Friends...after reading this and no matter how much the other stuff I listed is important to me nothing could be more important than hearing these relational words "This is my daughter, whom I love; with her I am well pleased."
How about you?
Chapter14:Pressing Through the Pain
Can one experience death without some form of pain? I can not imagine so. But God does call us to press on and to depend on Him. As Lysa wrote, in this phase we are "Learning to depend on God, asking for His provision, and then remembering to look for His ready answer" (pp.141). Whether it is the loss of someone you love, or a loss of something in your life such as a job, we are called to trust God. He will carry us through. As a nurse I have seen death experienced in many ways. I have walked "through the valley of the shadow of death" with many souls. There is a lot to be said about the family who knows God and releases their loved one to Him. They experience pain but the whole process is so different than the family which experiences the death of a loved one that does not know Him. It s called hope. It is called eternity. As we walk in faith and leave behind what He has called us away from, our grief can be the same-one of hope for the eternal.
Lysa also wrote "my greatest secret desire must always be for more of God in my life" (pp.142). Sweet words fitting to our heart. In the good, in the bad, in the big, in the little, we have to crave more of Him in our life. Been there? Are you there now? Yes Lord!! It is in praising Him and seeking Him that we feed this desire.
Chapter 15: God Isn't Surprised by Death
This faith walk phase of death came for me in brokenness. Brokenness from my choices, not Gods. Yet He proves Himself faithful despite that. I love what Lysa wrote: "Brokenness is what must happen before God can put the pieces back in the way He can shine through the best" (pp.151). It is in brokenness that we are able to step out of our thinking and set aside our goals to allow God's perspective to take over.
I know if I am honest here, when I am living of my "self" or my "flesh" I am very good at manipulating my circumstances to meet my wants. Shamefully and painfully I have paid the price too. "God is good. He is more interested in developing our character to match our calling than in manipulating our circumstances to make us happy" (pp.150). Did you you catch that? Read it again...it's not about our circumstances but about developing our character. I am not the same person I was last year or ten years ago or twenty years ago. That is the beauty of God's grace...He grows us out of us!
Brokenness is such a beautiful thing. I cherish the insight Lysa gave us in the beatitudes of Matthew 5: 3-10 in relationship to brokenness. I know most of you have read this but for anyone who does not have this book to follow along, I quote from page 152 and pray your heart will also be enlighten in this walk of faith you are in:
Blessed are the poor in spirit...the broken people.
Blessed are those who morn...broken to the point of great weeping.
Blessed are the meek...weeping to the point of being humbled past worldly things.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness...humbled and desiring to be filled with God alone.
Blessed are the merciful...filled with God and able to overflow mercy to others.
Blessed are the pure in heart...freely extending mercy and living with a "yes" heart for God.
Blessed are the peacemakers...saying yes to God and bringing His peace everywhere they go.
Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness...so certain in His peace that even when they face hardships, they trust and confidently walk with God no matter what.
In my quiet time this morning I read from Beth Moore's "Breaking Free Day-by-Day" and I find it fitting as consider walking in faith in the death phase:
"We must walk with Christ step-by-step through this journey for the sake of protection, power, and the unparalleled passion that results from it. None of these three things will be realities in our lives any other way. The enemy will be defeated. Believe it. Act on it".
I desire to live in brokenness. It is such a beautiful thing!!
What an awesome book! What a blessing these chapters have been in my life. I pray they are a blessing to you also!!
In Him~Pamela (MrsJoeB)