Monday, June 13, 2016

Better Or Bitter?

A widow going on her third year mentioned how each year seemed to present an entirely different set of challenges and it seemed that just as she began to get a handle on one, the calendar page would turn and she'd be looking down the barrel of a whole new ominous cloud.

I could see that the Lord had given her a lot of wisdom though. She realized she had some hard choices to make between the better path and the bitter path . . .

Some of our choices on the long road of widowhood popped up in a sermon I heard on suffering at about the same time I was corresponding with my widow friend. Don't you love the way God brings things together? Here's what I jotted down from the sermon to share with my friend:

"Most friends will not continue to sympathize with you---be tolerant of them anyway . . ."

"God will often be silent and seem very distant to you--- trust Him anyway . . ."

"There's a big difference between God's silence and His absence . . ."

And here were the main points:
  • Accept your experience as a test
  • Repeat the spiritual disciplines even though they seem empty at times
  • Be realistic--you may be in for the long haul. So dig in.
  • Remember that God promises to reward those who endure
I wish I could formulate this sermon into a pill and take one every day! Many thanks to my pastor back in Ohio, Cornelious Hancock at Springboro Baptist!

What are some of the quotes and ideas that have helped you the most?

2 comments:

  1. The thought that my widowhood has always been part of God's plan, and not some tragic Plan B, was very helpful. Also, Ferree's post on June 24, 2013: "Widowhood: A Wilderness Journey," really turned my thinking around--that there are treasures to be found, even out in the wilderness! This article, and many others, have made Psalm 3:3b real for me--through them, the Lord is lifting up my head, and gently and persistently turning my gaze toward hope and the goodness of His plan for me!

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  2. I love what you said and am so thankful to hear how the Lord is turning your thinking around---that's how he heals our hearts. You've given me so much to think about too! Just about every phrase of your comment contains key words and layers of wisdom that will yield God's blessings. I also had to look up your Psalm 3:3b--"you bestow glory on me and lift up my head." I don't think I know much about the glory part yet, I look forward to heaven for that, but to have the Lord "lift up my head?" I'd never thought about that before! It brings to mind first of all when my head is bowed down in sorrow or in prayer. And then if the Lord lifts it up, what does that look like? I think He'd gently put a finger under my chin, as He raises me up I open my eyes...
    oh my!... the things I'd see! The encouragement and comfort I'd feel! Like you said, he would be "gently and persistently turning my gaze toward hope and the goodness of His plan!"
    Thank you for sharing your wonderful insights and God's work through your sorrow my friend. May God continue to bless and strengthen you through His Word.

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