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Posts Tagged ‘joy’

March 20, 2017 marked a day of loss for a very good friend of ours. Her mother passed away. Less than two years ago, I lost both of my parents and so I understand how she is feeling at this moment.

We knew her mother and she was a wonderful Christian lady. There is no doubt in my mind that she is now absent from her body and present with her Lord. I know that the family is as assured of this fact as I am, but it does not take away the sorrow and loss that is being felt right now.

Sorrow and loss are feelings that we all must face because our original perfection was destroyed by our open rebellion against God. Yet God, in His mercy, chose not to leave us in our sinful state, but in His Sovereign Will, would one day restore that perfection.

Until all of creation is renewed, we will be very well acquainted with shedding tears. There is nothing wrong with expressing sorrow over lost loved ones. Jesus himself wept in the Scriptures. There are two recorded instances of Jesus crying. Once over the loss of a dear friend and the second over His beloved Jerusalem. However, Isaiah 53:3 tells us that the suffering Messiah would be “a man of sorrows, acquainted with grief.”

Throughout the life of Christ, I believe that he saw tremendous amounts of sorrow and grief. I also believe that because of His love for us, he shed many silent tears.

We are told that time heals all things. As nice as that sounds, I do not believe that. Death is our enemy. We were created to live, not to die. I’m not even sure that time lessens our sorrow and grief over the loss of a loved one. I think it is more accurate to say that we become adjusted to live with the loss. Regardless of the years that will pass, one rogue memory brings everything back, and that feeling of loss will still be there.

First Thessalonians 4:13 is the light at the end of the very dark tunnel of sorrow. That light is hope. So yes, even as Christians we will experience sorrow and grief. Our consolation in this is that we know a day is coming where our hope will be fulfilled in the saving grace of Jesus Christ.

One of my favorite verses in Scripture is Revelation 21:4 which states “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”

For now, my family grieves for our friend and her family for their loss. I pray that in the days to come, she will cling close to our Savior and be assured that one day soon, the sorrow will be gone and our age old enemy, death, will be swallowed up in Victory.

 

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I put together a little video about my latest skiing adventure. I hope you get as much chuckle from watching it as I did making it!

Skiing

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It has been so long since I have logged into my own blog that I could not remember the password. That may be good for the two of you that read this, but I’m not sure yet.

Do I have a good reason for dropping out of life? Or perhaps I should ask is there ever a good reason for dropping out of life. I wish I had a good answer to that question without relying on some old and pat cliché.

The past two years have not been good. Starting with the death of my mom on July 7, 2015, a very good friend on July 18, 2015, my father-in-law on September 5, 2015, my dad on October 9, 2015 and the list continues on like that for two years.

Of course many have told me that I am depressed or wallowing in the depths of despair and need to seek out “professional” help. I do not feel depressed and I am not wallowing anywhere (outside of the occasional times I get my wheelchair stuck in the mud).

What I do feel is reflection. Even now I have a very good friend in New Zealand, from playing on line games, who is only 35 years old, laying in a hospital bed, and feels like giving up. I also have another very good friend in NYC that is scheduled for back surgery on Tuesday for spinal stenosis. So this new year is not looking much brighter then the last two years.

It is very easy to ask why…but we all know why. What I ask is “Have I done enough?” Have I been there when people need me? Have I offered a smile, held their hand, laughed with them, cried with them. Could I have done more? These are the questions that cause me to reflect as I go into 2017.

My only New Year’s resolution is that I want to be a better person for people when they need me most.

In my book, regret is a much worse feeling then depression.

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894655_10151462189646236_1553605846_oWith an endless source of life possibilities, how does one choose what to do in life? Our early years are pretty much laid out for us with family and school dictating our time. In college we start to spread our wings a bit to test our flying skills. And then we find ourselves plunged into the working world. If things progress in the natural order, we will spend the next 45 years 887124_10151462469301236_1445459261_oworking for a living, possibly raising a family and trying to find time to accomplish everything we want to do. Then in our senior years we all hope to relax, enjoy friends and family and never have to worry about money.

But let’s say you were given the opportunity to time travel to the end of your life. What would you see when you look back? Joy, sorrow, regrets, or even worse…nothing at all. In a sense, my injury allowed me the chance to read the last chapter first. What I saw was not very pretty. So many things that I would have done differently. I was so wrapped up in always keeping myself happy, that I completely missed the boat on serving others.

894001_10151462191721236_1160386490_oFriday of last week I had the opportunity to briefly share my testimony in chapel at my Alma Mater, Bob Jones University. Two friends of mine, also in wheelchairs, shared similar stories. God is always faithful. The past 16 years in a wheelchair has blessed me with serving instead of being served, and realizing that life is not about what I can get, but what I can give. I’m not sure of the exact number of people I was speaking to, but my guess would be around 2500. As I looked out over the sea of faces, I saw so many different expressions looking back at me. Happy, sad, interested, indifferent and even sleeping. What could I possibly say to have a positive impact on so many young people? Something to make a difference?1363974113299

I wanted to impress on them that what matters most in life, is loving God and loving others. That is what we will be remembered for. So let me encourage you to start writing your history today. A history of love and service. Be smarter than I was, and live your life with a greater concern for others than yourself.

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