The older you grow, the more death touches your life. My first encounter with death was as a toddler when my granddad passed away from emphysema. I don’t remember much about that time, but when my grandpa died a few years later, I remember going to the funeral and dancing in the sunshine as the family gathered around the hearse, waiting for the coffin to be brought out.
As the years have rolled by, each new death has touched me in a different way from the confusion of a classmate dying in a horse-riding accident when I was 10, to the sanity crushing experience of my 13-year-old niece dying in a car wreck when I was 26, to the bittersweet understanding of my husband’s grandmother passing away peacefully in a nursing home when I was 38. In each experience, God was there even when I didn’t notice Him.
Like Mary and Martha, we often complain to God that, had He been there, this terrible tragedy wouldn’t have happened. And yet, God is in every moment of our lives. God is not here to make our lives comfortable or without hardship. God is here to bring us through the tragedy and the joy. God is here as a comforter as well as a protector.
The shortest verse in the Bible is “Jesus wept.” What more could be said about our Creator than that He feels our pain and offers us His love? Death, whether we want to accept it or not, is a part of life. We cannot separate our joys from our sorrows because without one, the other would mean nothing.
When we trust God to hold us as we travel through the darkest hours of our lives, we may find ourselves beside the hearse, dancing in the light of Heaven.
So often our lives take turns that are unexpected, that leave us kneeling in the dust feeling as if our entire world has collapsed around us. The pain seems unbearable and we wonder if it will be this way forever. You care for us so deeply, that when we are in pain you weep for us. Hold us in your loving embrace and be with us in our times of sorrow. Help us know that our sorrow will eventually turn to joy again as you walk with us each day.
In Jesus’ Name,
Questions and Reflections
As you read John 11:1-45, try to remember a time in your life in which you didn’t think you could trust God to be there for you. Then, take some time to work through the Questions and Reflections before engaging in the Meditation Activities.
Find a quiet place, preferably in nature, and take ten to 20 minutes to contemplate what the above image means to you as it relates to the reading of John 11:1-45, then choose as many of the following suggestions as you would like to express your thoughts and feelings outwardly.
- In your journal, write a free-flow of thoughts and descriptive images as they come to you, or draw a picture regarding the picture and its relationship to trusting God no matter how you feel.
- Make a rain stick using the directions at http://www.enchantedlearning.com/crafts/music/rainstick/. Decorate the paper towel tube using symbols that will help you remember to trust God no matter how you feel.
- Tell a friend, or God, about your thoughts and feelings concerning the picture and its relationship to trusting God no matter how you feel.
- Decide on your own creative way to express your feelings and thoughts regarding the picture and its relationship to trusting God no matter how you feel.
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Individuals and groups alike will find themselves
discovering that every day is a new opportunity to see God’s touch on their lives as they journey through scripture to uncover that:
- No Matter Who You Are…
- No Matter How You Feel…
- No Matter What People Do…
- No Matter What Happens..
- No Matter Where You Are…
- No Matter How Little You Have…
- No Matter What You’ve Done…
- No Matter How Old You Are…
Paperback edition also available on Amazon.
Get six Bible based, inspirational messages by Virginia Ripple from the blog One Servant’s Heart all in one .zip file.
- Called to Forgive Called to Serve
- New Beginnings
- No Fear In Love
- The Boneyard
- The Dirty Little Penny
- The Hardest Commandment
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When we find ourselves stymied by what we think prayer should look like, it’s time to step back and think like a child. God loves each of us and wants to hear from us.
Prayer can be as complex as we want or as simple as we need, but sometimes we need a little help getting started. In this book you’ll discover the basics of:
- What prayer is
- Why we pray
- How to pray
- How to know your prayers are answered
From repetitions to labyrinths to dancing to journals, it is all Simply Prayer.
Or Pay What You Want for the audiobook.Buy this on Selz Start selling on Selz
When life seems impossible to cope with, God reaches out to remind us of his promises for our lives. Journey through scripture to meet God in new and unexpected ways as you discover what it means to “Fear Not!”
Anyone can use Fear Not to meet God in new and unexpected ways. Each of the eight sessions begins with an introduction, then moves on to a scripture reading (included), questions to ponder, a meditation picture and lastly a list of possible hands-on projects you can do.
The eight sessions are:
- Session 1 … God is always with us
- Session 2 … God is in control
- Session 3 … God keeps his promises
- Session 4 … God keeps us safe
- Session 5 … God provides for us
- Session 6 … God reveals himself to us
- Session 7 … God gives us new life
- Session 8 … God sends a Helper to us
- 52“You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Matthew 16 16 Whether it is in the face of a delighted child or the crash of thunder during a storm, God reveals himself to us. Sometimes he catches our attention in a way we cannot ignore, like when he…
- 51“[God] said, ‘Certainly I will be with you.’” Exodus 3:12 Have you ever watched the latest news cast and wondered, “Where is God in all this?” Have you ever sat under the stars, feeling smaller than the smallest ant, and thought, “Is God out there somewhere?” Have you ever asked:…
- 50“It shall happen… according as he has promised….” Exodus 12:25 Believing God keeps his promises is perhaps one of the most difficult things to do. We’ve often had others break their promises and been guilty of breaking them ourselves. However, God shouldn’t be measured by human standards. Whether we believe…
- 50“Thus says Yaweh, ‘In this you shall know that I am Yaweh.’” Exodus 7:17 We have heard and read about the miracles God has performed both in the Bible and in modern times. Most of those miracles were obvious demonstrations of God’s power. However, the power of God comes in…
- 50“Yahweh shall give you meat to eat in the evening, and in the morning bread to satisfy you.” Exodus 16 8 It is quite easy to believe God will provide for you when you have your basic needs. However, not many of us can say that we trust God to provide…