Friday Update: December 5, 2014
It’s another Friday and it’s RAINING! Not a whole bunch, but we’ll take all we can get! Joni posted a pictured on her timeline of Yosemite Falls flowing again, talk about exciting, it feels like it’s been way too long since there was water cascading off those cliffs, roaring at the bottom with a mist of spray so fine it’s nearly invisible.
This week has been one in which I have needed the refreshing of the invisible, the reminder there is something more, and it’s ours through Jesus Christ. It has been a week of losses to those I love, and there is nothing I can do to change anything. As we know, because nearly all of us have suffered loss, there are no words. There is only the Ministry of Presence. And sometimes that Ministry is about the invisible presence, the presence made real by the Holy Spirit who carries our presence to those we love, to those we long to comfort! There is a very good reason another name for the Holy Spirit is the Comforter!
This refreshing of the Spirit was as needed as that fine mist soaring up from Yosemite Falls on one of those 90+ summer days in the Valley of Yosemite. To stand on the bridge at the bottom of the lower falls and let my being soak in the mist as it cooled every fibre of my weary body was complete relief. Just the same way the Comforter with His invisible presence brings His “fine mist of Grace” to soothe the pain of loss.
The challenge of loss isn’t quantifiable, it can’t be measured. There is no way to determine how much a specific loss should hurt. There is no grading curve for pain, we know this. It hurts, and hurts, and hurts! Some losses will heal with time, some won’t. And I won’t offer any explanation as to which will and which won’t, because I don’t know and it will be very different for everyone.
I believe when we lose someone we love to death we never get over that loss. I think we learn to cope. However, the hole left in our lives by one we loved who has died remains. The pain may soften, it may not depending on the individual and how they grieve, or if they grieve.
We have two friends who lost someone they loved this week. One had lived an amazing life, long and full of adventures. She had made a difference in so many lives, especially mine as I faced some of the most difficult circumstances I have encountered. Her love, encouragement, her faith in the abilities God gave me encouraged me on more than one occasion.
Then we have friends who lost a grandson who didn’t get to live a long life filled with amazing adventures! He had a lifetime ahead of him, a life with potential to accomplish who knows what. As I look at it from this side, from the outside, wondering why God couldn’t take one of those people who kill, torture, live to cause as much pain as possible, the answer remains the same. Life here doesn’t work like that. Until Jesus comes to get us we all will face the sleep of death.
We do not, as the Apostle Paul reminds us, grieve as those who have no Hope! We know there is a day coming when we will be reunited with everyone we love. Until then we wait in the Grace that is ours in Jesus Christ!
If only that was the only loss there is to life, but loss comes in all shapes, sizes and forms, from death to fire to lives crashing into what feels like bottomless pits. Marriages once intended to last forever find themselves being tossed about by the fears, the unexpected losses, that make life all it is and all we wish it wasn’t. How do we cope, how do we deal with these issues as they are a part of the reality faced in life as we know it? I have no absolute answers for anyone. But for me this is the one thing I have come to know, to depend on–nothing takes God by surprise, nothing!
The only way I am able to face the present reality of my day is knowing I am not doing it alone. The truth is I have never done it alone. No matter how many times I believed I had sent God on His way, (Can you believe that arrogant attitude?) He, as He promises, never left me. Not ever! This I know as I recall the events of my life looking for the fingerprints of God. I discovered they were all over the place, all over me, Joni, the girls, friends, family, circumstances. Everywhere I looked there was God.
I still get discouraged, worried, frustrated, even irritable as I find myself falling into the enemy’s trap. My constant praise is I no longer live in those traps, camp in those traps, nor do I take extended vacations in those traps! What makes the difference, you ask? Well, I’m glad you asked, it’s remembering all His fingerprints covering everything in my life every moment of every day! And it’s God who either reminds me, or sends someone to remind me.
As this week ends and we know another will begin, what it will bring we can’t know. However, we can know this much, whatever is coming our way won’t surprise God who loves us. And we can choose how we want to face the week and who we want with us as we face each new day!
“Paul, servant of God and emissary[a] of Jesus, the Anointed One, on behalf of the faith that is accepted by God’s chosen people and the knowledge of the undeniable truth that leads to godliness. We rest in this hope we’ve been given—the hope that we will live forever with our God—the hope that He proclaimed ages and ages ago (even before time began). And our God is no liar; He is not even capable of uttering lies.” Titus 1:1-2 The Voice
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