Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Blessed are Those Who Mourn, for They Will be Comforted

As I sit here at my desk this morning, I am finding it very difficult to focus on work as I think about all the devastation and weeping going on in Moore, Oklahoma.  Literally our neighbors.  I am a Christian who believes and trust in God, I work for a church, I am a parent and a grandparent and I am a child. Even still, it is all so hard to imagine.

I have close friends who have lost children and I have seen the agony and pain that brings.  I think about my own family and I cannot even fathom it.  The thought of kissing your children as the get out of the car for school in the morning, not realizing that the next kiss they receive would be from their heavenly father.

I just wrote a blog this week entitled "Through the Eyes of a Child" thinking about my granddaughter Eisley.  I cannot even imagine the pain of my own family, of my own daughter and son-in-law in the circumstances the parents of Moore are facing.  My heart literally aches for them.

The only thing I KNOW through all of this is this, He is God and I am not.  While I cannot imagine what these parents are going through, I know that God knows.  I know that He is right there beside them, wrapping them in His arms, holding them close to His heart.  My prayer is that each of these families, will feel God's presence in ways they never have before.  That even through the tragedy, especially because of the tragedy that they will not lose hope.  That they will cling to the Father like never before and that they will be able to have some peace in knowing their children are with Him.  That they will continue to praise God even in the storm that rages around them... because the tomb is empty!

Our dear friend Jenny Bizaillion went home to be with God a little over 3 years ago.  She absolutely adored and loved children with all her heart.  Her precious daughter Malaya was everything to her.  I can see her now surrounding each and every one of those precious children with her loving arms and covering each one of them with love and kisses.  Not only are they surrounded by their heavenly father God, but they have a heavenly mother in Jenny.  As my heart aches, those images make me smile through the tears.

May God bless each family beyond measure and give them the comfort that can only come from Him.

Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
Matthew 5:4

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
Psalm 34:18

He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.
Psalm 147:3

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Through the Eyes of a Child

Ok, let me just start out by saying, yes I am an adult, and yes I LOVE Disneyworld!!  We recently spent 8 days at Disneyworld.  We also had the privilege of taking our daughter and son-in-law as well as our almost 2 year old granddaughter!  I cannot tell you how much that was!  Getting to see Disneyworld through the eyes of a 2 year old is special.  It's even more special when it's your own kids first time to experience it; and it is beyond amazing to see it through the eyes of your 2 year old granddaughter who is witnessing it all for the first time!  I am beyond blessed!

We have been home now for almost a week.  And as I look back through our pictures from the trip, the magic of it all is truly amazing.  Disney really knows how to do things right when it comes to kids.  They know what kids expect, they know what scares them, and they know how to react to them.  It's quite amazing.  My granddaughter Eisley, had a wonderful time.  We were all a little worried that the reality of all of the Disney characters might scare her.  But she absolutely loved it from day one.  She would get so excited with all of the anticipation of waiting for someone to come around the corner.  She loved the parades and would just clap and get excited waiting for the next character.  She loved the princesses and would just light up when she saw them!

As I reminisce about our trip and see the excitement in her face it reminds me of Jesus saying in scripture to let the little children come to Him.  Children have such pure joy and excitement.  They are not tainted by the harsh realities of the world.  They still see things with pure love and excitement.  Eisley was so excited to see and spend time with the Disney characters.  And it makes me think... as adults do we get that excited? 

There are some things we as adults get excited about.  Some of us get excited about Disney :-), some of get excited about sports, :-) some of get excited about music, some of us get excited about fill in the blank.  But... do we get excited about Jesus?  Do we get excited when we get to worship and sing praises to Him on Sunday morning?  Do we get excited when we take the time to sit with Him and soak in His word?  Do we get excited to sit and be still with Him?  Do we get excited when He opens a door for us and provides us with a wonderful opportunity to serve others?  Do we get excited when He puts people in our path that need Jesus with skin on?

Children see things in such a unique way.  Their excitement is genuine!  Their joy is contagious!  What would it look like if we looked forward to spending time with Jesus in the way Eisley looks forward to seeing Pooh and the Disney princesses.  What would it look like if we were always that excited to run to Him and spend time with Him by studying His word.  What would it look like to be that excited to sit in the quiet and be still with Him.  If we got half as excited about spending time with Jesus as we get watching sports, seeing a concert, spending time at Disney, etc, we just might be able to experience Jesus through the eyes of a child.  We just might get to experience Jesus in a whole new way.  We just might be able to experience the pure joy of being in His presence, the joy of knowing that He is in control of our lives.

The thing is, once you begin to spend more time with Him, the more you "want" to spend time with Him.  The more you spend time with Him, the more excited you get when you get an extra chance to be with Him.  The more you spend time with Him, the more you will choose Him over other things.

I pray that we will all be able to experience Jesus with the eyes and excitement of a child.

May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else, just as ours does for you.  
May he strengthen your hearts so that you will be blameless and holy in the presence of our God and Father when our Lord Jesus comes with all his holy ones.
1 Thessalonians 3:12-13