A Time to Die

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A Time for Everything 
Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8 NIV

There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:

a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.


As a young child, I experienced a bit of trauma when my father died. I was only six years old and I don’t remember a lot about his illness or death but I do remember watching my friends have dads and wondered what that was like. Of course, because the main wage earner was not around, we experienced financial hardship. And sure my mom was exhasuted by the four of us! As I moved through different stages of life, I knew I missed out on something. But, it was simply a fact in our family and we moved forward in life.

Years went my and I married a great guy and we started having our own children. When we were pregnant with precious child #3, I started to get nervous. When my husband’s mom was pregnant with her third child, her huband died of a heart attack. I thought for sure that would be my future. Of course, I was wired for something like that since I grew up without a father in the home. My mom raised four kids by herself and I figured that was going to be my lot in life. I actually thought far more about the day I would be raising children on my own due to my husband’s death than I ever thought about my mom leaving this earth.

Moms are immortal, aren’t they?

It didn’t happen that way. Don’s still here and my mom died ten years ago. (She was the best!) And it has been so much fun to watch my kids have their dad in their lives! Watching my husband be such a great father to our kids has been a great thing. So many of the things I feared would happen, in fact, have not happened. But they were fears I simply had to face and move through.

There are days we feel like we are dying because of the agonizing heartache or the anticipation of pain or paralyzing fear of the future or the prospect (or certainty) of a challenging treatment plan. And yet, those are not the days our bodies die. We are all marching toward that final day but we don’t really know the circumstances surrounding our final breath.

We know it will come, eventually. It always does. Are you working on those things you’ve hoped or dreamed about? If you knew you had a short time left on this earth, what are the things you would focus in on and do?

Teach us to number our days,
    that we may gain a heart of wisdom. [Psalm 90:12 NIV]

I am at least halfway through my life. When did that even happen? I don’t fear death itself as much as I wonder about the pain that might be involved in the process of dying. But, no matter, I don’t know any of the circumstances surrounding my final breath.

But what if this is what I am facing in my remaining days?

  • Life without a special, precious someone
  • A difficult diagnosis
  • Financial hardship
  • Disability
  • Chronic Illness

I will cling to His promises. He is the God of all comfort. He sees the bigger picture. He knows this life is temporary. He knows and uses every trouble and trial for faith building  either in me or in others.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.        [2 Corinthians 1:3-4 NIV]

I trust that God is with me, strengthening and upholding me! And I trust He is with you too!

On the way,

Liz

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PrayerPoints ~ Saturday, March 26th

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Today’s PrayerPoint ~ Psalm 130

Today we wait and pray but we know Easter is coming. I am always waiting for the good and bad of this life but may my focus be on anticipating what God is doing (and has done) for my eternity!

Here is a collection of Psalm 130:5 in several different translations. Sometimes waiting is the hardest part!

New International Version
I wait for the LORD, my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope.

New Living Translation
I am counting on the LORD; yes, I am counting on him. I have put my hope in his word.

English Standard Version
I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in his word I hope;

New American Standard Bible 
I wait for the LORD, my soul does wait, And in His word do I hope.

King James Bible
I wait for the LORD, my soul doth wait, and in his word do I hope.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
I wait for Yahweh; I wait and put my hope in His word. 

International Standard Version
I wait for the LORD; my soul waits, and I will hope in his word.

NET Bible
I rely on the LORD, I rely on him with my whole being; I wait for his assuring word. 

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
I have hoped in Lord Jehovah and my soul has waited for his word.

GOD’S WORD® Translation
I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and with hope I wait for his word.

PrayerPoints ~ Monday, March 7th

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Today’s PrayerPoint ~ Psalm 84

“O Lord, Almighty, blessed is the man who trusts in you.” Psalm 84:12

Sadly, I have several situations in my history that have tainted my trust in people. I do have people I trust but I have learned that there are people who should clearly not be trusted, ever.

I have been trusting God for many years now though I have had occasional and brief interference by humans who were unhealthy. Thankfully, I did not attribute the actions of these people to God’s character, but processing the situations did take a little time. God also used those situations to strengthen my trust in Him as well as fine tune my intuition. For some reason, it never occurred to me that God endorsed or was behind any of that yucky stuff. And for that, I am thankful.

If you struggle with trust issues, it might be due to early experiences with unhealthy people in your life. If those people were in positions of authority or, worse yet, in positions of church authority, I am so very sorry for your experience. This is not how God works. Sadly, this is how sin in the world works.

If you struggle with some historical issues, I encourage you to seek healthy counsel so that your present and future are not defined by your past. May God heal, restore, and refresh you as you seek Him!

“Blessed are those whose strength is in you, who have set their hearts on pilgrimage. As they pass through the Valley of Baca, they make it a place of springs; the autumn rains also cover it with pools. They go from strength to strength till each appears before God in Zion.”  Psalm 84:3-7

 

 

Golden Moments

 

Do you notice those times when either exactly what you needed was provided or you were in the right place at the right time to provide for someone else? They are powerful moments – particularly if we recognize them. I anticipate they are going to happen because they seem to often enough and I don’t want to miss them when they do. I also don’t want to miss out of the opportunity to recognize (and thank) WHO is behind it.
 
It is so easy to write up my list of things to do and forget to first thank God for His provision and faithfulness for yesterday and ask God to bless my today. If I am in the habit of recalling what He has already done for me then my eyes, ears, and heart are tuned into His work and I see those golden moments much more clearly. 
 
As you journey through this season of Lent, I encourage you to look forward with positive anticipation at the work God is doing in and through you. Take note. Give thanks. Trust Him. Sometimes His way of providing is something we would never have been able to imagine (for example, Jesus’ provision for us on the cross) but He delivers in ways beyond our understanding.
 
Heavenly Father, Give me eyes to see You and faith to trust You even if my eyes are unable to see. Thank you for your past provision. I look with anticipation to the future.