I have begun putting together a resource page consisting mostly of books I have found to be helpful in my own loss experience. Here's the link to the new page: youcantrusthim.com/resources
Thank you for this, Mr. Ettinger.
By David Ettinger
A Pleasant Surprise
As I was reading the Book of Numbers, I was pleasantly surprised by an
insight the Lord gave me. It concerned the death of Aaron, Israel’s
first high priest. The account reads this way:
… the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “Aaron will be
gathered to his people. … Get Aaron and his son Eleazar and take them up
Mount Hor. Remove Aaron’s garments and put them on his son Eleazar, for
Aaron will be gathered to his people; he will die there” (20:23-26).
the surface, this may seem clear cut; something not requiring deep
thought. Indeed, this is how I viewed this text for almost three decades
… until reading it on this particular day. What was so insightful this
time? The answer is, for the first time I saw in it a perfect picture of
death and the Christian.
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For the person desiring to comfort a sufferer… “The sufferer says, ‘I know it’s been a long time; I’m sorry. I’m not enjoying the prolonged nature of this trial, but I appreciate your understanding and your willingness to stick with me. Thank you for weeping when I weep. Someday, a time will come when we can rejoice together at the marriage supper of the Lamb. Until that time, please be there for me, keep in contact with me, let me cry on your shoulder, and hold my hand while we limp to Jerusalem.’ -Kim Dunkelberger
NOTE: This post is much longer than any of my other posts. However, for ease of access, I am providing it here at the request of several people. For a printable pdf version, please scroll to the end of the post.
The blessing of Christian fellowship is a wonderful gift! God “comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted” (2 Corinthians 1:3-5). Sometimes though, it is difficult to know how best to offer this comfort even when there is a sincere desire to do so.
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"Regarding the issue of your loved ones who will not be in Heaven, you need to take God at His Word and trust that when the time comes for you to join Him, He will see to it that you are filled with an eternity’s worth of inexpressible joy." God's wisdom and truth from the … Continue reading In Heaven, Will You Remember Unsaved Loved Ones?
Great comfort and strengthening Truth here. Thank you, Mr. Ettinger.
By David Ettinger
I’m a great fan of the classic TV series, “The Twilight Zone.” The TV masterpiece, which ran from 1959 through 1964, was innovative, and still holds up admirably today.
But despite the show’s ingenuity, it blew it in one area, that being its dealing with death. In several episodes, Rod Serling, the show’s creator and foremost writer, presented death as a peaceful, welcoming, and desirable passage from this life to the next.
Sorry to say, but this is nothing but wishful thinking. The Bible is clear that following this life, unbelievers move on to eternal punishment in Hell. Jesus confirms this truth in such passages as Matthew 18:6-9 and Matthew 25:31-46. The apostle Paul also affirms this truth in 2 Thessalonians 1:5-10.
There is nothing good about death. It is bad, and is meant to be bad – particularly for the unbeliever. However, for the…
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Beautiful, Leanne. Nothing more I can say.
“Some day, in years to come, you will be wrestling with the great temptation, or trembling under the great sorrow of your life. But the real struggle is here, now, in these quiet weeks. Now it is being decided whether, in the day of your supreme sorrow or temptation, you shall miserably fail or gloriously conquer. Character cannot be made except by a steady, long continued process.” —Phillips Brooks
I almost don’t need to say another word. That quote is so full of wisdom, admonition, conviction and fortitude.
I have been struggling under the great temptation and trembling under the great sorrow of my life for 3+ years, now. Indeed, who would not after losing a beloved child? My great temptation has been to say, “away with it all” and sit at home, nursing my wounds, angry at God and everyone who has anything to say about death, loss, healing…
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Another encouraging piece from Karen Harmening.
“I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.” Ephesians 1:18-23…
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Karen has written a gracious and very thorough and thoughtful article. It is well worth the time to read all 3000+ words. Thank you, Karen.
Timewise I’ve really only just begun this painful journey of deep grief, but I’ve already learned a number of significant lessons. I’m sharing some here both for future reference for myself, and in hopes that they might be helpful to others walking alongside grieving friends.
I dislike the ever popular lists of “15 things you should never say to___________” or “10 things you should always do for_________”. Those lists consistently strike me as being rooted in egocentrism and entitlement, and lacking grace. We who are grieving do not get a free pass to be egocentric, entitled or lacking in grace. We continue to answer to the command to be governed by love and grace, bearing with one another patiently and overlooking offenses.
My intention is not to present a legalistic list of do’s and don’ts regarding grieving people. I am simply sharing some of what I and other grieving…
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Misunderstandings and misinformation regarding grief and the so-called “stages of grief” are a major contributor to the isolation and loneliness that often accompany bereavement. Thank you, Karen Harmening, for clearing things up in this gracious, well-written and informative post.
“He will swallow up death for all time, And the Lord GOD will wipe tears away from all faces, And He will remove the reproach of His people from all the earth; For the LORD has spoken. And it will be said in that day, “Behold, this is our God for whom we have waited that He might save us. This is the LORD for whom we have waited; Let us rejoice and be glad in His salvation.” Isaiah 25:8-9 [NASB]
I’m not working through the stages of grief. To be frank, I have grown to resent the phrase “the stages of grief” rather deeply. Let me say it again, I am not working through the stages of grief. I am missing my child. I am learning to live life moment by moment, hour by hour, day by day, week by week and now month by month in the…
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Yes. Just exactly this. Thank you, Kathleen.
