Neither Death Nor Life

I have several friends who have lost long time spouses recently.  I often think of them and pray for them because I know how hard it is to suddenly be single again.  I often think that the death of a spouse would be easier to endure than losing a spouse through a divorce, but I may be wrong.  The one constant for Christians is that we are never left alone, not through death nor through life because Jesus asked the Father to leave us with a Comforter and Helper.

“I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you.

“I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.  “After a little while the world will no longer see Me, but you will see Me; because I live, you will live also.  “In that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you.  “He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will disclose Myself to him.”  Judas (not Iscariot) said to Him, “Lord, what then has happened that You are going to disclose Yourself to us and not to the world?”  Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him.  “He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine, but the Father’s who sent Me.

“These things I have spoken to you while abiding with you.  “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.  “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.  “You heard that I said to you, ‘I go away, and I will come to you.’ If you loved Me, you would have rejoiced because I go to the Father, for the Father is greater than I.  “Now I have told you before it happens, so that when it happens, you may believe.  “I will not speak much more with you, for the ruler of the world is coming, and he has nothing in Me; but so that the world may know that I love the Father, I do exactly as the Father commanded Me. Get up, let us go from here.  John 14: 16-31, (New American Standard Bible or NASB).

Jesus was always trying to get His disciples, His closet friends, whom He had called to be His inner circle to realize that His purpose in coming to earth was to die.  He knew that these men would not understand His words in the moment but after His death they would remember His words and would then realize the meaning.   Jesus kept His promise not to leave His friends and disciples alone abandoned as an orphan.  I love that fact because the same promise is for us as well.  Jesus has not left us on our own either, we are now a child of God and we have an advocate who is also a helper and a comforter to us, the Holy Spirit.  It is really pretty simple and yet complicated when we think of Jesus telling these men about His coming death.  Jesus knew who was going to be the real power behind His death, notice what He says: the ruler of the world is coming, and he has nothing in Me Yes Jesus means Satan is coming for Him but notice also that Satan has no part of Jesus in him.  Jesus also tells us why His death is necessary: so that the world may know that I love the Father, I do exactly as the Father commanded Me.  What a contrast this thinking is from Satan aka world thinking as they dismiss God as though He doesn’t exist.  But Jesus knows that God exists and left us someone, the Holy Spirit, to help us.  I love that, don’t you?  There is another scripture I want us to look at.

In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.  Romans 8:26-27, (NASB).

When we lose a spouse or a parent or a child we are deeply grieved and we are also vulnerable and weak but these two verses can help us to keep going.  The Spirit will help us in our times of weakness and will pray to ask God for exactly what we need to keep going.  We must keep going because life doesn’t stop, the world doesn’t stop, and time doesn’t stop just because we hurt deeply.  The Spirit will be there to aid us and to make certain that we have what we need to continue in living.  While we shed our tears and feel all the painful emotions that come with grief the Spirit is groaning too and God hears and answers prayers going up.  My Mother used to say it takes time, talk, and tears to get through grief.  I think of it this way, we take the time to talk to God as our tears are flowing and God hears and answers our prayers and we are comforted.  I rarely think of the fact that the Holy Spirit is aiding me.  I am so thankful that Jesus asked the Father to leave us such a special gift in the Holy Spirit.

For my friends who are trying to get through the losses in their life I encourage them to take comfort in one of my favorite verses.

The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want.

He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters.

He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You have anointed my head with oil; My cup overflows.

Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life, And I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.  Psalm 23:1-6, (NASB).

As you wonder through your grief remember that you are not alone and you do have guidance from Jesus that will give you rest and will bring you peace.  Restoration is coming to you as you refill your drained emotions and feelings.  You are walking through a dark time but you do not have to be afraid because Jesus is with you.  Life goes on and you will get through this because you still breathe and I for one am so glad that you do!  There are good times ahead but you have to go through the dark valley first.  Hang in there.

Until next time…Katherine

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