Losses...In the past 6 years I have lost my father-in-law to heart disease, my niece to a car accident, my little sister lost 2 sets of twin boys, giving birth @5 months and watching them die in her arms. My brother-in-law (father to my niece who died) lost both his parents to cancer on each side of his daughter. Both of my dad's siblings died, and almost 2 years ago, I lost my brother Peter (27) in a farm accident. We have also lost 4 young people in our community the age of my daughter to car accidents. I could go on and on.
Last week, on Wed, my neighbor called me crying, she has 3 diseases and now they think she has bladder cancer. She is lonely and has had a very difficult life. I have been praying for a miracle for her. On Friday morning, I asked the Lord if He wanted me to close my gift shop because I felt it hindered my freedom to minister love and encouragement to people like my neighbor....He answered in a profound way by sending a hurting soul to the shop on Friday afternoon who had lost a sister 13 years ago and still struggling with the loss, and with aging parents. I ended up holding her as she wept, going and getting my Bible out of the house and reading 1 Thess 4:13-17 with her, and praying with her. Sharing truth with her about life after death, etc. Then on Saturday, He sent another who just lost a brother to cancer, whose nephew was just diagnosed with it and in tears she wanted to know about going to our church. She just knew she couldn't do it alone anymore...It occured to me after the weekend with these two ladies that God was indeed working my losses and the losses of my family members out for good, for if I had not experienced them, I wouldn't have had the understanding I needed. It amazed me that He was using my gift shop that way...we cannot know what kind of fruit He is going to bear through the lives of His living temples. I feel so priveleged that He has called and chosen me...
I feel so blessed that He holds me and comforts me and I can comfort others with the comfort that I have recieved from Him.
I will praise Him in the storm... He gives and takes away, blessed be the name of the Lord.
Jesus, thank you for the truth that this life is temporary and our losses are but gain in your Kingdom. Thank you that life in you is eternal and forever joy. May all come to know your great love and grace and comfort and Presence in their storms.