Monday, April 23, 2012

Grief and Great Love

This weekend was a funeral for a young man, taken too soon. I did not know him personally, but I did know his mother. It was amazing to be there to witness in the first person, the Body of Christ, pouring out love on the family that had lost. There was a need for food for the luncheon, and there was worry about the large number of mourners. Would there be enough? The call went out, and the messages came in... a fruit tray from a young mother, a plate of cookies from an elderly woman, strangers and friends, more and more... Soon the church kitchen was loaded down, refrigerators overflowing, counter-tops covered.

In the sanctuary a enormous number of young people shared and cried, and were comforted by the Word.

1 Thes. 4:13-14;18
"But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve as do the rest who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus... so we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words."
And in the kitchen, the food was being set out, and the women were praying. Praying for comfort and peace, praying for understanding, praying for the presence of the Lord to descend upon hearts crying out to Him. Looking on, all I could think was, this is the Body. We minister to one another with food, with a silent hug, with the Word, with prayers of supplication, and of thanksgiving. Thanksgiving for the young souls that heard the Word there, and responded to the call of Salvation.

1 Thes. 5:9-11 "For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep, we will live together with Him. Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing."
When we lost our baby, still in the womb, 7 years ago... I remember the grief, so overwhelming, and the desire to have my child in my arms. Crying out to God to give back what was lost. It was then I realized how great his love for me. He had lost a Son too. But it was willingly, with an open hand, not the tightly clenched fingers that I had. Willingly He gave His life for mine, a ransom. How great a love is this?

Rom 5:6-8 "And we can see that it was while we were powerless to help ourselves that Christ died for sinful men. In human experience it is a rare thing for one man to give his life for another, even if the latter be a good man, though there have been a few who have had the courage to do it. Yet the proof of God’s amazing love is this: that it was while we were sinners that Christ died for us."

How Deep The Father's Love For Us

Stuart Townend

How deep the Father's love for us,
How vast beyond all measure
That He should give His only Son
To make a wretch His treasure

How great the pain of searing loss,
The Father turns His face away
As wounds which mar the chosen One,
Bring many sons to glory

Behold the Man upon a cross,
My sin upon His shoulders
Ashamed I hear my mocking voice,
Call out among the scoffers

It was my sin that left Him there
Until it was accomplished
His dying breath has brought me life
I know that it is finished

I will not boast in anything
No gifts, no power, no wisdom
But I will boast in Jesus Christ
His death and resurrection

Why should I gain from His reward?
I cannot give an answer
But this I know with all my heart
His wounds have paid my ransom

Thank you Ann, for this verse, that fit so well with my thoughts today: 
“Now if we are children, then we are heirs–heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in His sufferings in order that we may also share in His glory.” ~ Romans 8:17

Giving thanks, and counting:
#73 new babies born today
#74 God's sovereign plans
#75 beautiful weather
#76 smell of lovely blossoms
#77 snuggles from a little boy
#78 gifts from a neighbor
#79 singing off key with the kids
#80 hubby able to work so hard for us
#81 hand-me-downs (or as Mayda says "handy-downs")

1 comment:

  1. Oh yes grief handled well in a community is a delightful thing to see indeed.


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