Ya’ Just Never Know

The weeks have been long and tiring for the woman. Her husband has been ill and now as she stands by his graveside the tears flow. She didn’t think she had any more tears but her wet cheeks have proven her wrong.

Her friend stands beside her and places a hand on her shoulder. “He’s with the Lord now and no more sorrow, no more illness. He’s at peace.” her friend whispers to the new widow.

The widow looks at her with crinkled eyebrows. “He wasn’t a believer. He’s in hell!” She bursts out sobbing and her friend pulls her into a tight hug.

The widow sobs in her friend’s arms as the people quietly back away and begin returning to their cars. Slowly the tears abate and the widow apologizes to her friend for her outburst.

Her friend looks and there’s a Man standing near the Oak tree. He looks familiar. The friend nudges the widow. “Do you know Him?” she asks. The widow glances over to the Man and suddenly sucks in a breath.

The Man approaches her and with love in His eyes He opens His arms to her and she quickly embraces Him as tears stream down her face.

The Man caresses her back gently and whispers in her ear, “Be not downcast, My daughter, for Jack is in heaven. He gave his life to Me and has been forgiven.”

The widow suddenly pulls back from the Man, “Oh praise be to God. Thank you Jesus!” she shouts.

Her friend stands transfixed, not knowing what just happened.

(Sue’s version) Matthew 5:4

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A Wasted life – or was it?

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“Blessed are those who mourn, For they shall be comforted.” Matt.5:4

Looking at this scripture we often think of a widow or a widower mourning the loss of their loved one. But in this life we mourn many things. What do you mourn?

When that question was asked of me I couldn’t think of anything in particular. Yes, I had mourned the loss of my husband, I had mourned the loss of a childhood through abuse, I’ve mourned the loss of pets, and of friends. But when I asked the Lord, “Is there anything I’m mourning?” I was surprised and confused about His reply.

“You mourn a wasted life.” was His reply. What?

All day I have thought about that answer and have taken peeks back at my life from birth to adulthood. I went to school; elementary through college. I’ve been a “soda jerk,” a sales clerk at J.C. Penny’s and various clothing stores, I worked my way through college by working in a Psychiatric Hospital helping the mentally ill. I had a career flying the friendly skies.  So how can all of that and all of those years have been wasted?

Forty-nine years. Yes, for forty-nine years I was doing my own thing. But was I really? The years of schooling was preparing me for the world. The after-school jobs was teaching me the financial aspects of being a responsible adult. The Psych. Hospital was teaching me so many things I can’t begin to express them here. It was an experience like no other and that knowledge has been used in many different situations in my life along with, of course, paying my college tuition fees. The flight attendant career took me to places I would never have been able to go and meeting people I never would have met. In particular Christians! I didn’t realize there were so many flying around those friendly skies! They had their “prey” trapped in a cylindrical tube high up in the sky and continually tried to convert me.

Oh yes. Sue was not a Christian. Sue was doing her own thing. Sue didn’t think she needed God. Not the God that allowed all the bad stuff in her life. Not the God that sat on the sidelines and didn’t give a flip about what she did. Sue, who chewed up Christians and spit them out like sour milk. No, Sue didn’t need this so-called loving God.

How wrong Sue was!

My husband and I had retired and was enjoying the good life but suddenly my world was turned upside down and inside out. My comfortable world with my cherished husband, was left empty. My husband died, my home felt empty and I was alone with the silence within its walls. Family was gone because I told “the secret.” I crawled into the cave of grief. That dark place where no light will enter because the shutters of the heart is closed.

Then Christ stepped in.

I hear it all the time, “Forget the past!” Well I don’t want to forget the past! When I look at my past and the experiences I have had it humbles me to the point of tears because it is my past that the Lord brought me through. It is all those experiences of growing up in a dysfunctional, abusive home that the Lord has used to help other victims of abuse. It is those flight attendants that prayed fervently for this lost soul to find Christ and all the seeds they planted at 37,000 feet in the air.

It is a husband who showed me unconditional love. and yes, it is all those sin filled experiences that the Lord has shown His great mercy through. It is the fowl language that spewed from these lips, the indiscretions, the drunken parties, dirty jokes uproariously laughed about, the “I’ll burn that Bible if you don’t get it out of my face!” It is the forgiveness of all my sins; past, present, and future.

I don’t want to forget the past! If I forget the past then maybe I will shrug off the great things that Christ has done in my life; in me, through me, and for me. He transformed a lost soul to a victor. He has taken me out of the pit of hell and given me life.

So why did He say, “You mourn a wasted life?” Because I look at those first forty-nine years and see my feet on the edge of a fire filled abyss and wonder how I ever lived without Him. I look at those forty- nine years and regret that I didn’t know Him, I didn’t worship Him, I didn’t serve Him. I look at those forty-nine years and mourn the lost time I could have had with Him.

“Blessed are those who mourn for they shall be comforted.” His comfort comes in that when I look back I can see His hand all along the way. I can see His mercy and grace hard at work as I did my own thing. I can see His shed blood on the cross and hear Him tell me over and over how much He loves me.

His comfort is in knowing I will not be spending eternity in a fire filled hell with Satan laughing at me for all my poor choices. His comfort comes in knowing that I have a Savior that cares so much for me that even though I was lost He never gave up on me. His comfort comes in knowing He used every opportunity to bring me step by step to Him. That’s the kind of comfort He gives to those of us that were lost and now are found.

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Blessings to you.