out the possibility of encountering something incredible? Or do I open myself up once again to feel. Feel not only the hurts that vulnerability can bring, but the joy and love it brings as well, and to experience the joy of being known as well as knowing the life that God intends for me.

I am really grateful that God saw fit to put this interaction between Nathanael, Philip, and Jesus in the first chapter of John. It gives me hope that in my times of questioning what is real and what is not, God doesn’t just mark me off for my struggling to believe. Instead He makes a point to clarify exactly where He has seen me in the past and where He plans to take me in the future when I acknowledge who He is: my God, my King, and the Teacher of how to get where He wants to go. He doesn’t give up on me. He encourages me to get up and move on. He’s got plans for me, and they are good. Whether I see it in the present or not. His invitation to me is the same as Philip gave to Nathanael, “Come and see”.

A Hope That Does Not Disappoint

purple sky

Photo by eberhard grossgasteiger on Pexels.com

Romans 5:5 has been echoing through my mind this morning. “Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”

Romans 5:5 NKJV

Disappointment, that’s a word that has marred my life at times. Since It keeps running through my mind I figured I might as well check out the dictionary definition. “Defeat or failure of expectation, hope, wish, desire or intention; miscarriage of design or plan.” Webster’s 1828.

“Miscarriage of design or plan.” Wow! That sticks out. 16 years ago, after a year of trying to conceive, I miscarried a baby. Talk about a huge disappointment. It’s just not the way it’s meant to be. From the moment you become aware you have conceived and you hear the heart beat of a little one, the dream of how it is supposed to go becomes the gospel truth in your head. The design is to carry the baby nine months, Go through labor and delivery, and hold a beautiful baby in your arms. When it ends in anything but that, expectations are crushed.

Loss of any kind brings so much disappointment. We’re supposed to have perfect families, perfect marriages, perfect health, etc… it’s just the way the design should be. Or is it?

Eight years ago our family experienced 2 significant losses. The death of my father in law and my nephew was lost a sea while serving in the Navy. Both of these losses occurred within 15 days of each other. Two funerals within a month. It was a huge disappointment. It wasn’t the way it was supposed to go.

In recent years, I’ve watched my mom and my mother in law suffer from the effects of cancer. Once again a disappointment. Not exactly the way I had planned it would be.

In fact my mom has suffered for 19 years with the effects of cancer having survived breast cancer, but left with tremendous pain and now suffering with late stage ovarian cancer. It’s not the way it should have been, a disappointment. It’s a “miscarriage of a design or plan” what should have been.

The focus on these disappointments can paralyze you if you let it. It will hold you down with fears of moving, living, carrying on… Because the question comes, when will the next big hammer fall?

BUT… we have this hope. It’s a hope that does not disappoint. It doesn’t miscarry it’s designed purpose. It doesn’t bring you so far and drop you like a hot rock. It’s the one sure thing we can bank on no matter what twist or turn we face on planet earth. It’s the sureness of God’s great love and His promise that He will never leave us no matter what we walk through. It’s the confidence that although we live in a fallen world marred with disappointment and pain, we have a better place, which is really our home, waiting for us in Heaven. The things that were miscarried, cut short, flawed, and a disappointment, are only a small period of time in the light of eternity in a land where there is no suffering and no more pain.

Eight years ago when we went through such great loss, one of my children asked me why we had to lose my nephew and my father in love. It’s hard to explain that to an adult, but a kid makes it all the worse. I told them “I don’t understand why these awful things happen, that’s what makes heaven, heaven and where we live earth, earth. I can’t understand why we have to hurt sometimes and why bad thing happen. But I know God is good, and I have to trust that someday it will all make sense.”

God is good. His hope does not disappoint. It will accomplish exactly what it was conceived to do. His hope will lead me on in His love knowing that when all this is done, it will all be made right. No more suffering, whether it be physically or mentally, No more pain. Only joy and peace and perfect love when we stand face to face with Jesus in eternity’s hall.

“Hope doesn’t disappoint.” Sink your teeth into that one. Grab ahold and don’t let go. It’s a precious promise that brings peace when things here on earth are far from what you dreamed they would have been.