We live in a society that does it’s utmost to avoid pain. We are told to “be happy,” “put a smile on your face,” and “grab a Coke, Starbucks, or Budweiser.” You name it, there’s a slogan or a product to keep us feeling anything other than pain, sadness, or discouragement.
Yet, all we need are the Scriptures to see that God has other plans for us. In James 4:9, we are told to mourn and weep. This sounds like depressing advice, but Ellicott’s commentary reminds us that “For wretchedness, sorrow, and tears are the three steps of the homeward way to peace and God.” It appears God wants us to know we have a better future than what presents itself today. There is a better way. We could be better people if we would only let God and the circumstances He allows into our lives do their work.
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Matthew 5:4
My father died November 4, 2015. It was a day that will be forever etched in my memory. The man who was responsible for my very being is gone. One of only a few persons who truly care about my life is no longer in my life.
As I was talking about my experience with some friends, they shared about how our society keeps death and sickness at bay; we clean up the messiness and anguish of death, confining it to hospitals and nursing homes. We don’t allow it to do its work in the human soul.
I am a better, stronger person for having helped my Dad from this world into his spiritual spot in Heaven. It was messy and painful and not a pretty picture. Yet, I believe I grew a much deeper perspective of what it means to live, develop the spiritual part of our life (souls), and to leave this earth, our physical existence.
Most people in this world believe this is their only existence. Their souls are empty spaces, void of life, not nurtured to know the living God. They are hollow, empty shells of what they could be and devoid of the great work they could do for God. Our soul and its future is the reason for our existence. Not to have a house with the white picket fence, or a bazillion kids (or even just 1.8), or a six-figure income (and a perfect figure!), or a summer home. Nope. We are sold this bill of goods as the American dream; but the only true source of life and future is in God’s plan, in Christ alone.
But somehow, someway, we must relish in this untidy, temporary life we have in order to understand the permanent, the eternal side of it. Take time today to think of what distracts you from the “real” of life, from the messy, human part that was designed to cause us to truly consider that without God, we are nothing but dust!
Let God do His work and enter into the uncomfortable parts of life and death; don’t be afraid to feel and learn what is needed to grow deeper with Him. See the value of your soul, not cast it away to be worried about another day. God gave us our souls to be lived in eternity with Him.
Thank you, God for giving us eternity and for sending your Son to show the way!
‘Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’ Isaiah 41:10
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. 1 Thessalonians 4:13
Thankful for a God who turns mourning into dancing. And who never leaves my side when troubles come. Thank you for this encouraging post.
You’re welcome. We all need one another — and God!
Terry, you’ve shared so wisely here. This message is very counter-cultural, and runs contrary to our human, comfort-seeking nature, but it’s spot-on as far as the Bible is concerned. Thank you for linking with us at Grace & Truth! Your blog is lovely, and I’m glad I was able to stop by for a bit. :)
As you stated, there are so many distractions from the “real” in life, and as a society we do all we can to avoid pain. It can be difficult to see and accept the grace God sends in packages we’d refuse if given the choice. Thank you for writing this reminder that this life is not all there is. What feels good in this life, and what hurts, are temporary. We need to fully live each moment and let God shape us however He sees fit.
Well said! I like that, “fully live each moment and let God shape us.” It feels so right to be finally understanding how God wants us to live. For Him, by Him, in Him. Thanks!
Oh my gosh, Terry! I wish you would have let me know ! I am sorry he is gone , I know how terribly painful it is to say good-bye. And now you are rejoicing in the marriage of your son! Life is certainly filled with extremes, with seasons. I pray your heart is full today of God’s goodness.
Thanks, Pam. It’s good to hear from an old friend and to know that you knew my Dad. Yes, life is certainly full of extremes. It seems that just when we are laughing and enjoying a season of fruitfulness, there comes a season of pain. I will miss my father until the day I die. His memory inspires me to love my family as much as I can while I still can. Thanks for your kind words. Terry
Oh, I love this. This is something we can all relate to because we all have our fair share of pain. Pain has a purpose and if we allow it to, it can make our lives better. :)
Thanks for stopping by and sharing with us. God has a purpose for everything!
I’m so sorry that you lost your dad, Terry. This was a beautiful post. Praying for you.