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

Sharing Scars

Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in Him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me everything I ever did.” – (John 4:39)

 

Regardless of her shameful past, the Samaritan woman had a powerful encounter with the living Christ as she had gone to draw water from the well. She was so moved by what she saw and heard, that she lost herself in the enormity of what was being offered to her, and went into town and told everyone she could find about what Jesus had spoken to her, despite the public potential for her to be further ostracized. Jesus moved, and she was forever changed. So too, were many within that town. If we are willing to respond to the invitation that Jesus extends to each of us, not only will we be changed, but so too, will all whom we encounter. May we readily receive all that our Redeemer has to give, and then share our story with those who are willing to hear.

 

Christ Jesus, our Lord,One to Many

what wonder is He;

Who looks past our sin,

to what we can be.

No matter our scars,

sin, guilt and our stains;

He washes us clean,

so just love remains.

It is by that love,

that we are compelled;

to share the great news,

how Christ loves so well.

May we rise and go,

without fear of past;

for what we can share,

will forever last.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that our testimony is irrefutable, as it is our story that You have redeemed and made beautiful. Thank You that You have always loved us, and that Your love does not change nor fade. Thank You that You deposit in us, that very same love for others. Forgive us for allowing fear to keep us from moving out where we are being called. Teach us to trust You more, so that we will go without concern for where we have been, but will look forward with anticipation to all that You will do. Lead us to love others with the same sort of zeal that You have for us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we share the story of how You have touched our hearts and lives. Amen.

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

You have made known to me the paths of life; You will fill me with joy in Your presence. – Acts 2:28

The Road Less Traveled

There are times in our Christian walk when the road less traveled is not the easy path to take. In fact, there are times when following Christ is downright difficult. However, any difficulty that we endure now, is well worth our eternal gain. Jesus is our ultimate example as to how we are to handle the hard. On the night on which He was betrayed and was praying in the garden, the following was His prayer. “Abba, Father,” He said, “everything is possible for You. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what You will.” – (Mark 14:36)

 

Jesus asked that His Father take the trial before Him away, yet if not, He was willing and ready to obey. Christ’s obedience on that very night, is the reason that we are able to traverse the more difficult road to which we may be called. His Spirit, which dwells in us, empowers us to continue, even over the seemingly impossible terrain. God is not offended if we ask Him to take away the difficulties, yet we too, must be willing to continue pressing in, even if our trials remain. He is good, and His love remains forever. Christ uses our obstacles to demonstrate His strength. May His power be clearly present in the places where pressures are the greatest.

 

The long, winding road,Prepare the Way

that has not been paved;

where we’re asked to walk,

so truth may be raised.

Let every step,

be made with intent;

to honor the One,

by Whom we are sent.

Help us to endure,

the trials that come;

not in our own strength,

but through Christ the Son.

Let all those who see,

what we may endure;

know it’s Christ in us,

that makes us secure.

What’s impossible,

for humanity;

is “yes” and “amen”,

through Jesus in me.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You sent Your Son.  Jesus, thank You for enduring so much suffering for the sake of our sins. Thank You for taking our place, so that we could have life in You. Thank You that what is impossible for us, is possible through Your strength. Forgive us for seeking to serve our own will, rather than Yours. Help us to trust You more so that we too, may pray, not what I will, but what You will. Teach us to love others as You so generously love each of us. May many come into a saving knowledge of Who You are, as they see Your power at work in our lives. Be glorified, O God, as we seek to follow Your will for our lives. Amen.

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

As you know, we consider blessed those who have persevered. – James 5:11

Blessings Beyond What is Seen

Blessings Beyond What Is Seen
When answers don’t come,

as we think they should;

continue to pray,

the Lord is still good.

Each prayer that we pray,

is heard by the Lord;

His tender heart hears,

and good He’ll afford.

For Christ, He answers,

the very best way;

as His ways are not,

always how we pray.

In hindsight we see,

great proof of His hand;

loving provision,

just as He had planned.

Seasons of challenge,

times of great trial;

demonstration of,

hope that is worthwhile.

In life and in death,

our hope is assured;

His love will not end,

our future secured.

Sometimes our blessings,

are found through such pain;

peace is provided,

and His love remains.

“Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out His love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom He has given us.” – (Romans 5:3-5)

“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” – (Romans 8:37-39)

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that though answers may not come in the way in which we hope, You hear our every heart cry, and answer in the way that is best. Thank You that in the times of our toughest trials, You are present, holding our heart and hands. Forgive us for missing the moments that matter, even in the struggle, and help us to clearly see how Your hand is holding us up. Thank You that our hope is not held here, but rather in our forever with You. Thank You that You are our strength and our song, even when we are weary and weak. May we honor You in all our ways, and may Your love shine through us in such a way, that many are drawn unto You. Amen.

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