"Moses My servant is dead. Now, therefore, arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, to the land which I am giving to them---the children of Israel." (Joshua 1:2)
My dad passed away Wednesday afternoon. I am sad to say he was not the best of fathers, and for the past three years we have had no contact. He made that choice. There are many unanswered questions, many things that I do not understand about a heart that could close itself off from his six children, from his many grandchildren, and never try to set it right, never surrender fully to the grace and love of Christ.
He was my dad. I choose to love him despite the pain he caused. I choose to forgive him even though he rejected me. I choose to move forward now that he is gone.
Our first impulse in loss is to dive into the sorrow and dwell there...to drown in it. But God told Joshua to get ready to move, to cross the Jordan: to go forward after Moses' death. It is easy to become stuck in our grief, in our disappointment, in our sorrow, but we were not meant to stay there. We were made to move forward, to handle our sorrow in the right spirit, to trust the Lord with our heartache. Psalm 23:4 says, "Yea, thou I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me." Psalm 84:5-7 says, "Blessed is the man whose strength is in You, whose heart is set on pilgrimage. As they pass through the valley of Baca, they make it a spring; the rain covers it with pools, they go from strength to strength..." Baca means "weeping." Both valleys were places of sorrow, but in both places, as they passed 'through' they found that their sorrow was replaced with comfort and strength.
Through is a word that signifies continuous action. If I ask you to go through a tunnel, it is implied that you will come out the other side. Likewise if we are asked to go through a time of sorrow, even if we feel like the seemingly flimsy sailboat pictured above facing a raging storm of pain, we can rest assured that we will come through it. We will not only come through it but we will move from "strength to strength" because of it. His strength takes over our weakness, which in turn gives us renewed strength and the confidence to trust Him more deeply, to move forward more assuredly, to be "persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 8:38-39)
When we remain in our sorrow it overtakes our life, we become consumed by it, and in this place of continual pain God's purpose is put on hold. Our sorrow is not just about our loss, our pain, our suffering. In the life of a believer it is always about others. Our pain can become the catalyst for our purpose. The very thing that is hurting you so deeply right now, can become the very thing that God uses to touch someone else, to bring healing to others, and to move you into your divine destiny. BUT in order for this to happen you have to make the choice to move forward, to cross over the Jordan, to allow God "to give you beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness..." (Isaiah 61:3)
Choose to move forward...ever forward!!!
7/1/2018 06:02:33 pm
Psalm 84:5-7 says, "Blessed is the man whose strength is in You, whose heart is set on pilgrimage.
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qUIET IN CHAOS
Quiet in Chaos is a blog about nothing, everything, and all things inbetween…it’s a space, an ellipsis, a deep pause. Life can be chaotic, and often needs more moments of quiet…So join me as I share and give through the written word, the place I find my Quiet in Chaos…