WHEN MOTHER’S DAY IS PAINFUL

SOME WOMEN WILL STAY HOME FROM CHURCH TODAY,

FOR THEY ALREADY HAVE A KNIFE IN THEIR HEART.

THEY DON’T WANT TO SENSE THE EYES OF OTHERS UPON THEM,

OR TO BE HANDED A ROSE AS THEY LEAVE BECAUSE THEY ARE A WOMAN,

KNOWING THOSE ROSES WERE REALLY INTENDED FOR MOTHERS.

THAT ONLY PUSHES THE KNIFE FURTHER IN.

THEIR FRIENDS CARRY BABIES IN THEIR WOMBS OR IN THEIR ARMS,

WHILE THEY FEEL SO EMPTY.

WHY DOES GOD GIVE SO FREELY TO SOME WOMEN AND WITHHOLD FROM OTHERS?

**

OTHER MOTHERS ARE IN PRISON, FEELING LIKE FAILURES AS MOTHERS, REMEMBERING WHEN THEY HAD TO SAY GOOD-BYE

TO A CHILD WHO WAS ANGRY WITH THEM AND ANGRY WITH GOD.

THOSE MOTHERS ARE ANGRY WITH THEMSELVES,

ANXIOUS TO RETURN TO THEIR CHILDREN,

ANXIOUS ABOUT THEIR CHILDREN’S EMOTIONAL,

PHYSICAL, AND SPIRITUAL STATE.

SOME HAVE NOT SEEN OR HEARD FROM THEIR CHILDREN IN YEARS,

AND WONDER IF THEY WILL EVER BE TRULY RECONCILED TO THEM.`

THEY HAVE REPENTED, WALKED IN THE LIGHT, PRAYED FERVENTLY…

AND YET THERE MAY BE NO MOTHER’S DAY CARDS IN THE MAIL,

AND THE PAROLE THEY HOPED FOR MAY BE DENIED.

HOW EASILY THEY BELIEVE THE LIE THAT GOD DOESN’T LOVE THEM.

*

OTHER MOTHERS HAVE LOST A CHILD AND FEEL LIKE NAOMI,

WHO LOST HUSBAND AND HER TWO ONLY SONS AND KEPT SAYING,

“I AM EMPTY… MY GOD HAS DEALT SEVERELY WITH ME.”

THEIR DREAMS ARE SHATTERED

AND THEIR HEARTS ARE GRIEVING.

 

SO THIS WEEK’S STUDY IS FOR WOMEN IN PAIN ON MOTHER’S DAY,

WHATEVER THE REASON FOR THEIR PAIN.

IT IS ALSO FOR US WHO WANT TO COME ALONGSIDE AND LOVE THEM

THROUGH PRAYER,

THROUGH EMPATHY,

AND THROUGH SINCERE LOVE.

AND THOUGH WE FINISHED OUR STUDY ON THE TRINITY, I AM GOING TO GIVE YOU ONE MORE TALK FROM MIKE REEVES ON THE TRINITY,

FOR THERE IS ENORMOUS COMFORT IN IT,

A COMFORT WE ALL NEED,

BUT PARTICULARLY THOSE

WHO ARE WONDERING IF JESUS REALLY LOVES THEM.

 SUNDAY, Mother’s Day, 2017

1. What stands out to you from the above and why?

2. Pray for a woman you know who will be experiencing pain today.

3. If you can identify with Mother’s Day being painful, share why. What truth might you tell your soul instead of listening to your soul?

 

 Monday:

Our own Chris, who has been with us again through our study on the Trinity, experienced the unfathomable pain of having her beloved son murdered. Yet she is a fountain of wisdom that comes from this woman who has been through the fire and come forth as gold. As she says, in the opening of this interview, before this happened, “my knowledge of God had been enough.” But no longer was it enough, she had to press into Him to survive. I am eager for you to listen to this short testimony — especially those of you who have not seen this before. But it is a treasure worth seeing again. Watch it and share your comments.

4. Share your notes or comments on the above.

Tuesday-Wednesday Bible Study: Does Jesus Really Love Me?

We have done this passage before, but do it again — and then hear Reeves preach on it. And I know one of the reasons I keep taking you back to 1 John too is because in memorizing it, I have seen more of the love of God.

5. Read John 17:20-26

A. Reeves says “We are listening in on a prayer between members of the Trinity — and this prayer is for us!”  What is the first request Jesus makes in verse 21 and what do you see in this verse that you might have seen before?

B. What kind of glory are we  given according to verse 22?

C. What kind of love do we already have according to verse 23?

D. What does Jesus ask for us in verse 24?

E. How does He close His prayer in verse 26?

6. When our dreams are shattered, why is it never because God is punishing us?

7. When I memorized 1 John 4:14 I was suddenly brought to tears for I thought: This is the apostle John writing, who stood at the foot of the cross, watching Jesus crucified. No wonder he can say this so adamantly.  What does he say, and how can this realization help us know and to trust the love of God no matter the pain life brings?

8. Challenge question: How did Ruth help Naomi in her pain? What didn’t she do? What did she do?

Thursday-Friday: Final Sermon on the Trinity: This Changes Everything

9. Share your notes and comments on Mike Reeve’s message.

Saturday

10. What is your take-a-way and why?

 

COMMENTS (103) Post a New Comment ↓
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 SUNDAY, Mother’s Day, 2017
1. What stands out to you from the above and why?
Does Jesus really love me? There are days when I don’t feel the yes in this question. I have to talk to my mind and remind my self of the truth that Jesus does love as He says in His Word. It is easy to look to feelings to validate God’s love but I know feelings come and go. when insecurity comes knocking, I reach for the Bible and I am comforted by the forever love of the triune God. Today, I drew the illustration of the Trinity on my wrist to remind of this.
2. Pray for a woman you know who will be experiencing pain today.
Praying for Abbie today.
3. If you can identify with Mother’s Day being painful, share why. What truth might you tell your soul instead of listening to your soul?

I have lost 2 through miscarriage. I am thankful for the gift of a daughter but I often think of the other 2 who could have been a David and/or an Elizabeth. One of the truths that I tell my soul is in Zephaniah 3:17 “The Lord your God in your midst,
The Mighty One, will save;He will rejoice over you with gladness,He will quiet you with His love,He will rejoice over you with singing.”

    Reply

    OH BING — You do empathize with the pain — and know how to speak truth to your soul.

    Reply

    oh Bing–love this “when insecurity comes knocking, I reach for the Bible and I am comforted by the forever love of the triune God”

    I’m praying for you today and the two you lost, how sweet it will be to see them on that Day

      Reply

      Thank you, Lizzy. Every year God eases my pain and He uses people like you and Dee and others here to do that.

    Reply

    I love that you drew the Trinity illustration on your wrist Bing :)

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1. What stands out to you from the above and why?

