Saturday, June 28, 2014

Tell Yourself the Truth

"The Lord is my Strength and my shield: my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song." 
Psalm 28:7

I was pregnant and married at the age of 16. I had five children by the time I was 24 and I was dumped and alone by the age of 30.

I quickly re-married to cover up my pain, which only added to my suffering.

Before I was 40 I was divorced twice.

Several years later I met the man who would be my third husband. Our life together was good and we had all the things in life that I never had as a single mom. He was the love of my life and 17 years after I met him he suffered the agonizing death of pancreatic cancer, and I became a widow.

DIVORCE

I found faith in God when I was 19 years old.

I thought that my faith in God secured my happiness and guaranteed me a perfect marriage and obedient children.

Being divorced so young with five confused children, thrust me into panic/survival mode.

Not trusting God and thinking the best way to remedy my situation was re-marriage was the ultimate cause of my second divorce.

Life is full of trouble.

"In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." John 16:33

DEATH

Watching while someone you love dies feels like walking hand in hand through a fire and as you watch them slowly slip away, they are praying the fire will end and you are praying it won't because you know when it ends they will be gone.

"When you pass through the water I will be with you. When you pass through the rivers they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire you will not be burned. The flames will not set you ablaze." Isaiah 43:2

TELL YOURSELF THE TRUTH!

Through hard times I have learned to tell myself the truth. "I'll get through this," "I can make it through this grief," "I can make it through this divorce," "with God's help I can make it."

When I fall victim to the "I can'ts," like  "I can't do this," and, "I'll never make it through this," I have already defeated myself.  And it's not the truth.

TRUST GOD, SEEK HIM, HOLD ON TO WHAT IS GOOD

"Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you." 1 Peter 5:7

BELIEVE GOD

"I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength." Philippians 4:13

"The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit." Psalm 34:18

JOY AND PEACE IN THE MIDST OF TROUBLE

I can't rely on another person to make me happy. They wouldn't have enough hours in the day to make me happy! Happiness comes from our outside circumstances, but joy comes from the inside no matter the circumstances. Joy comes from God.

"Be joyful always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." 1 Thessalonians 5:16

What is God's will for me? To be joyful, pray continually, and give thanks.











Sunday, June 15, 2014

Talking to the Dead

Many times since my husband Paul passed away I have spoken to him out loud as if he could hear me. Mostly I say things like "Wow! You wouldn't believe what just happened." or "Well, I guess you were right about that." I have even had a few choice words to say when something breaks around the house that I have no idea how to fix.

Just the other day I was trying to reattach the belt to the vacuum when I yelled "Why didn't you show me how to do this? This is the worst vacuum I have ever seen!" Of course, I never get a reply, but I can imagine that he would say something like "Don't tell me about it, you are the one who wanted to buy that vacuum."

When Paul first passed away I would go to bed at night and say "Goodnight" to him. It wasn't because I expected a response, but because it was what I was used to. I guess it made me feel close to him. In some ways it's the same reason I sometimes want to hold on to my grief, I'm afraid if I stop grieving I will forget the one man in my life who loved me most.

I recall at one of the first grief support groups I attended there were a couple of women talking about going to see a well-known medium in hopes of a chance to "speak" to their dead husbands. My reaction at the time was "Whoa, I'm in the wrong group and I'm out of here!"  As I look back I can understand why they felt such a need to hear something from their loved one. They just weren't ready to let them go.

People can sometimes be so desperate to hear from a deceased loved one that they make a complete error in judgement and seek a medium.

What could the dead tell the living that would be of any consequence unless it's "Oh Honey, I forgot to tell you that I have a million dollar insurance policy, or, I left that winning Lotto ticket in my pants pocket, so don't give them to the Goodwill."  I haven't heard that story on the news. No, the deceased just sends a message to their loved one that they "love them." Didn't they know that already?

Ecclesiastes 9:5 "For the living know that they will die, but the dead know nothing; they have no further reward, and even the memory of them is forgotten."  Sound harsh? My husband hasn't said anything to me since he passed away. He no longer receives a pension, can buy a new car, live in our home,  or receive any good thing from this world, and in another of couple generations his descendants will look at his picture and say "Who is that?"

To me he is a precious memory that I keep alive by watching videos and looking at pictures and remembering all the great times we had together. But consulting a medium to talk to him? Here are a couple things the bible has to say about the subject:

Leviticus 19:31 - "Do not turn to mediums or seek out spiritists, for you will be defiled by them. I am the Lord your God."

Leviticus 20:6 - "I will set my face against the person who turns to mediums and spiritists to prostitute himself by following them, and will cut him off from his people."

Isaiah 8:19 - "When men tell you to consult mediums and spiritists, who whisper and mutter, should not a people inquire of their God? Why consult the dead on behalf of the living?"

I Chronicles 10:13-14 - "Saul died because he was unfaithful to the Lord; he did not keep the word of the Lord and even consulted a medium for guidance and did not inquire of the Lord.  So the Lord put him to death and turned the kingdom over to David."

In 1 Samuel 28, Saul visited the Witch of Endor and sought to bring Samuel back from the dead. In Matthew Henry's commentary regarding this account, he states, "Those that expect any good counsel or comfort otherwise than from God, will be as wretchedly disappointed as Saul was."

Acts 16:16 - Once when we were going to the place of prayer, we were met by a slave girl who had a spirit by which she predicted the future. She earned a great deal of money for her owners by fortune-telling. 17)This girl followed Paul and the rest of us, shouting "These men are servants of the Most High God, who are telling you the way to be saved." 18) She kept this up for many days. Finally Paul became so troubled that he turned around and said to the spirit, "In the name of Jesus Christ I command you to come out of her!"

2 Corinthians 11:14-15 - "for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising then if his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness."

1 Timothy 4:1 - "The spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons."

Satan masquerading as an angel of light, deceiving spirits, things taught by demons?  There is NOTHING I need to know or say, not even curiosity that can persuade me to seek out a spiritist. Not even that Vacuum cleaner belt!

If this doesn't seem right to you, follow the example of the Bereans and examine the scriptures to find the truth.

Acts 17:11 -"Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true."

Be blessed!