* a copy of the editor’s lounge I write in our Church Magazine, the monthly miracle- thought to share- enjoy and be blessed *
I stepped out into an unusual february sunshine two weeks ago, feeling like a million dollars. The biting cold had finally snapped, I thought. It was a great feeling. There was so much joy in my spirit that I practically skipped along the road, humming to my favourite gospel tune, not minding the fact that I got probing glances from conservative passers-by.
Deciding to share my joy with the small community of friends I had on my Blackberry, I fished out my phone, keyed up to update my BB status with the words: “I am blessed!”
But as I glanced at my phone, I realised that something was wrong. Most of my friends on the BB community had updated their status with the letters: R.I.P; their joyous display images replaced with a black screen. Fear dampened my sprit. With trembling fingers, I pinged a friend, asking, “Who died?” and held my breath while her dreaded response was hastily typed. She replied telling me that a friend of a friend had passed away that morning. My heart sank. This morning? Hot tears blurred my vision. I‘d had no personal encounter with this person, but everyone around me seemed to have known him. He was a good person, loved by all. He was only 32 years old. Had just started to live life, wasn’t even married. Why? I asked the Lord as a more solemn me boarded the train to work. Why do the young die? Why is life so uncertain? Why can’t good things last? Why do homes break? Why do people fall sick? The whys were many, and they ravaged my soul.
I received no direct answer from the Lord as I carried out my work duties with a heavy heart.
Three days later, I got news that a global music icon, well loved by all, had passed.
Shocked beyond words, and even more confused, I went back to the Lord, burdened with the same questions-all starting with that three letter word- why?
I expected the Lord to chastise me for daring to question His authority. After all, He is God. The unquestionable.
Instead, a soft voice gently stirred my spirit. “Precious child,” the Lord whispered, “take up your bible.”
I obeyed. The Holy Spirit directed me to Isaiah 61.
I got to the third verse.
“He has sent me to bind up the broken-hearted… to comfort all who mourn…the oil of joy, instead of mourning…”
It hit me then. We have never been promised a life of unchallenged comfort while on earth. In fact, Jesus said, “In this world, you will have tribulations…but be of good cheer.” Note the word: will. Not may. Not possibly, but will. It is a certainty.
The eternal plan of God for our everlasting peace and joy is not here on earth, but with him, in Heaven. But before then, while we are yet on earth, Jesus will comfort us- He was sent for that purpose!
For the pain that crushes your spirit and for the precious losses you have experienced, for every broken heart, every deflated hope… Jesus is there. Let him hold your hand. Listen to him saying: “beloved, be of good cheer. I have overcome this for you!”
Rather than focus on the bleakness that plagues this temporary place called earth, focus on the Lord who loves you and has great plans far beyond what you can possibly imagine. It is time to wrap your heart around his promises of comfort in the midst of tribulation. It is a time to rise, regardless of what life throws at you- and to shine. Remember, that after all has been said and done, you… and I have a promise that far outlasts anything the devil may throw at us. We have the promise of eternal life.And we have Jesus. Always remember that.
May the precious souls of those who died at the time I wrote this continue rest in the bosom of the almighty God. And may God comfort your families and friends. I am trusting that the Holy Sprit will hold your hand through such a painful time to a promise of eternal joy.
This article was written by Abimbola