Dee’s tender heart for the broken and being so sensitive to the Spirit that you were led to write this post today. While I have been a mom now for 13 1/2 years, I spent the first few years of my marriage assuming I would be a mom “whenever we were ready” and then 5 very painful, very lonely years struggling through infertility. Yes, there were a few Mother’s Day services that I stayed home rather than face the looks of pity, or worse, the ones who seemed oblivious to my pain. I don’t blame the Church, but I do believe this area is one where we need our eyes opened, more. I’ll stop before a soapbox really begins, but I am so thankful for this post! And I am praying right now for all those reading who ARE struggling this morning, for whatever the cause. Mother’s Day can bring pain even with children–my expectations to be told how appreciated I am can easily lead to disappointment. I actually wrote myself a sticky note reminder last night that says “stand in awe of the One who made me a mother…I am not the focus of today”

    Reply

    Lizzy — you have enlarged our hearts with empathy. And what a good sticky note!

    Reply

    The sticky note reminder is golden.

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I am one who avoids Mother’s Day.  My mother is not only gone but I spent 14 years grieving her through her Alzheimer’s disease.  My one son, severely autistic, cannot send a card or even say any words to me being totally nonverbal and unable to communicate.  My daughter is a single parent of three boys works hard to make ends meet and I expect nothing from her.  She is working today; she is a nurse.  The father of my children and I divorced 21 years ago after 16 years of marriage.  While Facebook will show multiple photos of children gathering with their mothers and praises written by their children to their mothers, I will continue to show in that regard.  Rather than face the emptiness, I go out of state.  It still  hurts but I have an excuse…  This is not devastating; just something I have learned to live with.  But it feels good to have a safe place to say what weighs on your heart during this Day.  Interestingly enough, I am vacationing in the state where the first Mother’s Day occurred, although it’s Founder, Anna Jarvis, would later unsuccessfully fight to have it abolished due to all of its commercialism.

If I were to really open my heart, it would be to those mothers who are hurting today, in the middle of the opioid crisis in Ohio, it would be the mothers of addicts who feel powerless to help their children.  And the mothers who are addicts who are enslaved by a disease that rewires the brain making their only priority is the next hit.  This disease of choice has stolen their children and I grieve for the children without their mothers today. As a social worker, I have seen all sides of addiction and how it impacts generations.

    Reply

    Denise — so glad you came here and commented. Your response to pain it to open your heart to mothers who are hurting. So good.

    I just heard that about the Founder of Mother’s Day on World News — interesting.

    Thanks so for coming and opening your heart.

     

     

     

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    Thank you for sharing and being so real. My heart goes out to you. I know the pain well of not having a mother;from watching her do drugs when I was a young child, being left with many strangers while she partied, to being ripped away from her arms at the age of 5, still screaming and crying to be left with a mom that could not care for me let alone take care of herself….I get it. I commend your work as a Social Worker…I think its one of the toughest jobs out there.

    I pray that God wraps His loving arms around you during the week and you find little glimpses of His love for you that only you would know is from God shining through for you in love.

    Reply

    Welcome Denise, it does feel good to have this place where we can be real.
    I love your prayer being for those whose lives have been devastated by addiction, I thought of them too.

    Reply

    You’ve shared such truth, Denise.  I am aware of several mothers in pain, losing children through illness, but I hadn’t thought as much about those mothers who are lost to addictions and how that robs their children of a mother.  And yet, we have this happening right down our peaceful country road as I know the single mother at the end of the road has a daughter who is addicted.  The opioid crisis is everywhere and so tragic.  My husband also is a social worker and chemical addiction counselor.  He is spending the last years of his career teaching at a University.  One of his former students who was doing quite well moving through the program to become an addiction counselor, died of an overdose recently.   His mother has been in the news speaking out against this addiction.  What pain Mother’s Day must have been for her.

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1. What stands out?

As Mother’s Day approached, I pondered those who find Mother’s Day painful: those who would like to be mothers but aren’t, those who are mothers but find the day brings painful memories or an awareness that all is not as it should be on the mothering front and so on. Some even advocate for the elimination of making a big deal of it in church, as if that could stop the pain. Being a mother of a single mom who does not even live with her children at the moment, and being a mother of a son living overseas, I am aware that there is always SOME pain for each and every mom, though perhaps mingled with joy. All is not right with the world, because our world is not right with God – it is fallen until He returns to make things right at last. Yet, Jesus loves us, each and every one, our brokenness and all. And He redeems the brokenness and works it all for the good of those who are His, though now we suffer for a little while.

 

I found Ann Voskamp’s blog particularly touching on this subject. Her own mother failed Ann in painful ways, as they separately walked through the unimaginable grief of losing a very young daughter/sister; watching her by struck and killed by a truck in their own yard. Yet God is able to redeem even our deepest brokenness. He makes us” real”. Here is the link. I am trying the new link button I am seeing. Let’s see if it works.

http://annvoskamp.com/2017/05/when-moms-fall-short-the-club-of-the-velveteen-moms/

    Reply

    Diane — so true that there is always some pain for each and every mom, though perhaps mingled with joy.

     

    And yay — the link works!

     

    Reply

    This resonated with me Diane:

    “All is not right with the world, because our world is not right with God – it is fallen until He returns to make things right at last. Yet, Jesus loves us, each and every one, our brokenness and all. And He redeems the brokenness and works it all for the good of those who are His, though now we suffer for a little while.”

    Truth

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1.  What stood out is what a large percentage of women for whom Mother’s Day is not happy.  Even women in an intact family can be seduced by all the hype and feel totally let down when their spouse/kids don’t do whatever they were hoping or dreaming for.

 

2.  Lord, I pray for my girls today.  One is unmarried and hurting over that.  The other is like what I wrote above, struggling with disappointment.  They both need to find in You the affirmation, warmth, love, and acceptance they are looking for. I can’t do it for them, though I wish I could.  I ask that You help them to see You as You really are, and be satisfied with and in You.

 

3.  I used to really struggle with the day.  I wanted it to be all about me.  Eventually I saw how much self I was putting in it, that I was being selfish and prideful. And probably a few other adjectives that don’t glow on my resume.  I started asking the Lord to make me more sensitive to others and their needs.  And to trust Jesus that any praise that came to me would reflect on Him and not puff me up.

    Reply

    I think practically every mother has had your feelings expressed in 3 — and hopefully we who know Christ have come to where you are too or will!

