I give you fair warning, this post is sad. I realize some people don’t want to read something if it comes across as depressing. I get that, but this is the way life is sometimes.
Unfortunately for all of us, life is sometimes sad….
Wednesday morning, seventeen people woke up. They picked out their outfits to wear on Valentines Day, they were going over plans they had, grabbed backpacks, school books, car keys, and kissed their loved ones before leaving for work or school. They weren’t expecting a shooter at their school. Not one of them knew they would not be coming home that afternoon. Life changed forever for those left behind.
My late husband was just thirty-one when he was diagnosed with an incurable heart disease. The day he went to the doctor to get a routine physical for his job as a truck driver, my preschool-age son and I were going with him so we could all go out to lunch together after the appointment. It didn’t work out that way. Instead, my husband was taken to the hospital, where he stayed for a week. He lived for another year and four months after that diagnosis. Life changed forever for those left behind.
My new husband was also widowed. His wife was thirty-nine. It was a perfectly ordinary day, with the exception that her back was hurting her. She went to her chiropractor and still wasn’t feeling better. Later that evening she dropped to the floor, in and out of consciousness. An ambulance was called. They found out she had been bleeding internally. Maybe an aneurysm? The doctors weren’t sure. She wasn’t coming come. Life changed forever for those left behind.
The cancer diagnosis.
The car accident.
Sudden Infant Death.
My husband and I co-facilitate a GriefShare group. We will be starting it back up soon for the Spring. Between the two of us, on and off, we have been involved with this group for nearly fifteen years. During those years we have listened and held hands of those grieving. Cried and laughed. Hugged and supported. It is not easy, because every time we meet someone new, someone hurting…..we are reminded of the pain of our own losses. I used to second guess myself, was I sure this was the ministry where I was called to serve? Is this really what we wanted to do?
My answer is yes. It will always be yes. Not because I am important or even special, but because God is. Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ. 2 Corinthians 1:3-5
Jesus wept at the tomb of his dear friend Lazarus. He understands people’s pain. God knows what it is to watch His innocent, blameless Son die. It is because of Christ’s death that we who know Him, have hope. That is what I am called to share with the hurting. Hope. His hope. Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. 1 Thessalonians 4:13-14
On my late husband’s gravestone is the scripture reference of John 11:25. My husband wasn’t perfect. Honestly, he had a lot of bad habits, he made mistakes… but he knew Jesus. As a follower of Christ, I know where my husband is, and others that I have loved who have died, and who knew Jesus. I don’t mean know of Him in an academic way, purely historical. I mean love Him, accept Him, and follow Him. That verse on the gravestone says, Jesus said…, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die…
Friends, do you know Jesus? None of us knows when our last moments will be, and quite frankly we live in an increasingly turbulent, violent, and scary world. No one wakes up thinking this is going to be the day he/she dies. I don’t want to die yet, but if today should be my day I know beyond a shadow of a doubt where I will be…with my Jesus. More alive then, then I will ever be on this Earth.
Please take a moment to read a group of verses in the book of Romans. Thank you to Mr. Peterson, at Bible Gateway.
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For your quick reference, here is the Romans Road to Salvation: a selection of Bible verses from the book of Romans that present the plan of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ
Romans 3:23 (CEB)
All have sinned and fall short of God’s glory.
Romans 3:10 (CEV)
The Scriptures tell us, “No one is acceptable to God!”
Romans 5:12 (NIrV)
Sin entered the world because one man sinned. And death came because of sin.
Everyone sinned, so death came to all people.
Romans 6:23 (ERV)
When people sin, they earn what sin pays—death. But God gives his people a free gift—eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 1:20 (ICB)
There are things about God that people cannot see—his eternal power and all the things that make him God. But since the beginning of the world those things have been easy to understand. They are made clear by what God has made. So people have no excuse for the bad things they do.
Romans 5:8 (GNT)
God has shown us how much he loves us—it was while we were still sinners that Christ died for us!
Romans 10:9-10 (NIV)
If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.
Romans 10:13 (NLT)
Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.
Romans 5:1 (VOICE)
Since we have been acquitted and made right through faith, we are able to experience true and lasting peace with God through our Lord Jesus, the Anointed One, the Liberating King.
Romans 8:1 (NIrV)
Those who belong to Christ Jesus are no longer under God’s judgment.
Romans 8:38-39 (NIV)
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.