These Dark Days.

(I give permission for anyone to copy any of my posts.)

In these dark days, we need encouragement, hope and peace. God will give that to us in many ways. One way is asking him for them, another is listening to uplifting music. Somehow music feeds our soul. Like everything else on earth it can feed our souls for good or evil. The last few years, I have found music lifts my heart up to the heavens. The earth seems to fade away.

Below I have printed the lyrics to a song that comforts me. This artist sings some of the most beautiful words I have heard in music. I hope you look him up and give his music a try.

Always Good.

Written and sung by Andrew Peterson

Do You remember how Mary was grieving?
How You wept and she fell at Your feet?
If it’s true that You know what I’m feeling
Could it be that You’re weeping with me?


Arise, O Lord, and save me
There’s nowhere else to go

You’re always good, always good
Somehow this sorrow is shaping my heart
Like it should
And You’re always good, always good

It’s so hard to know what You’re doing
So why won’t You tell it all plain?
But You said You’d come back on the third day
And Peter missed it again and again

So maybe the answer surrounds us
And we don’t have eyes to see


You’re always good, always good
This heartache is moving me closer than joy ever could
And You’re always good


My God, my God, be near me
There’s nowhere else to go
And Lord, if You can hear me
Please help Your child to know


That You’re always good, always good
As we try to believe what is not meant
To be understood
Will You help us to trust Your intentions for us are still good?
‘Cause You laid down Your life and You suffered like I never could


And You’re always good, always good
You’re always good, always good

We Christians should never forget what happened to the followers of Jesus right after he went to heaven. There was death, imprisonment and persecution. Many Jews were thrown out of the temple, excommunicated. This meant no one could trade with them or talk with them. They lost everything for Jesus. That is why the believers needed to share among themselves. The need was very great.

Remember what happened when Rome turned against Christianity. They tortured and killed thousands. Remember the suffering of the Holocaust. Not only Jews, but Christians, gays, mentally disabled and those who resisted Hitler were wiped out. Remember the suffering of the war itself. I had an uncle who died, who left a wife and two daughters behind.

It seems to me that we, North Americans, are surprised by suffering. We don’t seem to think we should have to suffer anything. Even the wearing of a simple mask in order to not spread an illness to others. No, we think that is too much to ask. It is a sacrifice we aren’t willing to make.

Many believe there is no virus. It is all untrue! So that means every news service in all the world is lying about all the people who are suffering and dying. There is some vast (worldwide) conspiracy against – who? Them personally, I guess.

To me, these are the scary people of the world. These are the ones who will persecute others to the death – like the ones who go surround government officials with weapons and send death threats. If they can, they will overthrow the democracy of the United States and keep Trump in power.

We are in our own era now, with our own wars against a virus, against ignorance and against pure evil. We don’t need to fear though, because God will walk through this time with us. He may let us suffer as he has done for millions in the past. We may lose our lives to violence by the hand of evil people.

But as the song says, Jesus did too. Aside from the torture, his death was much worse than any that can happen to a human, because he had the sins of the world on his heart and his Father turned away from him. The Father did this so Jesus could experience the second death: knowing we will be separated from God forever because of our sinful lives. At the judgement, God will show us our sinful lives and why he can’t take us to heaven. Then we will die and be dead forever. Jesus went through that to take our place if we want him to. He endured it so we don’t have to, and he endured it for every person.

Eunuchs, Widows and Divorcees.

Eunuchs in ancient times.

I’ve noticed in the Old Testament that often God calls out to people who are lonely and rejected. He knows how they feel, enters into their thoughts and tells them he can fill the emptiness inside them.

eunuch (noun) · eunuchs (plural noun)A man who has been castrated, especially (in the past) one employed to guard the women’s living areas at an oriental court.

He tells the eunuchs of ancient times:

Let not the eunuch say, “I am but a dry tree.”

For this is what the LORD says: “To the eunuchs who keep My Sabbaths,

who choose what pleases Me and hold fast to My covenant—

I will give them, in My house and within My walls, a memorial and a name

better than that of sons and daughters. I will give them an everlasting name that will not be cut off.    Isaiah 56:3-5

He speaks to women who cannot bear children, to the widow and to the woman who is divorced. (These events were considered disastrous and shameful in ancient times.)

 “Shout for joy, O barren woman, who bears no children;

break forth in song and cry aloud, you who have never travailed;

because more are the children of the desolate womanthan of her who has a husband,” says the Lord. (I’m not sure what God means by this. Perhaps in heaven these women will be given children to raise.)

“Enlarge the site of your tent, stretch out the curtains of your dwellings,

do not hold back. Lengthen your ropes

and drive your stakes in deep. For you will spread out to the right and left;

your descendants will dispossess the nations and inhabit the desolate cities.

Do not be afraid, for you will not be put to shame; do not be intimidated, for you will not be humiliated.

For you will forget the shame of your youth and will remember no more the reproach of your widowhood.

For your husband is your Maker—the LORD of Hosts is His name—

the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer; He is called the God of all the earth.

For the LORD has called you back, like a wife deserted and wounded in spirit,

like the rejected wife of one’s youth,” says your God.    

Isaiah 54:1-6

And for those who long for the deep love of a man/woman, the Lord even compares himself to someone who is full of longing to be with his love:

Listen! My beloved approaches. Look! Here he comes,

leaping across the mountains, bounding over the hills.