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I am just really loving this study, “When Mother’s Day is Painful”. It is so real. I really appreciate people’s comments, also. About miscarriages, years of infertility, and unmet expectations. And other experiences of mothering pain. I really found Mike Reeve’s message very helpful today. I went to visit my mother yesterday; she is in a nursing home. She has been disabled because of a brain aneurysm and surgery for it in 1977. Actually, she fared unusually well after the surgery. She was sent home from the hospital to my care since I’m a nurse. I was living out of state before her surgery. She was able to learn to walk again with physical therapy, and regained her balance. She is blind in one eye and only has tunnel vision in the other eye. She was completely disabled, but able to walk again eventually, on her own. My mother and I had not been close. I was the only girl (there were 4 boys) and I found our relationship to be very painful. And has most of the time continued that way. My mother has been in the nursing home only since 2011, and is very angry about being there. I started to have health problems and was no longer able to care for her needs by myself. Every year the nursing home has a brunch on the Saturday of Mother’s Day weekend, and I went yesterday. My mother enjoyed the food very much, and I was able to take her outside to enjoy the weather, but she was typically very angry, and I find that very draining. I can cope with it, but I have chronic pain and fatigue issues. I have found it draining even when I was well. I was unable to sleep last night and had to take a whole sleeping pill instead of a half. I was just too tired today to go to church (I had a few errands to do after visiting Mom.) I was glad to have an excuse, though. It would have been awkward just to have people telling me Happy Mother’s Day. I really appreciated Mike Reeve’s message. I needed to be reminded that Jesus didn’t come, as Mike said, just to give us a “get out of hell pass”, but He came to give us a relationship with the Father. I can’t judge God’s love for me by the circumstances of my life, but have to continually go back to what Jesus did on the Cross. To give us a relationship with the Father, actually, with the Trinity. I found Mike Reeve’s message to be very supportive of the truth of God’s love expressed in giving His Son for me, so I could be brought into relationship. I very much appreciated what Diane said, “All is not right with the world, because the world is not right with God-it is fallen until He returns to make things right at last.” Dee, I have found this to be a very sensitive study. Thank You. I generally just read, and don’t post.

    Reply

    Oh Marianne — I thank you so much for coming on and sharing this. You cared for your mother for over thirty years. Is that right? Wow. As Boaz said to Ruth, May God reward you for what you have done. I know it isn’t a works based life, but I do pray for His blessing and peace for you.

    Reply

    I am glad you posted Marianne and the the sermon ministered to your heart. Such a long season of caregiving, that is certainly challenging. I loved this particularly, “I can’t judge God’s love for me by the circumstances of my life, but have to continually go back to what Jesus did on the Cross.”

    I hope you will continue to chime in here,

    Reply

    Thank you for sharing, Marianne.   I remember some of the prayer requests you have shared in the past, for your mother.  I thought of you, not long ago.  It’s good to see you here and I appreciate your comments.  May you feel God’s peace and encouragement here.

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Pray for a woman you know who will be experiencing pain today.

Thank you for bringing this topic to the forefront. A person who came to my mind to pray for is someone who I have not met personally, but is a friend of a friend. Her 28 year old daughter has been missing since Dec. 2. I was thinking today how hard it must be for her to have to bear Mother’s Day not knowing what has happened to her child or where she is.

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Thank you as God brought someone directly to mind.  I prayed for a mother I’ve reached out to whose son is in prison for crimes related to heroin addiction.  I also prayed for her son (who I happened to see in county jail before he was sent out).  I reached out to her today and told her I was praying for her and her son.  She said, “No one prays for [my son].”  God always blesses when we reach out to the broken even in the middle of our brokenness.

    Reply

    That’s wonderful Denise. You not only prayed for her son, but let her know that you are praying for him. Parents need to know that their children are not forgotten or worse, dismissed as unimportant.

    Reply

    Denise, After reading a few of your posts-I am encouraged to press in. How He is glorified in and through you. To reach out to the broken in the middle of your brokenness is a mark of Christ.

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1. What stands out to you from the above and why?

 

I don’t know the pain that some women feel today. I miss my mom, some days more than others, and I wish she could have known her great grandchildren.

 

I do know a man who hates Mother’s Day because his mom died when he was 7. He is my daughter’s boyfriend and he went to church with us today. I felt bad for him but we did enjoy the pancake breakfast and service together; it was nice.

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2. Pray for a woman you know who will be experiencing pain today. 

Dear Lord, You are our Holy Father; thank You for being with us at all times. There are mothers in our midst who have children who are self centered and/or out of control. These children may be adults who truly need to grow up. They are people who may not think too hard about Mother’s Day. They may be strung out on drugs, or depressed and incapable of looking outside of their own worlds. I pray that these mothers find comfort in You Lord Jesus. I pray they won’t give up on their kids. I pray that they know they did the best job they knew how to do and unfortunately, the world is too much of a stronghold; the devil is lurking. Help them remember that Mother’s Day is really just a man made celebration and Your love is all we need. Our children belong to You and You have dominion over their lives now. Thank You for caring for these mothers and their children. Amen.

3. If you can identify with Mother’s Day being painful, share why. What truth might you tell your soul instead of listening to your soul?

Sometimes my children don’t come through with what I expect them to for Mothers Day. I don’t usually want a gift, just for them to call or say Happy Mothers Day. I just don’t want to be forgotten. When those times occur (when they forget) I just remind myself I belong to God; he knows what I do and who I am. He loves me always. He won’t forget me. I don’t need a card I will just throw away, or another wallet. These are nice but not necessary. I would like a clean house though!  Jk.

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Our pastor wisely just preaches through the scripture on holidays and Mother’s Day is no exception.  Of course, all of the Bible points to Jesus so the gospel is encouraging in any sermon.  He said that Mother’s Day sermons are crushing to too many people, mothers and those that wish they were or those who had difficult experiences with their mothers.  So today we got a sermon on the plague on livestock in Exodus!  It was so good and applicable to all!

I know a lot of bereaved moms as I joined that club 6 1/2 years ago.  So my prayers go out to the ones whose loss is new and unfamiliar and devastating.  It is such a journey, but one that the Lord will take with you.  You learn to let go of so much and treasure Jesus and heaven more.

    Reply

    I think that’s wise. Better to preach on mothering or fathering on a different day if you do at all!

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1. What stands out to you from the above and why?
   ~”OTHER MOTHERS ARE IN PRISON, FEELING LIKE FAILURES AS MOTHERS, REMEMBERING WHEN THEY HAD TO SAY GOOD-BYE . TO A CHILD WHO WAS ANGRY WITH THEM AND ANGRY WITH GOD”. This stands out to me only because I have experienced this and gone through all the emotions and hurt. Never really reconciling with my estranged mother, only to have her pass away in her sleep back in 2006. Recently God has been showing me I have not grieved over her passing nor her leaving me as a child. The two very similar and painful experiences in my life. Slowly I am giving it to God over and over when the pain arrises instead of suppressing it and making myself ‘busy’ to keep the pain surpassed.
2. Pray for a woman you know who will be experiencing pain today. 
    ~Dear Heavenly Father I come to you today and lift up all my friends who have lost babies, or cant have babies for one reason or another. I pray you comfort them with your love and peace, a peace that surpasses all understanding and surround them with your love and joy on this day. Comfort their emptiness and sadness, fill their void and longing for a child with Your mercy and grace. Let them know you have their children and there is no sadness in Heaven. I pray for all the broken hearts of the mothers who have lost a child for one reason or another. I also pray for those women who have known the pain of never having a mother or having a mother who is no longer there or was ever there in their lives. I pray you begin to heal past hurts, piece by piece, helping these women to let go and let you begin to heal the void and rejection in their lives. I thank you for my sweet sisters and you see their hearts, you know exactly every thought that goes through their hearts and every question as to why? I pray you give each peace and comfort this day and continue to do a healing and restoration in their hearts, minds, and souls. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.
3. If you can identify with Mother’s Day being painful, share why. What truth might you tell your soul instead of listening to your soul?

