I thank the Lord that He is always near to us when we are down or
discouraged. God knows exactly how to cheer us up when we are down and
always sends the right person in our path to encourage us when we feel low.
We need to keep in mind that there is always sunshine after the rain and
just because we might go through difficult situations, we need to have the
right attitude and quote King David when he said, "Though I walk through
the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for Thou art with
me…" God is by your side so encourage yourself in Him and know that He
will always be with you. (Jeremiah 15:20-21) (Psalm 23:4)
MADE IN HEAVEN
Consumed by my loss, I didn't notice the hardness of the pew where I sat.
I was at the funeral of my dearest friend, my mother. She finally had lost
her long battle with cancer. The hurt was so intense; I found it hard to
breathe at times. Always supportive, mother clapped loudest at my school
plays, held a box of tissue while listening to my first heartbreak,
comforted me at my father's death, encouraged me in college, and prayed
for me my entire life. When mother's illness was diagnosed, my sister had
a new baby and my brother had recently married his childhood sweetheart,
so it fell on me, the 27 year old middle child with no entanglements to
take care of her. I felt it an honor.
"What now, Lord?" I asked sitting in church. My life stretched out before
me as an empty abyss. My brother sat stoically with his face toward the
cross while clutching his wife's hand. My sister sat slumped against her
husband's shoulder, his arms around her as she cradled their child. All so
deeply grieving, no one noticed I sat alone. My place had been with our
mother, preparing her meals, helping her walk, taking her to the doctor,
seeing to her medication, reading the Bible together. Now she was gone. My
work was finished, and I was alone.
I heard a door open and slam shut at the back of the church. Quick steps
hurried along the carpeted floor. An exasperated young man looked around
briefly and then sat next to me. He folded his hands and placed them on
his lap. His eyes were brimming with tears. He began to sniffle, "I'm
late," he explained, though no explanation was unnecessary.
After several eulogies, he leaned over and commented, "Why do they keep
calling Mary by the name of Margaret?"
"Because that was her name, Margaret. Never Mary. No one called her Mary",
I whispered. I wondered why this person couldn't have sat on the other
side of the church. He interrupted my grieving with his tears and
fidgeting. Who was this stranger anyway?
"No, that isn't correct," he insisted, as several people glanced over at
us whispering, "Her name is Mary, Mary Peters. That isn't who this is?
Isn't this the Lutheran church?"
"No, the Lutheran church is across the street, I believe you're at the
wrong funeral, sir." The solemnness of the occasion mixed with realization
of the man's mistake bubbled up inside me and came out as laughter. I
cupped my hands over my face hoping it would be interpreted as sobs. The
creaking pew gave me away. Sharp looks from other mourners only made the
situation seem more hilarious.
I peeked at the bewildered, misguided man seated beside me. He was laughing
too, as he glanced around deciding it was too late for an uneventful exit.
I imagined my mother laughing. At the final Amen, we darted out a door and
into the parking lot. "I do believe we'll be the talk of the town," he smiled.
He said his name was Rick and since he had missed his aunt's funeral, he
asked me out for a cup of coffee. That afternoon began a lifelong journey
for me with this man who attended the wrong funeral, but was in the right
place. A year after our meeting, we were married at a country church where
he was the assistant pastor.
This time we both arrived at the same church, right on time. In my time of
sorrow, God gave me laughter. In place of loneliness, God gave me love.
This past June we celebrated our twenty second anniversary. Whenever
anyone asks us how we met, Rick tells them "Her mother and my Aunt Mary
introduced us," and it's truly a match made in Heaven...
No matter what has gone wrong in your life, I encourage you to put your
complete trust in the Lord and know that He will always turn things around
for your good. As long as we stay true to Him and not waver in our faith,
the Bible says God will use all that the enemy meant for harm and turn it
around for our good. (James 1:5-8) (Romans 8:27-28)
God is a miracle working God and just because things may seem impossible,
they are not with Him. He is the God of the impossible and is able to
turn things around in ways that we have never imagined. I encourage you
to turn your eyes to the Lord and let Him know about the situation that has
you feeling uneasy and ask God to turn that situation around to be in your
favor. Jesus says that we are to Ask, Seek and Knock. Let your request
be made known to God the Bible says, and the peace of God which surpasses
all understanding will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
(Matthew 19:26) (Matthew 7:7-8) (Philippians 4:6-7)
God is your Heavenly Father and wishes to bless you and keep you in His
perfect Peace. Call upon Him today and talk to the Lord as your friend.
Read and meditate on these scriptures:
Isaiah 41:10-13 "Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I
am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will
uphold thee with the right hand of My righteousness. Behold, all they that
were incensed against thee shall be ashamed and confounded: they shall be
as nothing; and they that strive with thee shall perish. Thou shalt seek
them, and shalt not find them, even them that contended with thee: they
that war against thee shall be as nothing, and as a thing of nought. For
I the LORD thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I
will help thee."
Hebrews 13:5-6 "Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be
content with such things as ye have: for He hath said, I will never leave
thee, nor forsake thee. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper,
and I will not fear what man shall do unto me."
Isaiah 40:28-31 "Hast thou not known? Hast thou not heard, that the
everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth
not, neither is weary? there is no searching of His understanding. He
giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might He increaseth
strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men
shall utterly fall: But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their
strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and
not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint."
Psalm 34:1-4 "I will bless the LORD at all times: His praise shall
continually be in my mouth. My soul shall make her boast in the LORD: the
humble shall hear thereof, and be glad. O magnify the LORD with me, and
let us exalt His name together. I sought the LORD, and He heard me, and
delivered me from all my fears."
All scriptures can be found in the King James Version.
In Christ's Service,
Gods Work Ministry