Thursday, July 23, 2015

Thoughtful Thursday -- Stealing My Stuff Again

Photo from the Huffington Post
Brad and I went to the Wednesday evening service at our church last night, and heard a wonderful message from our associate pastor based on
I Thessalonians 5:16-18.

That passage is actually a series of three commands.

Rejoice always.

Pray without ceasing.

Give thanks in all circumstances.

Three things that a person who is grieving can find very hard to do.  Yet these three things must be pretty important because verse 18 concludes by saying, "for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you."

As he shared his thoughts from this passage, he asked us, "If you came home one evening and there were robbers at your house, carrying your TV, your couch, and all your other belongings out the front door ... would you just stand there and watch?  Would you let them carry off everything you own without trying to stop them?"

I thought to myself, "Of course not!  That would be crazy!"

Here was his point ...

Of course we wouldn't stand idly by while thieves carried off all our possessions.

Yet we allow Satan free rein to do just that in our hearts.  Sometimes we even unlock the windows and doors and escort him in!  We show him around and allow him to take whatever he
wants ...

Our peace

Our joy

Our hope

Our security

Our confidence in our relationship with God

The list goes on and on.

So much of the battle in grief is spiritual in nature.  As the years have passed, I've found that the times I really find myself in a deep funk about Hannah's death, it's because I've allowed Satan to get a foothold in my head and in my heart, and he's stealing my stuff again.  Usually he's not brazen enough to carry it out the front
door ... He starts slipping it out the windows and through the attic and down into the basement and I don't even notice I'm letting him do it until I'm gasping for breath and wondering what happened.

It's at times like this that I have to remember what I know ...

God is good, and He is for me  (Nahum 1:7).

He knew the number of Hannah's days before she was born, and His plan for her was fulfilled in the number of days He gave her  (Psalm 139:15-16).

I have not been abandoned by God, nor will I be destroyed by my circumstances (2 Corinthians 4:8-9).

Weeping will not last forever ... there is joy coming  (Psalm 30:5b).

He is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit  (Psalm 34:18).

The years I have spent separated from Hannah will be restored  (Joel 2:25).

God is in control, even when it feels like everything is spinning out of control  (Isaiah 46:9-10).

I have an eternal home in Heaven  (2 Corinthians 5:1).

God loves me with an everlasting love  (Jeremiah 31:3).

One young mom who came to our last While We're Waiting Weekend for Bereaved Parents said she had made a practice of recording in her journal the lies Satan was telling her ... and then refuting each of them in writing on the next page.  What a great idea!  No way was he gonna steal her stuff!

"The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly."  John 10:10

If you have experienced the death of a child, please check out the While We're Waiting ministry.

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