A few years ago, I almost lost my husband to a serious staph infection. We went through four years of more surgeries and Ron using crutches and a cane to walk before he was able to walk or jog normally again.
My oldest son spent two tours in Afghanistan with the US Marine Corps. One of those was the well-known “Dark Horse Unit” often mentioned on Facebook because of the high number of casualties they had in such a short time.
We almost lost one of our children to an illness in the last year.
I was fearful for weeks at a time that I would actually lose one of children or my husband. It did not show to the world, but I was afraid.
Over the past year, I finally came to believe that God is in control; that all the days of our lives are written in His book…
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This is what gets me up in the morning. Great post, Brandon.
It’s one of those little fluffy kerfluffles of human philosophy, one that at least has the honesty to face the reality of we’re not home yet and try to make peace with it.
“Maybe it’s about the journey, not the destination”.
I say bogus.
I say the Christian life is about the destination.
(WARNING: Scripture ahead. I know some of you experience an instinct to kinda “check out” and skip Scripture because it’s too dense, too preposition-heavy, too hard to understand, it’s something you just plain don’t like, etc. DON’T. If you’ve honored me by clicking on this post, I urge you to fight that instinct. Read through the Scriptures. There are treasures waiting.)
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A must-read by Janet Boxx: https://boxxbanter.com/2017/10/09/what-is-the-harvest-of-tears/
There is so much I would like to say, Janet. I wish we could spend a few hours face to face. Maybe I can say just a few things that leap at me from what you have written here today in this beautiful and thought-provoking post.
First, you are the first person I have run into that gets Psalm 127:3. I could never figure out why one abusive mother may get to have six or eight children and a loving God-fearing mother maybe cannot have any. Children are gifts and treasures but they are not trophies for being a good girl. They are HIS reward and belong to HIM.
Second, for me, clinging to/trusting the promises and trusting the Promiser are inseparable. They are one and the same. The Promiser always keeps His promise. The Promiser IS the promise. But wait. He has promised some things I am not sure I want any part of: “In the world you shall have tribulation.” “we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God” “That no man should be moved by these afflictions: for yourselves know that we are appointed thereunto.” So if I trust the promises that make me feel better, I must also accept/be resigned to, or, rather, REJOICE in ALL the promises, knowing, as you said, that our Lord always has our eternal good in view. Always.
Which brings me to my last point. Knowing God is sovereign is one thing. Liking it is another. Knowing God has the power to restrain Satan, and then submitting when He chooses not to restrain him, is another. Understanding God is sovereign, that He, as the King, has the authority and the right to do what He wants in His universe is one thing. But surrendering to this authority, bowing humbly to His will, (even when it gets ugly) while we trust in His wisdom and love, well…that’s Holy Spirit work. I do not think this trusting and surrendering business is something we can choose to do. I believe it is a grace we must pray for. I think this is the key to peace. As long as we kick against what God has allowed or directly caused, or against what He may direct or allow in the future, I do not think peace is possible.
“Unresisting submission” unloads and lightens the heart burdened with with anger, fear, mistrust, resentment, bitterness, self-pity, etc. How blessed it would be to be free of it all!
5 Those who walk the fields to sow, casting their seed in tears,
will one day tread those same long rows, amazed by what’s appeared.
6 Those who weep as they walk and plant with sighs Will return singing with joy, when they bring home the harvest.
In brief, it’s an important discussion about choosing to cling to God in obedient faith instead of the temporal things of this world (including those we love). Follow the link below to read this short post about costly obedience.
Psalm 126:5-6 has long been a verse dear to my heart. It was a promise I could cling to after Cole’s death. I inscribed it across the bottom of every birth announcement mailed when Bethany…
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Gracious and practical insight from Melanie DeSimone.
You cannot possibly know that scented soap takes me back to my son’s apartment in an instant.
You weren’t there when I cleaned it for the last time, boxed up the contents under the sink and wiped the beautiful, greasy hand prints off the shower wall. He had worked on a friend’s car that night, jumped in to clean up and was off.
He never made it home.
So when I come out of the room red-eyed, teary and quiet, please don’t look at me like I’m a freak.
Please don’t corner me and ask, “What’s wrong?”Or worse-please, please, please don’t suggest I should be “over it by now”.
If you were reading a novel or watching a movie, you’d show more grace.
You would nod in understanding as the main character made choices that reflected the pain of his past. You would find his behavior…
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“He alone is mighty, worthy, willing and waiting to be our Refuge.” – Karen Harmening
“The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.” Psalm 18:2 [NASB]
As I watched footage of Hurricane Irma as it swept across islands and parts of the U.S. it reminded me of our plight. Our experience has been much like that of the impact of a hurricane, the primary exception being there was no forecast for our disaster. I was particularly struck as I watched landscapes and buildings gradually being swept away. People clamored to a structure thinking they had found shelter from the storm only to realize it was incapable of protecting them, and they were sent frantically searching for another. In some cases, no doubt, people went to several places seeking shelter before they actually found refuge. In much the same way, God has been solidifying…
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Jill McIlreavy at mustardseedblog was kind enough to nominate You Can Trust HIm for a Liebster Award. What a surprise! Thanks, Jill. As per the (alternative, Set #2) Rules, I would also like to nominate the following blogs: brandonjadams.com thelifeididntchoose.com letusruntherace.net theologicaljon.com ianspirationblog.com