Monday, December 7, 2015

Lord be my refuge in the darkest nights

Psalms 16:1-7
16:1  A Mikhtam of David. Preserve me, O God, for I take refuge in You.
2  I said to the LORD, "You are my Lord; I have no good besides You."....

5  The LORD is the portion of my inheritance and my cup; You support my lot.
6  The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places; Indeed, my heritage is beautiful to me.

7  I will bless the LORD who has counseled me; Indeed, my mind instructs me in the night.

When we suffer a severe loss of a loved one every part of our lives feel less secure.  All the plans and hopes we had for that person end.  We feel as though there is no safe place on the earth.   We are very aware of our own frailty.  

The only sure place to go is to look to God to preserve our life and be a hiding place for us in our fear.  In the end, the loss of a loved one forces us to see that the only enduring relationship and good we can have in this life "East of Eden" is the Lord.   The LORD alone is a firm and enduring reality.  Everything else is dust in the wind. 

As we turn to the Lord to give us security in an insecure world, we also find in addition that the Eternal One is also a source of wise instruction and comfort about our loss.   Here as we find our hiding place in God we also find a song of truth to comfort our souls.  The promises and purpose of God remain steadfast and lasting.  They have not been changed in the  face of death.  There is still God's truth that remains secure. 

Prayer:  Lord, I am scared out of my mind.  Nothing is safe or secure.  Be my safe place and person.  Preserve my life and fruitfulness.  Lord, calm my mind and heart with your promises that all things are working together for good.  Remind me that your grace is greater than my failures.  Help me I pray to praise you in the dark.  You always remain the same.  Your steadfast love endures forever and I trust in you.    Amen

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Being A Survivor Is Not Easy!

Zechariah 13:9

9  "And I will bring the third part through the fire, Refine them as silver is refined, And test them as gold is tested. They will call on My name, And I will answer them; I will say, 'They are My people,' And they will say, 'The LORD is my God.'"

Within the context of this passage, the third are those who survive a tragic time.  Survivors have a special test to face.  They have lost who they loved.  It is their duty, calling, and challenge to continue on in life. Not only are they called upon to continue, but to do so in dependence upon the LORD of life and death.  
Faith is made more pure from suffering loss.  All the parts of it that were false and just pretense are burned away by the pain of grief.  All the "head knowledge" that was not real "heart knowledge" evaporates under the intense pressure of suffering.  The true faith, that which cries out in desperation for help is what is left in a pure and raw form. 
The LORD does speak to us in our times of grief.  As we cry before the LORD, the SPIRIT says to us "You belong to ME".  In response to this commitment by God in the Messiah Jesus our hearts echo back, "YOU belong to me".    
As we trust the LORD in the dark pain of grief and loss, we find our refuge and home in the Living LORD of all the cosmos.  HE dwells in eternity and also in our hearts.  
LORD, you have chosen that I am the survivor and my loved one has been lost in death.  They are with you according to your promise and WORD.  Give me strength now to endure to my end in faith, hope, and love.  In this testing by fire grant that my core faith will prove true and enduring.  Focus my faith now upon your commitment to me and let me open my heart in seeking prayer before your face to find help in this time of greatest need.   Amen