Wednesday, December 28, 2016

New Year, Same Old World

The New Year looms ahead like a shiny new journal with all empty pages. Yet, even yesterday as I sat on my sofa enjoying time with my family, contemplating the peace and quiet of the next few days, planning a 21 day prayer journey for my business, and generally looking ahead to the coming year... there was a phone call from friends that their 38 year-old son/brother had passed away suddenly and tragically yesterday afternoon.

We quickly made our way to their home, and we tried to give as much comfort and encouragement as you can in a time like this.  This is a fallen, fallen place in which we reside.  The great, true joy of Christmas is balanced by the devastation of separation and death.

What comfort can we give in a time like this? The only real comfort is to be the hands and feet of Jesus. He knows the situation, He loves them all, He loved the one who died, He cares deeply for His children and offers to carry our burdens -- even the heaviest ones -- for us. So, we embrace them as He would, love them as He loves, bear this burden with them. He is Emmanuel even in this, guiding through the darkest night with His light and His hand.

(As always, you are free to use this graphic.)

There is so much I do not understand about this world.  But, I am just simple enough to trust God's promise that He will never leave or forsake me and His promise that HE is our refuge and strength, a very present help in time of trouble.  Whatever this world sends my way, I am thankful for what I have today, now.  I choose to not live in the past (while being thankful for it) and not live in the future (while looking forward to eternity with the Lord and its reuniting with those I love). I am thankful for my family, for my friends -- even ones I have never met. I am thankful for home, for safety, for life, for love, for enough -- you know, the "this day our daily bread."  I know that we are not even promised one more breath, so I am choosing to thank God for now. 


  1. So sorry to hear this. Those sudden tragedies seem to be the hardest to understand. Take care of yourself as you reach out to your friends.

  2. So sorry to hear this. Those sudden tragedies seem to be the hardest to understand. Take care of yourself as you reach out to your friends.

  3. Such sadness in what should be the happiest of times. This is exactly why He be with us and to offer His very life for us. How good that you were able to go and be with your friends and minister in the middle of such a difficult time. This is so important and it certainly meant the world to me when my friends and pastor came to be with us.

  4. I am so sorry for the loss of your friends' son. Yesterday the people from whom we bought our house stopped in to see all the changes we have made since we moved in. They asked if we had heard that the neighbor to our back had died right before Thanksgiving. We were shocked because we have not been outside to talk with our neighbors since it started to turn too cold to be out there. We didn't know them that well but were so sorry and shocked.

    As Vee said, it is wonderful to just be there for people even when we cannot do anything. The support means so much.

    Thank you, I may copy that graphic. I like it.