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Monday, February 25, 2013

While I've Been Away ...

Treasured Friend,
As you may know or have heard from my FB updates, we've been through a truly sad time as Dad succumbed (after a valiant fight) to pancreatic cancer. The intensity of our caregiving responsibilities explains my absence from updating this page in recent months.
In our family's time of grief, I now want to share with you what we've reaffirmed about the absolute faithfulness of God.

So, direct from my comments at Daddy's memorial service -- and excerpted from my upcoming devotional for caregivers, When Comfort Is What You Need -- here is just a bit of what we've learned:

During our long days in the ICU and surgical recovery wards, my mind was haunted by a recurring accusation: You told everyone you believed God in the good days; but now in the bad ones do you still believe?

Well? Do we believe God’s promises or don’t we?

In ancient days one man faced a domino-effect of tragedies. He didn’t have the benefit of generations of testimonies that God is faithful. He didn’t have one scroll of the written Word of God. Yet Job had enough experience with God to stand among his accusing peers—his body wracked with pain and spirit depleted by grief—to declare:

I know that my Redeemer lives, and … after my skin has been thus destroyed, yet in my flesh I shall see God, whom I shall see for myself, and my eyes shall behold.(Job 19:25-27)

I read this Scripture to Dad just hours before He passed into eternity.

“Read it again,” he whispered. And he slowly but intentionally lifted his hand in affirmation and praise to God. “I’ll see Him with my eyes,” he whispered.

“Yes, Daddy, very soon!”

“Good, good!”

On this faith-filled confession Job took his stand – and so do we. Why? Because it makes all the difference to have our eyes focused on what is more real than the reality we’re experiencing today. This is what I know … I know my God, and one day I’ll see Him for myself. On this confession each of us can stand strong today.

*Excerpted by permission from When Comfort Is What You Need, Warner Press, 2013. Watch this site for info on ordering quantities of this gift book for your caregiving ministry and your personal encouragement.

Blessings and prayers, Julie


Saturday, February 2, 2013

Psalm of Courage

Treasured friend,

We're having a rough time in the caregiving journey this season, so I'm finding special meaning in a Scripture I read devotionally today. I hope and pray you find this portion of The Word meaningful, as well. It comes in two excerpts from Psalm 27:

8 You have said, “Seek my face.” My heart says to you, “Your face, LORD, do I seek.”

13 I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living!
14 Wait for the LORD; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the LORD! [ESV]
In God's face is comfort and strength. Seeing Him gives His followers courage and hope. And in this Psalm, not only are we assured that we'll see His face with our very own eyes one day in eternity, but that our spiritual eyes will see glimpses of Him here and now -- right in the middle our greatest challenges of faith.

So, today, we seek Him with the Psalmist. And we hold firmly to the hope that we'll see His goodness in our circumstances today -- no matter what they may be.

Blessings and prayers, Julie