Grace in the Grief

Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. – (Matthew 5:4, NIV) 

Great blessings belong to those who are sad now. God will comfort them. – (Matthew 5:4, ERV) 

God blesses those who mourn, for they will be comforted. – (Matthew 5:4, NLT) 

 

This morning, as I checked my messages, there was a notice from a friend at church informing me that an incredible lady – a wife and mother about my age, has passed. It has been both inspiring and heartbreaking to watch, for she battled cancer with courage and strength over the last several years, as her family fought alongside her. There was a sense of maintaining as much normalcy as possible, despite the devastation that all must have been feeling. The comfort in this heart-breaking loss, is that she is free of the pain and walking in glory. That being said, her husband has lost his best friend, and the children have lost their mother. Grief is a heavy space. As I pray for the family and those closest to her, I lay hold of the promise held in this verse in Matthew. Though it is not an easy road, God will bring comfort. God will bring His perfect peace. May we hold fast to the promise that He holds the grieving in His hands, and God is our Source of comfort in every season. 

 

God of all comfort, Being Made New

We lean into Thee; 

For the ones mourning, 

Bring Your grace and peace. 

No words that we speak, 

Nor acts done in love; 

Can comfort the grief, 

Like You Lord, above. 

For You know each heart, 

How to help the ache; 

To soothe the sorrow, 

And mend the heartbreak. 

O Lord, be near them, 

As they walk through pain; 

Be their close comfort, 

‘til just love remains. 

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are our comfort when we grieve. Thank You that You know this family and all that they need. Thank You that You will bring exactly what they need to navigate their new normal. Forgive us for forgetting our own mortality, and not receiving each day we wake as an incredible gift of time that not all are afforded. Teach us to appreciate each new day, and to seek You in all things. Show us how to love well, those who are mourning. May we be used in the practical as well as the prayerful. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we praise You for being our comfort and our peace, even in the most heartbreaking of times. Amen.

 

© Shannon Elizabeth Grabrick and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present

(There is) A time to cry and a time to laugh. A time to grieve and a time to dance. – Ecclesiastes 3:4

Peace and Thanksgiving

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to be peace. And be thankful. – (Colossians 3:15, NIV)

Let the peace that Christ gives control your thinking. It is for peace that you were chosen to be together in one body. And always be thankful. – (Colossians 3:15, ERV)

Let the peace of Christ keep you in tune with each other, in step with each other. None of this going off and doing your own thing. And cultivate thankfulness. – (Colossians 3:15, MSG)

 

As we gather together with family and friends to celebrate our reasons to give thanks, may the peace of Christ be present to lead us and guide us. When we allow Christ to rule in our hearts, the motivation behind our words and deeds is love. Love is patient and love is kind, and such things are proponents of peace. Each time we encounter a gathering where love reigns, gratitude and grace grow greater than any insignificant irritant. May we allow the peace of Christ to rule in our hearts and lead us as we gather together, giving thanks to Him for all that He has done to provide the people present among us.

 

May His peace prevail, img_2018-11-22_06-23-588320532747532005523.jpg

Wherever we are;

For it is a space,

Of Love’s reservoir.

Where His peace is known,

So too, is His grace;

Love freely given,

Fills hearts full of praise.

Go forth and gather,

In His grace and peace;

With hearts full of thanks,

May blessings increase.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that Your peace will rule in our heart as we seek and rely on You. Thank You that Your grace covers our lack. Thank You for the gift of family and friends with whom we are blessed with time to gather. Forgive us for the times that we have neglected Your leading and disrupted the peace You intended, or have not given You thanks for all that You are and all that You do in our lives. Teach us to lean into You to lead us in peace and to have a thankful heart. Show us how to love those around us well, so that we may promote peace and gratitude through our words and deeds. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we allow Your peace to rule our hearts and give all of our gratitude to You. Amen.

 

© Shannon Elizabeth Grabrick and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present

 

Love and faithfulness meet together; righteousness and peace kiss each other. – Psalm 85:11

The More We Know

Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. – (2 Peter 1:2)

 

Though it may sound a bit cliche, it really does hold true, the more we know God, the more we know His peace and understand His grace. As we devote our time and attention to seeking better understand our Savior, His heart, His character, and His deep love for us are revealed from Genesis to Revelation. The more I grasp the greatness of God, the sooner I am aware of His peace, that surpasses all understanding, is present, even in the midst of serious storms. His grace grabs hold of the places where sin and shame attempt to haunt my heart, and remind me that the price has already been paid. I am forgiven. I am free. I am loved, and I am His. May we all grow in the knowledge of Christ, and more deeply understand the greatness of His grace and peace that are already ours in Him.

