Grief is a deep dark pit, where no sunlight can reach. When you are there no good thing seems possible, and death is all you hear.
Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God. My soul is downcast within me; therefore I will remember you from the land of the Jordan, the heights of Hermon—from Mount Mizar. Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls; all your waves and breakers have swept over me. Psalm 42:5-7
It is in my grief that God’s Deepness calls to my deep pit. God’s waves and breakers crash upon me—letting me know He is with me, His goodness will prevail, and His love will hold onto me through eternity.
When God’s waves break over me I begin to hear His voice over the din of my sorrow.
I will never leave you.
Roars from the crashing water.
My love endures forever.
Smashes upon my darkness
I will carry you and dry your tears.
Splits the rocks that tower over me.
Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God. Psalm 42:11
Yesterday we had so much fun,
the joy that children bring.
To have the laughter never end,
In songs we love to sing.
Visit cut short, I wanted longer.
So many seeds to sow
Time consumes the love we shared,
Forgotten as they grow.
In that day when life moves on,
I hope not in fading sorrow.
But in the love of Jesus Christ
Who makes yesterday a foretaste of tomorrow.
In Jesus we have a sure hope that our tomorrows will be even better than our yesterdays.
We put our hope in the Lord. He is our help and our shield. In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name. Let your unfailing love surround us, Lord, for our hope is in you alone. Psalm 33:20-22
Be on guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous. Be strong. And do everything with love. 1 Corinthians 16:13-14 NLT
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” – Jesus, John 13:34-35 NIV
At the end of time how we have loved is what will count, what will remain.
And many will turn away from me and betray and hate each other. And many false prophets will appear and will deceive many people. Sin will be rampant everywhere, and the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. -Jesus, Matthew 24:10-13 NLT
Don’t let your love grow cold. Let the Word of God help you endure against the waves of hate.
I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. John 15:11
Every once in a while I am struck with the joy of life. It is not because of the freshness of the mountain air or the brilliant morning sunrise. It is that these joyous moments are but a foretaste of eternal life in Jesus. When I sit down and contemplate why I have such joy, it always comes back to His love for me. The verses just before John 15:11 confirms it:
As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love. John 15:9-10
“As the Father has loved Me,” Jesus says, “so I have loved you.” There it is––Jesus loves me deeply.
Part of that love for me is to tell me how I should be. Jesus uses the word command because what He says next about staying in His love is absolutely essential. It is the difference between looking through the window at the Christmas celebration, or going in to sit down to fully partake in it. Jesus is telling us that to have complete joy you have to join in His love:
Love each other as I have loved you. John 15:12
I urge you to let the Holy Spirit pour His love through every part of your existence and join the celebration of joy to the full.
“Vision is the art of seeing things invisible”
Jonathan Swift – Thoughts On Various Subjects
I often think the scenes I try to capture and preserve in photos are little bits of the great beauty that Jesus splashes across His creation. Whether anyone notices is not relevant to beauties existence, it just is because God is good. Wave upon wave in unending splendor speaks of the glory of God. This is also true in my life; I have ongoing grace lavished upon me––His glorious presence working for my good. Sometimes I have the eyes to see it and thank Him, but often I am too preoccupied and it goes unnoticed. Like the beauty in nature, grace is not given only where it will be appreciated, it is freely poured out in abundance because that is the nature of God. His goodness and love lavished freely upon His creation.
You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever. (Psalm 23 :5-6)
I need to continually remind myself to pray for eyes to see, ears to hear, and wisdom to comprehend all that God is doing. Then with a heart of gratitude I can truly see, hear, and give thanks.
This morning my mind is beset by the turmoil of this world. At every level anger, greed, lying, and pride inflict our country. National trust is eroded by the leaders who should preserve and cherish it, and even religious leaders trade truth and justice for political gain. On top of this no one knows how much we have been manipulated by our enemies using social media to push lies and distrust. Our anxiety surges with each news flash. Into this cacophony we are given words to meditate upon:
“Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. Psalm 46:10-11
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7
The stillness and peace we long for doesn’t come with one reading of these verses. It takes time before God with thanksgiving, until finally you can say: