Tag Archives: Hope

Pain is inevitable

This is a repost…from 10 years ago.

Everyone has a time in their life when they experience difficulty.  It might be family or finance, it might be a relationship or regret.  We know it by the emotional weight that lays on our hearts.  Sometimes we see it coming and other times it takes us by surprise.  We usually have no control on it and little ability to change the consequences.  What we have power over is our reaction.

After 30 years of marriage, and 27 years of ministry I can tell you I’ve sat with, and talked with people in almost every difficult circumstance.  The gambler, the adulterer, the runaway, the drug user, the drug dealer, the sick, the dying, the criminal, the victim, the lonely, the overwhelmed.  Most of them felt out of control of their lives and were looking for relief.  They wanted relief from the emotional weight more than anything else.

What strikes me over and over though is that despite the similarities the big difference is their reaction.  Most chose misery, most chose to suffer in their own thoughts and reactions.  But some, not very many, but a few decide that misery is optional.  They might not be happy but in the midst of their difficult days they chose to live life with hope.

The only way I think this is possible is if they have a strong belief in God and His Hand of care.

1 God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.

2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,

3 though its waters roar and foam
and the mountains quake with their surging.
Selah

4 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy place where the Most High dwells.

5 God is within her, she will not fall;
God will help her at break of day.

6 Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall;
he lifts his voice, the earth melts.

7 The LORD Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.

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Remembering Dad

I can’t believe how time is moving along so quickly and another year has passed.  I still miss my Dad and wish that heaven could take incoming calls.  However we live on with his influence and example always surrounding us and look forward to being together again one day.

Here’s one of those photos…taken together in 1999 we were enjoying a day by the water on Lake Simcoe when Shawn and Leanne were up visiting.  Jacob and Noah were babies.

Living with hope

This week has had a dark cloud over it.  We’ve all been shocked and saddened by the sudden loss of Dirk.  Just coming to his 64th birthday, he and Susan have been talking about their retirement and planning for the years to follow.  Suddenly Susan has been planning Dirk’s funeral and trying to grasp what this sudden change means.

Dirk in the meantime is in the presence of God – this is our firm belief and our hope for the age to come.  I can’t imagine facing the prospect of death without hope.

Those of us left here are just observers struck by the stark reminder that life is brief and always fragile.

We live with expectation.  Expectation that we have today, tomorrow, next week, next month, next year.  It’s natural to assume this for most of the time it is true.  But this week we’ve been reminded that all of us must face our mortality.

Husbands and wives hugged a little tighter, a little longer, recognizing the implications for us all.  And we all prayed for Susan and family believing that when we walk through the valley of the shadow of death God is indeed with us.

Today with Dirk’s funeral service and it served as a firm reminder that while we don’t know when death will come our way but we can be ready.