I am so thankful that after four years of widowhood, I have safely reached the shoreline and the storm has gone out to sea. Today in church we sang “A Shelter in a Time of Storm.” The chorus says, “Jesus is a rock in a weary land, a shelter in a time of storm.” My, what a storm those first few years were! Without my Lord’s rock as my refuge, I don’t think I would have made it through. God not only helped me make it through the storm, but he also helped me across the weary, rocky land on the edge of grief’s shoreline. When I finally made it through the storm, I crawled to dry land. Standing up, I found the shore very rocky. I would be on my way, making good headway to the land of a new normal, when one of the jagged rocks would trip me. It was discouraging to find myself down again. However, my Lord always lifted me up and filled my heart with encouragement. Each time I fell I’d be stronger and eventually I could rise up without much effort. I’ve traveled far enough away from that jagged shoreline that I’ve come to mostly smooth ground. But, sometimes, I fall into a small pothole the swirling winds and water have left behind. I am stronger now and easily stand back up. I’ve found that I could still look backwards, and if I look hard enough, I can see all of the heartache I left behind. I quickly turn away and don’t allow myself to gaze more than a few minutes or even seconds. The Lord has taught me that I should be responsible for myself now. I have to keep my hands to the plow and not look back. If I look back, I will lose my foothold and slip again. I want to encourage all of you who are grieving, to not give up. Our Lord is, indeed, a shelter in the time of storm. He won’t let the raging storms overtake you. Trust Him and He will carry you through.
Ps. 18:2 – “The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I trust, my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.”
God Bless You, Kathy
As I was reading 2 Corinthians 4:1-4, I had to stop and ponder what these verses really mean to us. Verses 2 and 3 say, “For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven: If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked.” Today what we wear seems to be very important importance us. For example, if we are going to a wedding, we dress differently than we do when we go to watch a football game. When we are joining a crowd, we tend to dress ourselves in the manner that we feel the others at that particular event will be dressed. Some events require certain attire. However, not everyone feels like complying with the norm. It is not unusual to see someone in the mall dressed in their pajamas!
We also see many different ways that people choose to dress their loved ones for their funerals. Some have suits on their husbands, and others like to see them in the type of clothing they always wore. This is of course, a personal preference of the bereaved or perhaps the wishes of the loved one that has passed away.
My husband had a tendency to like to be different. Usually, he was in conformity to the norm, but on occasion I would have to say he “stood out”. Maybe he would be one of the few in the crowd with his wide brimmed “western” hat on.
Phil had suffered and fought his cancer for two years. At one particular time during his battle it didn’t look like he was going to live much longer. My husband had been trying to use his illness as a witness to others. I knew that a suit was not his favorite attire, and thinking about how he liked to be a witness to others I decided to design him a T-shirt. One thing I kept in mind was also the fact the he and his close friends always seemed to be in competition for one sport or another. I came up with the saying “I beat you to the celestial shore!” I showed it to him before ordering it and he was very happy with its design. God spared his life at that particular time, but since I had ordered it in two sizes, knowing how his weight changed with each relapse and remission, he was able to wear it when God did decide to take him home. Needless to say the shirt did give some laughs to his friends. He had had the last say and beat them at one thing for sure.
In 2 Corinthians the Bible tells us that at the believer’s death he will be “clothed upon” with a “house from heaven.” This house from heaven is something to be desired. We “groan” to leave this cumbersome body. Our body that is now the tabernacle of God desires to be released and clothed with our house from heaven.
We can rejoice for our loved ones in heaven that they are no longer clothed with this earthly body, a body that continues to fall apart, decline, and fail. Praise God they are clothed with their house while they await for a new, resurrected body!