Saturday, December 13, 2008

Always ~ Never ~ All

I awoke this morning with a hunger for God's Word.

So, I tended to LuLu, made my coffee and then settled in to pray, read and seek the Lord. I felt the overwhelming need to lift up the pastoral staff of my church, especially Pastor Tommy. What great responsibilities he has - caring for this flock so faithfully...

As I turned to His Word, I asked that I find all I needed for today within its pages. I get by a day at a time right now. And some days it is literally a "moment to moment" existence. But that's OK as long as I make it through.

I read something not long ago about giving thanks to God for everything. Everything. Good, bad, happy, sad, joyful, tragic...everything. That has been on my mind quite a bit lately. This morning, the Lord helped me.
"Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you who belong to Christ Jesus." 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

The message is very clear; the language is strong: Always. Never. All. God's Will.

Wow. You have to love a passage that requires no deep thought for there can be no misinterpretation here!

If you've ever read anything regarding grief, then you know it's widely accepted that there are five stages in the grieving process - denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance - and that the process of moving through them is fluid. There is no order to them and a person may experience more than one at any given time for any length of time, many times over.

Since I lost my Sweet Hubby, I have heard a number people refer to the "anger" stage. And each time, I reflect on my own circumstances...this path I've walked that ultimately led to my Sweet Hubby going to be with the Lord. I have felt many emotions - the main one being profound sadness. My heart is broken. But never anger. Never, not once. How can I possibly be angry that God relieved my Sweet Hubby's suffering and called him to Paradise?

Which leads me back to those verses in 1 Thessalonians. If I am to always be joyful and give thanks in all circumstances because I belong to Jesus, then there is no room - no place - for anger. And I'm glad, because that means I can stop looking over my shoulder, like it's going to creep up on me from behind and catch me unaware. From the moment we received his diagnosis, my Sweet Hubby and I vowed we would find some way to honor and glorify the Lord while dealing with his illness and all it brought. We had no anger then and I hope to continue living that way now.

Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances.

Sounds like a wonderful way to live. To God be all the glory...always.


Vicki said...

Gigi dear,
Praising the Lord in all circumstances, including during the depth of grief, does not take away the sorrow, but it does take away the anger. You are so wise in seeking the Lord in His marvelous Word. He is sustaining you one breath at a time.
Know that my prayers on you behalf are carried by the Holy Spirit to the throne of grace on your behalf.
Remember that you are very special.

Gigi said...

Thank you so much Vicki! Some days (most days right now) it really does feel like it's one breath at a time...but He is sustaining me - for sure!

jeleasure said...

I am greatful for you to share your experiences with us. Vicki and myself use this as a kind of journal from you that tells us how to pray for you.
As I was reading your post, I considered a post Vicki had written on grieving. It is a this link .

Gigi said...

Thanks Jim...I remember reading that post of Vicki's several months ago before my Sweet Hubby got sick...

Jody said...

Beautiful. When my dad passed away my greatest fear would be that I would dishonor the Lord in my grief. I didn't want to do that. God has been faithful to help me. Praying for you today, that He will sustain you each moment.

Gigi said...

Jody ~ I totally know what you mean. I do believe that the Lord feels and understands our grief. As long was we hold fast to Him as our anchor in the storm, there is no dishonor. You are in my prayers as well as you move through this season...

Marlene said...

How wonderful God is...He does answer our prayers.....thank you for sharing this with us...a reminder that our Lord is merciful and loving. All my love. M