My beloved is like a gazelle or a young stag.

Look, he stands behind our wall,

gazing through the windows, peering through the lattice.

My beloved calls to me, “Arise, my darling.

Come away with me, my beautiful one.

For the winter is past; the rain is over and gone.

The flowers have appeared in the countryside; the season of singing has come,

and the cooing of turtledoves is heard in our land.

The fig tree ripens its figs; the blossoming vines spread their fragrance.

Arise, come away, my darling; come away with me, my beautiful one.” Song of Solomon 2:8-13

I love picturing Jesus running to my house and looking through the window to see if I am home. He sees me and asks me to run away with him! Wow. God’s love is exciting!

These verses have always made me smile and they give us insight into God and how he feels about those who need him, which is everyone. God doesn’t seem far away when we meditate on words like this.

Give God a Chance.

David singing for King Saul.

Psalm 34.  (In my own words.)

I will praise the Lord always. I will enjoy his company. Let those who are in trouble hear me and also rejoice!

I looked for the Lord and he answered me. He saved me from my fears. Angels of God surround those who revere him.

Try on the Lord, like a coat in a store, and see if he fits. Taste him, and you will see that he is good. You will be blessed by him. Fear God, for those who are in awe of him will lack no good thing.

If you love life, do not lie; turn away from evil and do good. Seek peace. God’s eyes are on us. His ears hear us. He is close to those whose hearts are broken. He saves those who are crushed in spirit.

In this world, we will have trouble, but God delivers us. Evil will kill the wicked, but in the last judgement, God’s people will not be condemned!

Don’t Refuse God’s Comfort.

500px-Gethsemane_Carl_Bloch

“A voice was heard in Ramah, weeping and loud lamentation, Rachel weeping for her children; she refused to be comforted, because they are no more.”   Matthew 2:18

This verse is also found in Jeremiah. Matthew says it was the fulfillment of a prophecy of when Herod killed the little children in Bethlehem, after hearing of the birth of Jesus, “the king of the Jews.” He wanted to make sure there was no king but him.

The mothers of these children refused to be comforted.

I don’t remember what book I read where the author quoted this and said they could have been comforted by God, but refused.

I’d never thought about what that verse meant, besides a great sorrow. The author said we must allow God to comfort us because if we don’t, sin will follow. I believe he is right.

Right now, in my family, there is a lot of sorrow and grief. My youngest sister’s friend is dying of cervical cancer, my daughter’s mother-in-law is in the hospital with lung cancer, my older sister’s son committed suicide last fall, my grandson is suffering from depression, my mother has colon cancer, my youngest granddaughter has Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and is in great mental pain, which is giving her mother deep emotional pain.

If we don’t allow God to comfort us and walk through this with us, we will start asking, “Why us?”  “Why me?”  We could become bitter and angry. We could begin to blame and hate God, who has allowed all this to happen and put us in such a terrible world.

Yesterday, when I heard my granddaughter was feeling worse, I felt so burdened and sad. I remembered this verse and told God I wanted his comfort. I needed his comfort. I receive his comfort by prayer, reading the Psalms and remembering what Jesus suffered.

This I know. God has not asked us to go through anything he has not gone through.

“For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.”  2 Corinthians 1:5

“Now if we are children, then we are heirs–heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.”  Romans 8:17

“But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed.”  1 Peter 4:13

“I want to know Christ–yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death.”    Philippians 3:10

“…and our hope for you is firmly grounded, knowing that as you are sharers of our sufferings, so also you are sharers of our comfort.”   2 Corinthians 1:7

 

 

 

 

 

 

God Inside Our Grief.

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Yesterday morning, I was thinking about my grandson, Criag, who died 6 years ago at age 21. We all think of him around this time of year. October is Thanksgiving in Canada. Craig loved Thanksgiving, because he loved turkey. He once asked his mom why they didn’t make all turkeys to be dark meat. We would play games after a terrific meal, and he loved games. His favorite was Gestures. We had to act things out, like Charades, and we would all be laughing long and loud.

November 20th is Craig’s birthday. His mom went and stayed with his brother, Jordan, for the weekend. Jordan misses Craig terribly. They were inseparable as they grew up. Jordan was like a puppy following Craig around, doing everything he did. They loved scooters, hockey, swimming, bike tricks, paint ball and skate boarding.

I was thinking of Craig yesterday morning. Usually, when I think of him, I am okay. I think of how I will see him in heaven. But yesterday, I just felt pain at the thought of his death – pain in my heart and soul. I said to God, “Oh Lord, pour your peace over my pain.”  Immediately, I felt the pain leave and had peace. My body felt relaxed and I was thankful for God’s comfort. 

God loves Craig more than I do, more than his mother or brother. God died for Criag, and on the resurrection day they will meet face to face. We will all meet together in a joyful reunion. Well, these are my beliefs. I know other people believe differently.

These verses from the Bible, which I read last night before going to sleep, describe what God does for me and for those who ask him.

“The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears, and delivers them out of all their troubles.

The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart, and saves such as have a contrite spirit.

Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all.”     Psalm 34:17-19

 “I sought the Lord, and he heard me and delivered me from all my fears. They looked to him and were radiant; their faces were not ashamed. This poor man cried out and the Lord heard him and saved him out of all his troubles. The angel of the Lord encamps all around those who fear him and delivers them.”  Psalm 34:4-7

Some pictures of Craig and Jordan.

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