January 5, 2022 - The Grief Journey

Here we are a few days into the New Year and a few days farther along on this journey.

Each day holds new challenges and new opportunities, new experiences of joy and contentment and new waves of emotions as I/we face more “firsts.” But we all keep moving onward in this journey because stopping is not an option. God’s promises still stand!!!

One of my favorite passages of Scripture, my “life verse,” is Isaiah 61:1-4,

“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, Because the Lord has anointed Me To preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives, And the opening of the prison to those who are bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, And the day of vengeance of our God; To comfort all who mourn, To console those who mourn in Zion, To give them beauty for ashes, The oil of joy for mourning, The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; That they may be called trees of righteousness, The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.” And they shall rebuild the old ruins, they shall raise up the former desolations, and they shall repair the ruined cities, the desolations of many generations.”

God’s plan and purposes for my life have not changed, my plans and dreams look different now, but not His.

Early in our ministry, Shari and I were traveling on a ministry assignment, I think we were in Mississippi. I was driving, she was sleeping, and I was listening to a cassette, yes, a long time ago, around 1986. The music playing was from a Christian artist who had visited our college for a concert, Chuck Girard. The lyrics of one song really spoke to my heart, “the seed you plant will become a great tree that will bear much fruit.” I received that as a promise from God and that is part of what the above verses communicate to me, “they shall be called trees of righteousness…” The King James says “oaks of righteousness…”

So, I still have work to do, so do you, important work! Here is a reminder, that you nor I never underestimate the value of the deposit (seeds) we make into someone’s life…the seed you plant will become a tree that will bear much fruit.

Keep walking, keep planting, keep loving, keep serving, keep doing those things God has called and purposed for you to do and fulfill His plan and purpose for your life. I am committed to it because there are still seeds to plant, broken lives to be restored, destroyed cities to be rebuilt and this world definitely needs more trees of righteousness!

Thanks for your ongoing prayers and support! As always with much love and appreciation and my prayers for you as together, yet individually, we continue on our grief journey

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