 

When we seek to know,The Word of God

our Lord Jesus Christ;

we grow in knowledge,

of His sacrifice.

We understand grace,

and receive His peace;

abundance is ours,

through true heart release.

Let’s trust in the Lord,

with all that we are;

He is always good,

the bright Morning Star.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that when we seek to know You more, we find You, and grow in our understanding of Your grace and Your peace. Thank You that You are faithful to meet us as we pursue You, and whisper Your truth to our hearts. Thank You that You open our understanding, and give us Your peace. Forgive us for not seeking You in the storms, yet desperately desiring peace. Teach us to trust You more so that our immediate response is to seek You, be it in times of calm or in the throes of a storm. Lead us to be bearers of Your grace and peace to all those who are around us, and may many come to know the greatest gift ever given during this season of celebrating Your arrival. Be glorified Lord God, as we seek to know You more, and love people well. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present.

I thank and praise You, O God of my fathers: You have given me wisdom and power. – Daniel 2:23

In Sorrow’s Stay

Be HolyWithin this grief,

this state of loss;

I can’t help look,

upon the cross.

For on that day,

such loss was known;

His dying words,

foundation stone.

Because He loved,

enough to die;

those who believe,

our tears He’ll dry.

The promise held,

because of grace;

since on that day,

He took our place.

On the third day,

He rose again;

defeated death,

conquered all sin.

So now we stand,

in righteousness;

because the truth,

resides in us.

Though waves will come,

our hope, secure;

the Prince of Peace,

is dwelling here.

“He will wipe every tear from our eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things will pass away.” – (Revelation 21:4)

For nearly twenty-four hours, all I had felt was numb and lost. Perhaps it was Christ’s provision so that I could maintain my daily routine and not wallow in grief, or maybe it was simply a wait until I slowed down and sat still. Whatever it was, I suddenly could feel a flood coming. As I drove back toward the house where Aine had been held until she was ready to take His hand, the pressure behind my eyes was building. All I could do, was breathe. I walked up to the all too familiar door, saw a smile, and was waved in. Loving arms reached out to embrace me, and held fast as the wave hit. For the first time in many weeks of this wearying walk, I allowed myself to fully feel. So much sorrow seeped out as I was held. It felt as if it would go on forever, yet peace did at last, come. Stories and sweet moments of sharing memories, followed. His grace and peace permeated every pore.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You hold us up in our space of such sorrow, for You have known the greatest grief of all, as You sent Your Son to die for this sinful world, so that we might one day dwell with You forever. Thank You that You love us where we are at, and remind us that this is not our home. Forgive us for fearing that the mourning might not end, and remind us again how Your joy comes in the morning. Thank You that You bring beauty from ashes and hope from despair. Please continue to hold our hands and hearts in the process. Thank You that Your presence is permanent when we choose to follow You, and Your faithfulness never ends. May many move to make their hearts Your home, as the story of Anne’s life and death is shared. We love You Lord, and are so grateful for Your endless grace. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present

Tend Well the Temple

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWithin Your temple,

we meditate, O God;

on Your endless love,

may the whole earth applaud.

For Your Name, O God,

is so great to be praised;

to the ends of the earth,

may our voices be raised.

Your mighty right hand,

does hold all righteousness;

knowledge of Your love,

fills our hearts, we are blessed.

As we all rejoice,

as Your people bring praise;

may our hearts hold truth,

the gift each of our days.

For God You are now,

and will be evermore;

our guide to the end,

just as You were before.

Present praise to Him,

for all honor is His;

our hope and promise,

to eternally live.

(Responding to Psalm 48:9-10, 14)

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that Your temple is no longer a specific structure where we are required to present sacrifices in order to stand before You. Thank You that instead, all who call on Your Name and invite You in, become Your body – Your holy temple – as our hearts house Your Holy Spirit. Thank You for the freedom to worship You, and for the joy in knowing our future and our hope, are held in You. Forgive us for not giving the glory that is due, and help our hearts to hold the hope and truth found in You alone. Teach us to trust You in all things and at all times, so that we may love as we are loved by You. Let our love lead those who are looking, unto Your loving arms. Amen.

Aine 2Anne update: Anne was happily wearing one of her warm new outfits yesterday when I went to visit. She had another outing planned for later in the afternoon, and was very much looking forward to fresh air and being out and about. Please continue to contend for her total healing, and for the hearts and homes of both the couple who has hosted her for the past many days, loving and caring for her so well, and for the pair that will provide her permanent home, beginning this evening. May His grace and peace be yours. With love and gratitude, Shannon

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present