  ~ I didnt realize for years I had hidden pain on this day. I didnt really celebrate this day, it just seemed the norm for me to NOT have someone to call mom or tell Happy Mothers Day to. Through the years I began to notice I was envious and sad when I would see friends with their moms or them talking about their moms. I longed for that to have a mom I could call mom and know she would be there and listen to me when I needed a mom. It never happened…The truth I would tell my soul is God has placed some wonderful and incredible women throughout my life to show me a mothers love and to guide me as a mother. That I am truly grateful. I also know God can and is filling that void where I lack a mother, I think one of the reasons the movie The Shack really ministered to me on this level. I know God is a comforter and healer of all things, even the void of a mother.
 

    Reply

    Staci — you are such a lovely woman, and yet God is making your lovelier still.

      Reply

      Thank you Dee, Im a work in progress for sure! lol. I have to remember to laugh at myself and trust God more and more with my insecurities and pain, and yes I tend to shy away even from this study at times…it does minister to my heart and much needed.

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I’m thinking I’m going crazy since I thought two separate posts were posted yesterday and now I don’t see either of them! I’m not sure if they will show up or not but here is the second one. Sorry if this is a duplicate.

2. Pray for a woman you know who will be experiencing pain today. 

Dear Lord, You are our Holy Father; thank You for being with us at all times. There are mothers in our midst who have children who are self centered and/or out of control. These children may be adults who truly need to grow up. They are people who may not think too hard about Mother’s Day. They may be strung out on drugs, or depressed and incapable of looking outside of their own worlds. I pray that these mothers find comfort in You Lord Jesus. I pray they won’t give up on their kids. I pray that they know they did the best job they knew how to do and unfortunately, the world is too much of a stronghold; the devil is lurking. Help them remember that Mother’s Day is really just a man made celebration and Your love is all we need. Our children belong to You and You have dominion over their lives now. Thank You for caring for these mothers and their children. Amen.

3. If you can identify with Mother’s Day being painful, share why. What truth might you tell your soul instead of listening to your soul?

Sometimes my children don’t come through with what I expect them to for Mothers Day. I don’t usually want a gift, just for them to call or say Happy Mothers Day. I just don’t want to be forgotten. When those times occur (when they forget) I just remind myself I belong to God; he knows what I do and who I am. He loves me always. He won’t forget me. I don’t need a card I will just throw away, or another wallet. These are nice but not necessary. I would like a clean house though!  Jk.

    Reply

    And wouldn’t you know? After I post this, both posts show up? So weird!

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What stands out to you from the above and why?

I am grateful to you Dee for the focus of this week. My own pain has heightened my sensitivity to the pain of others. To people whose mothers were bad mothers, women who long to be married, women who are married and are without babies, moms who feel like they a blowing it, and mom’s like me who won’t every again get to post a smiling picture that includes everyone.

2. Pray for a woman you know who will be experiencing pain today.
I am ahead on this one :) I am glad of the promoting to pray more.

 
3. If you can identify with Mother’s Day being painful, share why. What truth might you tell your soul instead of listening to your soul?

That the promises of scripture are in large part not something we will experience in this fallen life. This world is not home. When I am centered in that, I can stop trying to demand that this life give me something it never will. When I am really grounded in that, I better enjoy the good gifts God has given me.

    Reply

    Chris, your life has touched so many and I’m so thankful for you.

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4. Share your notes or comments on the above.

Oh Chris! How I love her and her strength. Everything she has been through, and yet she trusts with such depth. It must be hard everyday to think of Daniel, but also sweet to feel God in her midst. To know that God is good and in control is comforting. Yes, Job; let us remember him and his struggle.

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What stands out to you from the above and why?

The Pain..that it grips our hearts..that it is deep..that it makes us feel desperate, helpless and alone…yet God has laid this on Dee’s heart because He wants to comfort us-not in a superficial way..but deeper..as deep calls to deep-.. and He will.

    Reply

    Deep calls to deep. How I love your heart, Rebecca.

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4.  Chris’ testimony, that she can praise and trust and not have to know the why.  That is such a struggle full of pain to get to that point.  But once there, so much peace and calm and security.  Even though pain remains, it is no longer raging.

 

5.A.  Jesus’ first request is for all believers to be one.  To have the same unity as the Trinity experiences.  Not just unity among believers, but that we may flow together in our uniquenesses in respect and love.  Flowing with the Trinity as they flow with each other.  This is a convincing testimony to unbelievers.

B.  Jesus says He has given us the same glory the Father had given Him, which lends and leads toward unity.  Which made me consider what is it that helps me feel united to someone who is a lot higher than I am.  Someone more talented, more attractive, or better off.  It is when they extend themselves to me and show their humanness to me.  And that is exactly what Jesus did.  He became human, extending Himself to us to encourage us to see ourselves as privileged in God. The glory God had given Him… could that be the union with God in His Spirit?  This is a reachable glory for us.  Not because of something we do, but because of Him within us as we believe.

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I am so moved by all your prayers and hearts. I see the love of God flowing from you so!

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4. Share your notes or comments on the above.

I was really at a loss of words, I have watched Chris’s video before and every time I feel so inadequate as to what to say. I am encouraged by her strength through it all and how she has allowed God to grow and be in her life through all of this. Through such pain, she has found God even more so…that speaks volumes to me.

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This is the first time I have heard Chris’s testimony. It is powerful in it’s honesty and humility. 
I greatly appreciate that she has let God define her life after such a heart rending tragedy. I can identify with her loss only at a lesser level. My husband’s only sister died unexpectedly when we were in our thirties and being very close to her we were devastated. Life suddenly became very heavy for us in a number of ways. 
But losing a child is a different level of grief and loss. I believe only God can relieve the pain because He too has lived it in the death of his Son. He truly understands. 
Chris’s comments that she has a deeper belief in the Sovereignty of God and she said “I can be small and trust Him.” Like a child with her father.  That statement of humility speaks to a very real and deep trust of Who God is in her life. She acknowledges a deeper sense of God’s love.
Even though she wanted somewhere else to turn and make sense of it she said 
“Where else would I go.”
I also appreciate the truth about God’s sovereignty when she said “He is not managing things as they happen. Nothing surprises him. He is in complete control.”  It would seem to me many people diminish God in the midst of such hard things rather that acknowledging his very Presence with them like Chris has. 
Other comments: 
I wouldn’t let him be the lover of my soul. 
She said He stills my fears. 
My identity is with Christ in God. 
I can stop demanding comfort because this world is not my home. 

