“Our friends, we want you to know the truth about those who have died, so that you will not be sad, as are those who have no hope. We believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will take back with Jesus those who have died believing in him.”—1 Thessalonians 4:13-14 (GNT)
After my first husband’s death, 1 Thessalonians 4:13-14 is what got me out of bed every morning. I had to believe this. It is what gave me hope that one day not only would I meet Jesus face-to-face but I would also be reunited with all of my loved ones who had gone before me.
Fortunately, I was surrounded with strong Christians that helped me to see that God wasn’t finished with me. I felt alone and abandoned. Jesus had those same feelings as He hung on the cross. My grief and despair paled in comparison to His. Yesterday I was reminded of this. Even though I grew up going to Sunday school, for me Easter used to be about the basket I got filled with goodies and buying a new outfit. I didn’t fully understand that Easter was a bigger holiday than Christmas.
While Christ’s birth is important, because we wouldn’t have had the cross had we not had the cradle, His death is what gave us new life. A life that is no longer bound by our sins. His resurrection three days after his death is a sign of hope for all of us that there is more beyond our life here on earth.
There is an anticipation that Jesus will one day return for us and until that day, I should be doing whatever I can to share His love with those around me so that they too will have something to look forward to after their life here is done.
What I saw as a painful end of a chapter in my life, God used to spring a new beginning…a new me. My story wasn’t over, even though I thought it was. I was still, “Lisa,” just a different one whose identity was no longer wrapped in being a wife. I was still a mother, with a 2-year old son, who needed me and a life inside of me that needed to be nourished.
Was it always easy to get our of bed, eat and find joy in my life? Of course not, but little by little I was able to appreciate what I had and God’s purpose for me. God gradually revealed to me that I was more than a wife and mother. I was a daughter of the King, who loved me enough to slowly reveal to me where my worth had been and where it needed to be. It was through my desperation where I found restoration. I am living witness that Jesus didn’t just change lives in the Bible. He is still changing them now.
When you begin to experience Jesus in your life, you some how find joy. I continue to share my story all these years later, because I don’t ever want to forget God’s gracious hand on my life. The memories of God carrying me through the difficult seasons is the fuel I need when I am faced with challenges. He was faithful then and He is still faithful now.
I thank You that You are a life changer. I believe You are who you say You are. I claim Your victory over sin and death. Let me live a life that brings joy and blessings to those around me. I pray for those who are at a breaking point to be given a glimmer of hope into their life. Lead me to someone that needs to hear that my story about Your grace and mercy isn’t just my story, but theirs too. It is in the name of Jesus that I pray these things. Amen.
Do not let kindness and truth leave you; Bind them around your neck, Write them on the tablet of your heart.”—Proverbs 3:3 (NASB) It is a good reminder for me to bind God’s Word and kindness to my heart.
Please make sure you tweet @KnitPrayShare or share your projects on the Knit, Pray, Share Facebook page or Instagram using the hashtag #KnitPrayShare. Be sure to attach a tag to whatever gift you make.