Sunday, June 23, 2013

Psalm 55:17~He Shall Hear My Voice

Photo by Jean Ann Williams

Dear readers,

King David writes:

"Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice."

When we're steeped in sorrow, or anger or discouragement, do we always think to cry aloud to the Lord? I sure don't, but since my son died by suicide, I'm getting better at not wasting time.

I've learned to jump in with both feet. By that, I mean, shrug off whatever troubles me to One that has the power to help. I might do it up big time, like sobs and lots of noises. Or in soft tones of notes, singing my sorrows to God.

God loves for us to need Him. He loves for us to not hide from Him. He already knows every thought of ours anyway. When we are honest, truly honest about ourselves, we can see our sincere need for Him. Then, He can show us more about our short comings. When we've said all we needed to say, peace follows, please believe me, dear readers.

I've listened to people who have said, "I don't know if God hears me."

That last part of the verse says it, and God's holy Word is true: ". . . he shall hear my voice." How? David prayed and cried aloud three times a day.

Let's take King David's example and do the same. Not only will we be real and more right with God than ever before, but it will propel our relationship toward God to a higher level.

Holy Father, thank You for always hearing me. Please help my readers to know more about You, and help me to continue to trust You better. Bless our week. In Jesus' holy name, I ask. Amen.

Until next time . . . let's be honest. 

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Psalm 55:6~Wings Like a Dove

A dove in the yard~photo by Jean Ann Williams

Dear readers.

David writes:
"And I said, Oh that I had wings like a dove! for then would I fly away, and be at rest."

When my son Joshua died by suicide at age twenty-five over nine years ago, I needed much rest, pysically, spiritually and emotionally. I grew exhausted from the hour by hour reality of living without my youngest child. I longed for wings to fly somewhere. Anywhere would do, so, day after day, I watched the doves soar from oak tree to oak tree.

My fascination with our doves began early in my grief.

When my daughter Jami drove up to the house after getting the news of her brother, she stepped out of her car and a thick flapping of wings caught her attention. She turned her eyes toward the sky. Two gray doves appeared to guide a pure white dove to the heavens.

Jami sensed God's Spirit, showing her that Joshua's spirit had been escorted by angels into the Great Beyond where he would take his rest.

God gave Jami reassurance, something to ponder on when her sorrow became unbearable. It helped me, also, after she shared what she had seen on the day of our loss.

"Oh, that I had wings like a dove! would I fly away, and be at rest."

Take a deep breath, dear readers--ah, yes. No matter what sorrow you are experiencing, God wants you to be in His rest. Free like a dove.

Dear Father God, thank You for giving my daughter blessed assurance. The beginning of hundreds of blessings, You have cared and watched over our family through our early grief and beyond. In Jesus' holy name, we are grateful. Amen.

Until next time . . . look for the blessings.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Psalm 40:4~Blessed is the Man

Trickles of Water: Photo by Jean Ann Williams

Good morning, dear readers,

The Psalmist writes:
"Blessed is the man who makes the Lord his trust, who does not turn to the proud, to those who go astray after a lie!"

Wow, dear readers, this appears as a heavy-duty, not fair verse, but is that the case?

If we make the Lord our trusted God, why would we need any others who are proud in themselves and believes the lies of Satan? God is telling us, "I am the only way, and if you choose Me over lies, I will bless you."

You will find God's blessings throughout His holy scriptures. Reading God's Word is the foundation of how He talks to us for His assurances, boundaries, and the moral codes He has set for us to follow.

Following God is not easy for us with wandering eyes.

If we do look another way in a time of weakness, the Lord is willing to draw us back to Him in whatever way He deems best. Think of His way to get our attention as a parent who disciplines a child for their safety. God is not mean. He wants our full attention, which is the best for us and will continue to bring about the blessings He promises. 

What, you may ask, has this to do with death by suicide?

Trusting in God and not the proud and those who go after lies, is important when we've lost a loved one, which includes loss by suicide. In our time of deep sorrows, we are confused, exhausted by tears, and looking around for God. One does not have to feel God to understand He is there, and because we've lost a loved one doesn't mean God flees.

Looking back over the nine years since my son Joshua died by suicide, I can proclaim God never left me.

I had a grief so great, it allowed no room for "touchy feelies" where God is concerned. That disturbed me, so I researched scriptures in the Bible. I found many verses that assured me to continue to trust in the Lord, and not turn to those I could see who are proud and gone astray after lies.

I could look back and spot the times the blessings flowed and they continued to this present moment. Many from God fearing and loving people. So many, that I'm compelled to write a book about my first year after the loss of my son to suicide. I can't be silent about how the Lord helped me then and continues to today.

Father God, I pray for my readers that they, also, will find joy in worshiping and trusting in You. In Jesus' holy name. Amen.

Until next time . . . trust in Lord God.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Psalm 44:25~Our Soul Is Bowed

Nine-year-old Joshua, guarding first base

Good morning, dear readers,

Since my last post, it has been a hectic week of traveling, working in the veggie garden and general work on my goat farm, but now I'm back at my desk. :)

The verse below recently caught my attention, because of what happened within two hours after Joshua died by suicide. The devotion today is not in my book, but is a good example of what I include in the book.

For our soul is bowed down to the dust: our belly cleaveth unto the earth.

I glared at the emergency worker who stood a few feet between me and the hallway of my home.

I stretched my five foot frame to glare harder. "I need my shoes, and I won't leave this house without them."

"Ma'am, you can't go back there." Was the man protecting me? Don't bother, I thought, I held my dead son in that room. Then, I squinted my eyes at him, "I'm getting my shoes."

I stepped toward him, and his eyes grew big in his young face. I put my head down, ready to plow right through him. He stepped aside. I focused on my bedroom door and not on Joshua's room, for I had to pass his as I walked.

When I reached my room, I fell to the floor beside my bed. Sobbing, I curled into a ball and rocked. "Oh, God, oh, God, my son is dead, oh, God."

"Jean?" My sister-in-law. "Jean, we need to go."

Through my wet hands, cupped to my face, I said, "I can't."

She touched my shoulder. "Okay, I'll give you five more minutes."

After she left, her words echoed in my head. I'll give you five more minutes. I almost laughed. How many times had I said that to Joshua when he was a little boy? I pushed aside the fragmented moment of five more minutes, and wailed.

"Mommy." Jami, my daughter. "Please, Mommy, I'll take you to my house." She lifted me up under my arms. I didn't want to make it harder for her, so we found my shoes. Jami cradled her arm around me, and we walked outside to our waiting family.

Lord, God, my soul was bowed down to the dust. My belly cleaved unto the earth. Then, You allowed a lighter moment to come and go in a blink to give my being a bit of rest. In Jesus' name, I am grateful for Your love to reach my shattered heart. Amen.

Until next time . . . wade through God's restful moments.