 
Everything she says in this video is of great value to anyone who is suffering loss in this old fallen broken world. She holds out and exemplifies hope in God as our loving Father. 
 

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1. What stands out to you from the above and why?  Just all the circumstances that can cause special days like “Mother’s Day” to be painful, rather than joyous.
 
3. If you can identify with Mother’s Day being painful, share why. What truth might you tell your soul instead of listening to your soul?  I used to feel upset on Mother’s Day (being single, never married, no kids) I felt left out at church, etc… But for some reason, back when the Lord really began to do a work in my heart, helping me to know His love for me, no matter the circumstances I find myself in, things like that never bothered me much any more.  I see so much suffering that others have gone through and I just know that we are all on a different curriculum, but none of them involve pain-free living…they all have the same, ultimate goal, conformation to the image of Christ…and that is not easy.  So I speak to my soul, “yes, you never married or had kids, you never had that joy, but you have been spared many heartaches in that arena as well.”  

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    but I do want to acknowledge that so many women have been hurt much more deeply than me in that area (motherhood) so I don’t want to diminish that.  I think my pain was more resentment that pain, honestly, so thank the Lord He took that away!

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    You are so beautiful, Mary.

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4. Share your notes or comments on the above.  I just love this, Chris.  So much that I feel like I can resonate with here …being lead into a wilderness and left there, and also what you said about not needing to know (the why’s.)  I think that comes when we get to know HIM better and then we don’t need to know “why?”  And your longing for heaven…wow.  “I can stop demanding comfort, because this world is not my home!”  Chris, this whole thing is so powerful.  I just got my own copy of the documentary, The Insanity of God and re-watched it the other day.  One thing the missionary man says in it is, “You can’t get to resurrection Sunday without a crucifixion.”  He makes the comparison that, in our own lives, there is pretty much always a “crucifixion” (of sorts) before we get to the deep, abiding, life-changing joy of the resurrection.  In most Believers, the resurrection power of Christ shines forth because at some point there was a crucifixion (time of deep suffering) in their own lives. Then the power of Christ shows up in a big way (as in your life, Chris, your testimony here) and changes not only the life of the one who has suffered so deeply, but the lives of all whose life she touches.  So glad you shared this video clip of Chris, Dee!

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    I am going to seek out the documentary you mention, your comments about cruxifixction brought tears. Your life an testimony here on the blog is so powerful, the sweetness you have in your suffering. I have been blessed by your walk Mary. I am glad the video ministered to you. I daresay if I had know when recording it that it would be on the internet I might have chickened out! I am pretty shy. I never want to be the center of attention. Even here on the blog a part of me wants to flee when Dee uses the video. I am praying that God will grow me in self-forgetfulness, that I will be willing to let my story glorify him by not being so uneasy.

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      Yes, Chris, because it is truly HIM who shows up in you, through this testimony, so put those fears to rest!

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    I didn’t know there was a documentary on “The Insanity of God”. I read the book a few months ago. It is a powerful story well worth reading. I gave my son a copy which he read and felt was a very worthwhile read.  He even referred to it in his sermon last Sunday using some quotes to make his point.

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      That’s great, Bev!  I didn’t know it was a book till the documentary came out and then others told me it was a book!

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5.C.  The love we already have is the love the Father has for the Son.  It is so hard for me to wrap my mind around this. Mentally I understand that because of the cross, when I believe, He comes and makes His home in me, loving me. But this is saying that before the cross, God had the same love for me as for Christ, even when I was still in rebellion. Not a new truth, but it hits me new today.

we saw The Shack this weekend, and I was very alert to watching for universalism.  At one point, Papa says there is no wrath.  But that is not what the Bible says.  But then I think about dark being the absence of light, and cold being the absence of heat, and evil being the absence of good.  Could it be that wrath is the absence of favor with God? That is what happens to those who don’t want God or the cross or forgiveness, right? They don’t come to get favor, so they get what we would describe as wrath? Eternal separation from God and all He wants for us.

D.  Jesus asks that we be with Him, to see His glory and experience it with Him. When I keep defining glory as God within, then it follows that to be with Jesus is to see and experience the Trinity moment by moment, participating in that love and unity.

E.  Vs 26 closes with Jesus saying He will keep on revealing the Father to us so that love can continue to flow. God is love. So for love to flow means for the Trinity to flow not just into us, but circulating between us and the Trinity and splashing out onto our world, our sphere of influence.

Lord, this coming Sat is the birthday of the woman I work for. Touch her with Your love through me and thru the sermon CD’s I plan to share with her. Help me not to fear, but to have perfect love for her.

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    I missed the line about there being no wrath. You are so right — not what the Bible says. And the descriptions of hell from Jesus are frightening — but I could see how all that could be due to the absence of God.

    So many were helped by The Shack, as some have testified here — so it is so sad that Young seems to veering further and further from the truth.

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5. Read John 17:20-26
A. Reeves says “We are listening in on a prayer between members of the Trinity — and this prayer is for us!”  What is the first request Jesus makes in verse 21 and what do you see in this verse that you might have seen before?

Jesus wants us to all be “one” together. He compares it to Him and the Father being One and wants us to be “in on it.” He wants us to know the Father, and for others to know the Father through His creation.

B. What kind of glory are we  given according to verse 22? 

We are given the same glory that Jesus has with the Father. The same oneness that the Son and Father have together.

C. What kind of love do we already have according to verse 23? 

I don’t see that we already had some sort of love prior to this in this particular passage, and I checked 3 versions. Do you mean what kind of love we will have if we know the Trinity? It does say that we will show the world this unity if we are to know the Trinity though.

D. What does Jesus ask for us in verse 24? 

He wants us to be with Him in heaven to see the glory of it all.

E. How does He close His prayer in verse 26?

He lets God know that He has done the work He was sent to accomplish; that He has let the world know of God and that they too, may know the love He knows.

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    Laura — I should have put verse 24 with 23 to make the question clearer. In 24 Jesus says God loved Him before the foundation of the world.

    So when He says in 23 that we may know “that God loved (past tense) us even as God loved Jesus, it means that God loved us before the foundation of the world, meaning, according to the context, those of us who would come to faith through the word of the disciples. He knew who we would be way back then and loved us even then.

     

    Did I make it clearer or muddier? :-)

     

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      I see; that is clearer!

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A. Reeves says “We are listening in on a prayer between members of the Trinity — and this prayer is for us!”  What is the first request Jesus makes in verse 21 and what do you see in this verse that you might have seen before?

What I am seeing is that the unity Christ requests for his people is horizontal and vertical and that the world BELIEVES when they see it.

