When Life Hurts
"Humble men are very fortunate!" he (Jesus) told them, "for the Kingdom of Heaven is given to them. Those who mourn are fortunate for they shall be comforted. The meek and lowly are fortunate for the whole wide world belongs to them.
"Happy are those who long to be just and good, for they shall be completely satisfied. Happy are the kind and merciful, for they shall be shown mercy. Happy are those whose hearts are pure, for they shall see God. Happy are those who strive for peace - they shall be called the sons of God. Happy are those who are persecuted because they are good, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.
"When you are reviled and persecuted and lied about because you are my followers - wonderful! Be happy about it! Be very glad! for a tremendous reward awaits you up in heaven. And remember the ancient prophets were persecuted too." Matthew 5:3-12 (TLB)
Torrey Curtis is from Oklahoma. In July 2012, his wife Joyce died suddenly within 48 hours after shepherding Torrey back home to Oklahoma after emergency surgery in Florida to save his leg. He was bereft. No only was Joyce his best friend of 35 years, and the mother of their two children; she was his partner in ministry and a multitalented musician and university teacher with a radiant personality.
Two blessings were critical for Torrey in her loss. First, a conviction that Jesus knew what he was talking about when he said, "Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted." There were many days - especially in the first two years - when Torrey would weep and scream in the pain of that loss. The scream was not "Why?" just "It hurts."
The second blessing came the day after Joyce's death as Torrey heard the Holy Spirit ask him this question: "If you could swap your years with Joyce and not have this pain, would you do it?" His immediate answer was, "Absolutely not."
Now the pain has dulled and is far less frequent. Every day Torrey has continued to give thanks for Joyce - the life and love they shared and the family God entrusted to them.
Death is hard but it is a part of this life: a time to be born and a time to die. If we are prepared by knowing Jesus as our Savior, then there is no need to fear death. Personally, I am at the age where I look forward to the time I will be with Jesus. If you are not ready, then the time to prepare is now. If you are ready, then I look forward to seeing you again in heaven.
Prayer: Thank you Jesus, for Your presence and guidance through scripture and the Holy Spirit. Let us look forward to the day when we will be with You and our heavenly Father with joy and anticipation. In Jesus' name I pray, amen.