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Seek the Lord while you can find him. Call upon him now while he is near. Let men cast off their wicked deeds; let them banish from their minds the very thought of doing wrong! Let them turn to the Lord that he may have mercy upon them, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon! This plan of mine is not what you would work out, neither are my thoughts the same as yours! For just as the heavens are higher then the earth, so are my thoughts than yours.

Isaiah 55: 6-9 (TLB)

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens. Ecclesiastes 3: 1 (NIV)

Brad Butler is from North Carolina. He was in high school when his mother dies after a long battle with cancer. Brad was not only sad; he was angry with God. He couldn't see any purpose in what had happened, and he questioned God's wisdom and even God's existence. Though his grief subsided, the question "Why?" still remained deep inside him. Whenever others mentioned their mothers, his hurt resurfaced.

After graduation from college, Brad became a high school chemistry teacher - a job he loved. He had been teaching for about 20 years when a student returned to class after missing a week of school because of the death of a parent. What was to be an hour of helping her catch up became an opportunity to empathize with her. Brad told her he had been about her age when his mother died, and he shared with her the hurt he had felt when other kids mentioned their mothers. She looked at Brad with tears in her eyes and said, "Thank you, Mr. B. No one else seems to understands." Because of his own experience Brad was able to offer her comfort and support. At that moment he finally found something redeeming in the grief he had felt at his mother's death and for the decades since. And Brad understood that when we grieve, God grieves with us.

Prayer: Father God, thank you for being with us as we grieve. Teach us patience as we learn to trust you in all things, in Jesus' name. Amen.

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