B. What kind of glory are we  given according to verse 22?

The glory that God gave to Christ- super unbelievably wonderful isn’t it!?!
C. What kind of love do we already have according to verse 23?

We are loved even as God loves Christ…there is still a pause in my spirit when I try to take this in for real.

D. What does Jesus ask for us in verse 24?

He desires us to be with him, for us to see his glory.

 
E. How does He close His prayer in verse 26?

He promises to keep revealing the Father to us, that we may know- feel in our hearts the love he has for us, Christ promises to be IN us.

I remember as a child singing “I need thee oh I need thee every hour I need thee” and thinking every hour? That seems a bit much, now I don’t think every hour seems often enough…I need this truth continuously impressed on me.

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    love you so Chris-I am swamped this week, but LOVE seeing you hear and hearing your heart, ALWAYS glean so much from you dear sister

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6.  Shattered dreams are never because God is punishing us. In Heb 12:6, punish is used in the sense of discipline, not retribution. Sometimes our dreams have taken first place in our lives and become idols. When taken from us, we are shattered. But God is asking us to see it from a different perspective. He does it for our ultimate good.  It still hurts and is hard to bear, but there is healing and hope as we trust Him to work all things out for good. God is not capricious or petty. He sees far above our understanding. It is only trust in Him that will mend us.

 

7.  1 John 4:14 Yes, John was at the cross and saw the agony Christ went through because of His love, both for the Father and for us. John had seen and heard that Jesus came to be our Savior. Not a temporary savior from our circumstances, but from the very essence of what separates us from God, making us unable to experience His presence, love and unity. From what makes us liable for punishment, that separation from His favor.

I heard of someone who was disabled and had suffered much in this life being asked if they didn’t blame God for all the pain and lost dreams. The answer was No. He has all eternity to make it up to me.

I want to live like that, focused on God and not my feelings at the moment.

 

8. Ruth helped Naomi in her pain by staying with her and not being scared off by it. So often we avoid people who are in pain, either for fear it might rub off on us, or because we are clueless on how to “fix” it. Ruth didn’t discount the pain or try to fix it. She just stayed close and loved.

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    Good insight on Ruth, Mary B.

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6. When our dreams are shattered, why is it never because God is punishing us?

 

Gos loves us. He doesn’t want us to be disappointed, but our earthly lives do that to us, right? A dream of mine was that my kids were to be what I wanted them to be. Oh the disappointment! Not only are they nothing like I thought they would be, but they also are horribly the other way; in my face daily to see. It’s very sad to me. Why would my beautiful small children be such awful adults? I’m not sure I can answer the question correctly; this is a painful truth to my life. Is it because He is the Father and He wants to teach us through our situations? He is the Father after all.

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    Laura — this is a heartbreak and hard to understand. Sometimes all we can do is say, “I don’t know — but I know God is good for He went to the cross for me and He will do all things well in His time.” In the meantime, I pray for you, my sister, for your prodigal children who are breaking your heart. Much love to you.

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    Laura, I so feel your pain. Our daughter keeps on living her life apart from God, is miserable but will not surrender to the Lord. Yet just as you said here, God loves us. He loves our daughter who had a beautiful faith growing up until she reached college. A friend of mine lovingly confronted me about my attitude when I talk to her about my daughter and share my frustrations. She suggested I pray the promises of God for my daughter rather than just thinking about all the negatives going on in her life. I will do just that. :-) And am so blessed by how you are talking truth to your soul. He is the Father after all. And the best one at that if I may add.

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2. Pray for a woman you know who will be experiencing pain today.

 

I am coming here mid week precisely because I have been so involved (long distance) with two women going through losses and by trying to be a support to them the past two weeks.  This is the first morning I’ve felt I could take the time to open the study.

I am praying for my sister in law, T. whose 22 year old daughter S,  our niece,  is waiting daily, hourly for lungs to become available for her to have the lung transplant she needs to survive.  Her health is in crisis and time is of the essence as carbon dioxide levels in her blood climb higher and oxygen continues to plummet.  Yesterday, they had a family meeting with the pulmonary team at the hospital to see what the next steps will be to artificially oxygenate her blood so she will still be well enough to receive new lungs.  But of course, there is no telling when those lungs will come.

 

S’s struggle is intensely personal to me because my daughter, C, has the same genetic disease.  (even though my husband and his sister, T, are not biologically related since my husband was adopted…..very unusual situation.)   I am blessed beyond measure that my daughter is doing very well right now.  She just got back from climbing mountains in California actually.

 

I am also praying many times a day for 32 year old M, who has Down’s Syndrome and is in critical care with failing lungs.  She has both ARDS and since being in the hospital has acquired MRSA.  It is touch and go.  We’re not sure she will pull through.  I don’t know her mother, but am praying for her.  But her roommate, C,  who is a childhood friend of mine and has cognitive impairment but is capable of mostly independent living,  loves M as a daughter.  C. is devastated and I have been in contact with her at least once a day by phone.   It is so hard to bring her comfort.  She can only see the awful reality that she may lose M, her best friend.

 

I know many other situations, but these are so front and center in my mind.  I will stop and pray for them now.

One last word:   Our church did not have a big ‘to do’ about Mother’s Day and I so appreciated that.  Our pastors so ‘get it’ that this is painful for many.  Pastor D’s prayer was the most insightful Mother’s Day prayer  I’ve heard. He prayed about all of the situations Dee wrote about and many more.  It was so compassionate.

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5. Read John 17:20-26

A. Reeves says “We are listening in on a prayer between members of the Trinity — and this prayer is for us!”  What is the first request Jesus makes in verse 21 and what do you see in this verse that you might have seen before?

Jesus prays for the oneness of spirit to be in believers that is in the Trinity and that comes from being in fellowship with the triune God. 
Warren Wiersbe says “Unity comes from life within, not from pressure without.” 
The unity of believers with God will be a testimony of Jesus to the world. 

B. What kind of glory are we  given according to verse 22?

Salvation has brought us glorification all because of Jesus and the Cross. 
It is glory which the Father gives the Son. We are drawn into that glory by a oneness with the Trinity. We can’t earn it. He gives it to us. 

C. What kind of love do we already have according to verse 23?

Love like the Father has for the Son. That is a perfect love. 

D. What does Jesus ask for us in verse 24?

That we will be joined with Him in Heaven and see the glory God has given to Jesus which is the result of an eternal love that the Father has for the Son. 

E. How does He close His prayer in verse 26?

“…that the love with which You loved Me may be in them and I in them.” 
Jesus has revealed the Father to us and draws us into that wonderful circle of Love enjoyed by the Trinity. 

