Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Light in the Darkness

Along with all the joy and wonder of Christmas this year we also had our share of sadness. We lost my cousin Patrick on December 23rd. We spent the week after Christmas in Illinois with my Aunt Susie and Uncle Terry and my cousin's son John Michael. Even in the sadness, there was a light in the darkness. The light of Jesus and the hope he brought when he died for all of us on the cross. We could rejoice in knowing that there is much more than this life here. This life here can sometimes be full of pain, heartache, and struggles. But if we cling to Christ and put our trust in him we can have hope.
I got to read the following verses at the funeral:

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

New International Version (NIV)

13 Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. 14 For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. 15 According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. 18 Therefore encourage one another with these words.
The message at the funeral was a message of hope. That God loves you, that he doesn't make bad things happen but he does allow them to happen for purposes beyond our understanding, and that if we place our hope in him we get to spend eternity with him. How amazing is that?
Even through the sadness, the time my family got to spend together last week was another huge blessing. I was continually stopped by the realization of how lucky I am to be a part of the families I was born into & married into. God has been so good to me and I will give him thanks in all things, good & bad.

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