The one thing I can say is that if you know who you are in Christ and that you belong to Him, this helps tremendously. We are going to go through pain and suffering in life. God's word never tell us that it is going to be easy. The question is, who is your hope in? My hope is in God and I am choosing to stick with Him in all things. I see Him at work. I see Him even in the midst of anger and tears. I see Him even in the midst of MY SIN. Like I said, this doesn't necessarily make emotions or pain go away, but I feel and see my GOD at work, and it's a beautiful thing.
See, the truth is that Uncle Mark is okay now. In fact, he is more than okay. He is rejoicing. He is healthy. He is having a good time. He experiences no pain right now. He is in constant worship of our incredible Savior. He hears. He sings praises to our Father. It's us.....his family.....his friends.....his acquaintances....his classmates.....his co-workers that are left on here on earth who have to deal with his loss. It is us that have to learn how to cope, and let me just say coping without the Lord right now would leave me very depressed. I have had weepy days. I have had difficult moments. But, even at the lowest of lows and the most emotional of emotional moments, I have repeated promises from God to myself. I have thanked Him for being next to me. I have praised Him for the fact that I even have emotions to experience hurt. Imagine that....that's something I haven't thanked God for during my entire existence until just this week. I've been thanking God for the ability to even realize that I am hurt or the ability to have bad emotions. Why? Because this is a reminder that I also have the ability to have good emotions. I can experience joy, peace, love, acceptance, forgiveness, and redemption in my Father. Have you ever experienced such attributes?
I seem to always go back to the same Psalms for comfort. I want to share a few with you that I have repeated this week:
My soul finds rest in God alone;
my salvation comes from him.
He alone is my rock and my salvation;
he is my fortress, I will never be shaken.
One thing God has spoken,
two things have I heard:
that you, O God, are strong,
and that you, O Lord, are loving.
(I'm not sure if any of you are familiar with Jon Foreman's "Your Love is Strong," but this is one of my favorite songs...especially because he incorporated SO much scripture in it--these verses included!)
O God, you are my God,
earnestly I seek you;
my soul thirsts for you,
my body longs for you,
in a dry and weary land
where there is no water.
These verses are like medicine for my soul. I love them. I love resting in the Lord as I sit here and write. He is beyond good. I am jealous of Uncle Mark because He experiences this love and passion face to face!
Lastly, I want to share a sweet story from my Aunt Leslie (Uncle Mark's wife). Uncle Mark ordered a pair of shoes from Zappos.com before he passed away, and to my knowledge the shoes arrived after his passing. Aunt Leslie shipped the shoes back and explained what had happened. This past Tuesday, the one month mark of Uncle Mark's death, Aunt Leslie received a bouquet of flowers.......from Zappos.com. I must say I was absolutely dumbfounded when I heard this. This is not a small mom and pop company who saw Mark every day or even had some deep relationship with him. This is a huge shoe, clothing, and accessories company that took the time to really brighten someones' day, and how tender and kind that they would choose to send flowers on a day that would be so emotionally tough. I was not contacted by Zappos.com to share this story. I was just genuinely touched. I already really liked this company, and so did Uncle Mark :) He was a true shoe guru, people! I just wanted to take the time and say thank you to a company that really went over and beyond!
Have peace today :) Rest in the Lord. He is GOOD!!!! All the time!!!! Despite our pain! Despite the circumstances. Despite our moods and our melancholy selves!!!! His glory is abundant! His mercy and grace are like no other!
All images from pinterest.com