6. When our dreams are shattered, why is it never because God is punishing us?

Love never punishes. God’s love is a perfect love which results in our glorification (salvation). 
I recognize that Romans 8:28 has been overused indiscriminately for some who are hurting deeply but it is a very real truth to be applied to our lives in times of trouble (shattered dreams) 
It speaks to those of us who love God (believers) and the purposes of our lives and in a broader context as it continues through verse 30 ultimately our glorification is tied to verse 28. 

“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.”
Romans 8:28-30 

7. When I memorized 1 John 4:14 I was suddenly brought to tears for I thought: This is the apostle John writing, who stood at the foot of the cross, watching Jesus crucified. No wonder he can say this so adamantly.  What does he say, and how can this realization help us know and to trust the love of God no matter the pain life brings?

“And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world.”
1 John 4:14 ESV
The hope of the world and the very hope we have for life and eternity hangs on this infallible truth. He is our Savior for eternity and for daily life this side of Heaven. It cost Him great pain to be our Savior and He won’t ever abandon us in our pain. 

8. Challenge question: How did Ruth help Naomi in her pain? What didn’t she do? What did she do?

She didn’t abandon Naomi. Didn’t leave her or ever stop helping meet her needs. 
She practiced an unconditional and sacrificial love for Naomi.  
 

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    Great notes, Bev.

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4. Share your notes or comments on the above

 

I’m so much less sure of myself and so much more sure of my Savior.

 

Oh that is such a deep lesson when I think on what Chris went through and is still going through.  Earlier in the video, what caught my heart was her questioning how she could ever reconcile the promises of God’s love with what had happened to Dan.  It occurs to me that so many people get stuck right there.  I’ve been there for a short period myself when pain upon pain came to my child, but I too believe that steadfast hope from Peter,  “Where else can I go.  You have the words of eternal life.”    Thank you, dear Chris, for making that truth so very real to us, through your example of yielding to the Sovereignty of our God.   Being tried and coming forth as gold.

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7. When I memorized 1 John 4:14 I was suddenly brought to tears for I thought: This is the apostle John writing, who stood at the foot of the cross, watching Jesus crucified. No wonder he can say this so adamantly.  What does he say, and how can this realization help us know and to trust the love of God no matter the pain life brings? 

 

This passage says that the Father sent the Son to be the Savior of the World. To give your child to carry the burden of all is an unthinkable gesture for all parents. I can’t imagine doing it, and John watched the process unfold in its entirety. How painful for him and the Father. Anything I face in life is peanuts to this. He is in charge of my life and will always take care of me.

 

 

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He is in charge of my life and will always take care of me.

 

Amen.

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6. When our dreams are shattered, why is it never because God is punishing us?

I still struggle with this question. I suppose the words punishment and discipline are tangled in my mind. I don’t like taking the mindset that I don’t “deserve” to suffer. I do, I really “deserve” hell.
I can accept being disciplined by a loving father.

From Hebrews 12:

My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord,
nor be weary when reproved by him.
For the Lord disciplines the one he loves,
and chastises every son whom he receives.
“It is for discipline that you endure. God is treating you as sons,”
Hebrews 12:6 KJV
For whom the Lord loves he chastens, and scourges every son whom he receives.

From Proverbs 3:
My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline
    or be weary of his reproof, 
for the Lord reproves him whom he loves,
    as a father the son in whom he delights.

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Yes, discipline and punishment are so different. I’ve been meditating on this from 1 John 4

 

There is no fear in love, perfect love casts out fear, for fear has to do with punishment. Whoever fears is not made perfect in love.

 

I have come to see that when we become fully convinced of the love of God, fear dissipates, for we know we are covered, His heart is for us, and any discipline is ultimately to increase our joy. There is no punishment for He has borne all that at the cross. I am not made perfect in love yet, but it is soaking in.

 

 

 

 

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    OH DEE! This, is going in my journal right now–BEAUTIFUL: “I have come to see that when we become fully convinced of the love of God, fear dissipates, for we know we are covered, His heart is for us, and any discipline is ultimately to increase our joy. There is no punishment for He has borne all that at the cross. I am not made perfect in love yet, but it is soaking in.”

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      I know you resonate with this in part because you are (or have!) memorized 1 John!

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    i totally agree with Lizzy. I love what you are saying here, Dee. ”  have come to see that when we become fully convinced of the love of God, fear dissipates, for we know we are covered, His heart is for us, and any discipline is ultimately to increase our joy. There is no punishment for He has borne all that at the cross. I am not made perfect in love yet, but it is soaking in.”

    Neither am I perfect in love yet, but everyday, there is a sense of peace knowing that in our pain God sees us and loves us and nothing can separate us from that love.

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      Amen, Bing!

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    Thank you Dee, I do so look forward to being made completely perfect in love.

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      Twila and I talked about your notes, Chris. (She LOVED your video, having seen it for the first time.) We agreed that in a fallen world God can use terrible things to refine us. The confusion, and I know you and I have discussed this, is “Is this discipline?” Because He is sovereign and nothing slips between His fingers, I guess it is. And that is hard — and yet theologically, I don’t see a way around. One day we will understand. I think what I am understanding better is the depth of God’s love for me despite my depravity. I love you, Chris.

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I just wanted to share that my niece, Shannon, received a phone call last night that lungs were available and she will be or already is in surgery for the transplant!  I share this because I wrote in my comment about mothers in pain, that this has been such a long and uncertain journey for her and her mom.  Yesterday, prayers were really intensified, I believe and then suddenly, the phone call that we have waited for for 5 months.  SO much to ponder about a transplant…..the donor’s grieving family…..the anxiety of such a huge procedure…..the hope……the fear…..and yet the trust in a loving God.  Shannon has relayed her hope in God many times as she has waited.

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    …..actually the transplant did not happen for Shannon.  The donor lungs were not stellar enough for someone her age.  I’m sorry to confuse and to have posted this prayer note on the blog.  I did so, since I had used her situation as a heartbreak situation for her mom in answer to the Mother’s Day question.  The news is disappointing and the week has been exhausting, but her attitude is very remarkable.  I’ve posted more on our facebook prayer page.

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      I’m so sorry Wanda. I will continue praying for Shannon and her family.

        Thank you, Laura.   I’m really amazed by Shannon’s attitude.  She is trusting God will bring just the right lungs at the right time.  She said,  “Why would I settle for a Honda Civic when I could have a Tesla?”   :)   But I’m sure it’s a real letdown also.

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      wow, what a great attitude! It is awesome that she truly has such faith. I don’t recall, is she a believer? I’m guessing she is. Continued prayers for Shannon.

        Yes she is, but has not always been so strong…..in fact, has had major hurdles of faith and well…..I won’t say more, except that in this acute trial of needing new lungs appears to have really brought her to a place of trust.

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      On such a roller coaster of emotion. Prayers for her.

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      Isn’t that the way it is? We run to Him when we need extreme help. He does answer also. Thank You Jesus!

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A. Reeves says “We are listening in on a prayer between members of the Trinity — and this prayer is for us!”  What is the first request Jesus makes in verse 21 and what do you see in this verse that you might have seen before?

