Monthly Archives: October 2012

Letting Go… Moving Forward

This summer I lost both of my parents within a period of eleven weeks.  Mom passed in June and dad passed in August.  Hundreds of people came to their memorial service to celebrate their lives.  Anyone who knew them, loved them.

As immediate family gathered for the internment, I was able to hold each of their ashes for several moments to say “goodbye”…  As I stood, holding the leather box containing dad’s ashes… I thought of the many lessons he taught me.  I was grasping for some truth, some experience to hold onto as the funeral director took the box from me.

Just as the box was removed a little gust of wind blew through the breezeway where we stood.  I looked out toward the cemetery grounds and saw a few leaves blow from the trees.  Instead of falling to the ground as I had expected, they gently lifted on the breeze and floated up… up… up… until they disappeared beyond the roof of the building.

Instead of acting as expected, we can also choose to let go and move upward and onward, toward greater things.  Yes, we feel the grief and the loss… but only for a moment.  We lift on the wind of the legacy and continue on.

Philippians 3:13-14 (NLT)

No, dear friends, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.


Tears

Psalm 56:8

“You keep track of all my sorrows.  You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.”

God many times will speak to me in dreams.  Last night I had a very vivid dream.  In it I was crying… my heart was broken over the bitterness I apparently still held against several people in my life.  God, very gently, prompted me by bringing faces to my memory and showing me where I still held bitterness, anger, or resentment.  My tears were of true remorse, confession, and repentance.   One by one I forgave and asked forgiveness.

I came to a point where I had no more tears… I felt drained.  I turned around and saw the massive room I was in.  It was lined with shelves, like an apothecary.  There were rows and rows of shelves filled with jars of many sizes and shapes.  They were all clear and beautiful, filled with liquid.  As far as my eye could see, and as high as the heavens, these jars glowed, shelf upon shelf.

I asked God, “what are these?”

He softly replied, “the tears of my beloved ones… I treasure them.”  He continued, “they represent true repentance, devotion and grief.  Each one has visited here at one time or another and has received comfort.  Each one is precious.” He paused… and I saw a tear begin to travel down His cheek, “my child, tears are never wasted.  They cleanse, they heal, they renew… I save each one… I even write them down.”

As I began to awaken I felt a sense of complete peace… just knowing that God is aware of every tear, every sorrow… He weeps with me, shelters me, strengthens me in times of trouble.

Psalm 46:1

“God is our refuge and strength,
    an ever-present help in trouble.”



Manners

“Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other.”  ~ Romans 12:10

I remember hearing my mother say, “Where are your manners, young man?”

In our home, “please” and “thank you” were not optional… they were a requirement for proper, respectful behavior.  This seemed to remain a constant until the 1960’s and 1970’s arrived.  The social rebellion and disrespect for others seemed to creep into the fabric of American society.  Common courtesies from the prior generation disappeared.

In a sense, this verse in Romans reminds us of our manners.  God wants us to treat each other kindly, with respect, with honor… to sympathize with each other and to keep a humble attitude.

Indeed, we can get frustrated with one another… we will get annoyed at situations… we will get impatient with traffic… we will get frustrated with co-workers, family, friends.  This verse reminds us to watch our attitude… to watch how we respond.

Another scripture in 1 Peter says it in a little different way…

“Finally, all of you should be of one mind. Sympathize with each other. Love each other as brothers and sisters.  Be tenderhearted, and keep a humble attitude.”  ~ 1 Peter 3:8

Lord, help me to be kind, thoughtful, loving, tenderhearted, and humble!  ~ Amen


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