 

I need to back up to verse 20 first.    This is probably the most striking nuance of the prayer for me.  Because here is where I see that it truly is FOR ME.   Jesus says to His Father that He is not only praying for the believers who are in the world at that moment but for those who WILL believe in Him through their message.   That really IS ME.   As the Word spread and generations of believers repeated it, eventually it reached my heart.  This is astonishing to me.   Real evidence that Jesus knew me before I was born and that He loved me enough to pray to the Father for me.   This verse has brought tears to my eyes many times.

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8. Challenge question: How did Ruth help Naomi in her pain? What didn’t she do? What did she do?
 
Ruth stayed with Naomi even after her husband (Naomi’s son) died. She didn’t leave her, she went back to her original homeland with her to be with her until she died. She said she would go where Naomi went, and take Naomi’s God for her God. She was loyal to Naomi. Ruth worked and became part of the family. She ended up marrying Boaz, Naomi’s relative, conceiving a child, Obed, who, in turn, had a son Jesse, who had a son, David! Jesus’ lineage…all because Ruth was faithful. A faithful mom, who was loyal to a broken-hearted mom.
 

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    Very good, Laura!

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9.  Mike Reeves-  the high priestly prayer is said of the eve of the crucifixion. Jesus is our high priest, and Exodus is the picture of what Jesus will do. Jesus is both the high priest and the sacrifice. He brings incense into the presence of God, and Revelation tells us that incense is prayers.  These are prayers for us that Jesus is bring into God’s presence.  carried on Jesus’ heart is the ephod, representing us, so carrying us into the presence of God. We are brought before the Father by the Son to get a new identity as loved ones, just as the Son is loved. There is no other possible answer as this, the Trinity loving us, from anything else. No other religion is like this. He doesn’t bring us as servants or even as angels in the making, but to be instated as loved the same as the Trinity. Jesus breathes on us the Spirit, who takes what is the Son’s and gives it to us. So when God says, this is My Son, with whom I am well pleased, that is for us.

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B. What kind of glory are we  given according to verse 22?     He says it is the same kind of glory that He and His Father share and that makes them one.   He gives it so that we also may be one……one as all believers I think He means.  That is an astonishing gift….I’m not sure I understand what He really means by ‘glory’.  Is it our ‘position’ in Christ that is the glory in itself?   Or is it something more??  

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6. When our dreams are shattered, why is it never because God is punishing us?

 

Because He took all of the punishment for our sin upon Him on the cross.   As a result of Him being truly abandoned on the cross….the most dreadful part of all of His suffering,  He bore our sin…..the reason for the separation from His Father and He then promised to never abandon us.   Those were His closing words when He left the earth.   ‘Lo, I am with you always……”   I think this follows closely after these truths about His love in John 17.   If we truly believe that He came to extend the Father’s love to us and to take the brunt of the Father’s wrath,   then we can better believe that we are not being punished when we face tragedy and trials.   I don’t feel I am punished when these times come, but sometimes I do struggle with accepting why God allows it.  And I have questioned His love at times.    But I think it helps me to see that Jesus, in His humanity, when He felt the real pain and anguish of the cross,  and did indeed take the punishment that God required of Him,  came through it all, still carrying the Father’s love to His followers ….. making sure that Peter knew He was forgiven,  being open and accessible to Thomas who wrestled more with believing that He was alive,   gently calling out Mary’s name in the garden,  walking with the disciples on the road to Emmaus.   He didn’t remain aloof and obscure from them.  He sought them out.  He cooked fish for them on the beach.  He deeply desired to be WITH them.    I think so often of how I respond when I am in pain.  I want to hide away.  I become reclusive.  I want to sit in the darkness and be alone in my pain.  That is just the opposite of what Jesus did.  He came through the horror of Gethsemane and went right on bringing truth and light and joy to everyone around Him.

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    Wanda, what a powerful picture of Jesus loving his followers; reaching out to them after his resurrection. You bring it home so clearly when you say,

     

    “He didn’t remain aloof and obscure from them.  He sought them out.  He cooked fish for them on the beach.  He deeply desired to be WITH them.    I think so often of how I respond when I am in pain.  I want to hide away.  I become reclusive.  I want to sit in the darkness and be alone in my pain.  That is just the opposite of what Jesus did.  He came through the horror of Gethsemane and went right on bringing truth and light and joy to everyone around Him.”

     

    I know how much I tend to hide when I am in pain – physically and especially emotionally. Jesus did the opposite and continues to do so – reaching out to us when we are in pain. Oh, how that draws me to Him!

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      Love your last reflection, Dianne.

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    I appreciate your comments here Wanda, especially this “He deeply desired to be WITH them.”

    This verse recently went radioactive for me:
    Mark 3:13 “And he went up on the mountain and called to him those whom he desired, and they came to him.”

    I can’t deny that he keeps calling me

    It makes me think of this song:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WwGSNv3vK3I

    I once was lost in darkest night
    Yet thought I knew the way
    The sin that promised joy and life
    Had led me to the grave
    I had no hope that You would own
    A rebel to Your will
    And if You had not loved me first
    I would refuse You still

    But as I ran my hell-bound race
    Indifferent to the cost
    You looked upon my helpless state
    And led me to the cross
    And I beheld God’s love displayed
    You suffered in my place
    You bore the wrath reserved for me
    Now all I know is grace

    Hallelujah! All I have is Christ
    Hallelujah! Jesus is my life

    Now, Lord, I would be Yours alone
    And live so all might see
    The strength to follow Your commands
    Could never come from me
    Oh Father, use my ransomed life
    In any way You choose
    And let my song forever be
    My only boast is You

      Reply

      Thankyou Chris for sharing that song. It is such powerful truth.

      Reply

      Wow, Chris. What powerful words in this song! I’ve never heard it before. I need to listen again and again. I have just been reminded this week that in me without Christ is only darkest night. The sin that promises joy only brings despair and pain. Only Jesus is light, love and life. Without him I am hopeless, and useless. Jesus is my life.

      Reply

      Love the verse that went radioactive for you, Chris.

      Reply

      Thanks for sharing this song. I have not heard of it before.

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9. Share your notes and comments on Mike Reeve’s message.

 

I loved the discussion of the Holy Spirit; how God gave us Jesus, and Jesus gave us the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is represented by incense in the Bible. It made me think of Catholic funeral masses with all the bells and whistles, including incense.  Reeves says that just as the high priest “brings” the Israelites to the father in the Old Testament with atonement, Jesus “brings” us to the father in John 17.  It’s just beautiful!

 

Reply

0. What is your take-a-way and why?

“You get the greatest love in the Trinity. We are brought into the fellowship with the Trinity. Te Holy Spirit takes what is in Jesus and declares it to you.” Happy thoughts that calm my fears.

    Reply

    You did it!

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