Losing Loved Ones

Introduction

I thought I would pass on a message that I shared with my parents at Heritage Christian Schools in 2008. As a school we have had a series of tragedies hit our school this year, cialis usa pills all of which will work for our spiritual welfare and His glory.

In addition to what I shared with them, treat I will leave with you a set of Scriptures I often mediate on when I do my prayer walks. As I shared with my small group last Sunday night, prayer can really come alive when it is accompanied by the Word.

Introductory note to my heritage parents

This new school year has had quite a different beginning from most past years…to say the least.

In memory of Brock Bellue, a new sports court at the Jr. High is currently being constructed along with a new tri-level shade structure.  Many parents have donated toward this wonderful tribute to Brock and it will be a great benefit to the school for years to come.

In addition to the loss of Brock, our Heritage sixth grade student Zachary Bluestone lost his father (Adam) sudden to a stroke just a few days ago.  Zachary’s mother, Angela, wanted me to pass on her appreciation to so many who consoled her and the rest of the family during this time.

And, if that is not enough, Norm Wright, the grief counselor who has greatly helped the school during this time, lost his wife to brain cancer on September 15th.  Norm is slated to conduct a grief seminar with our staff on November 19th.  You are invited to attend if you would like.  Please just let me know.

I would ask for you to please continue to uphold in prayer these who have suffered such sudden losses.

In response to all of these losses, I will share with you a part of an article (Teaching Children How to Comfort the Afflicted) I wrote a number of years ago in respect to how to minister to those who are grieving.

Teaching Children How to Comfort the Afflicted

Years ago when my son Brodie was 10 years old, he lost a friend in a car accident.  It happened right after a soccer game on a beautiful Fourth of July weekend in Colorado where I pastored a church.  My son’s friend, Greg, was tragically struck by a car while riding his bike.  When Brodie attended the funeral, at first he did not know what to say or how to act for losing a friend was a new experience for him.  He was very quiet during the entire funeral as were many of Greg’s other teammates.  Only at the end when Brodie walked away from the graveside did he and many of the other boys burst into tears.  I believe they all finally realized what had happened to their teammate.  Many wonderful words of sympathy were cited that day, but I believe it was the tears and shared grief from those boys that spoke loudest to the stricken family.  It was the comfort they needed most at that stage in their grief.

Jesus also modeled how to meet the immediate needs of the grief-stricken in his ministry.  He demonstrated it best when he lost his close friend Lazareth.  Even though Jesus knew full well that Lazareth would come back from the dead (as is seen in John 11) grief overtook him when he met with Lazareth’s sisters, Mary and Martha (John 11:32-33, 35).   A deeper study of the John passage actually describes Jesus’ reaction to Lazareth’s death as “shaking in grief” when talking with the sisters.  He cried openly as had many who loved Lazareth.  Of course Jesus could have responded differently, preaching a sermon on how all things work together for good for those who love God.  That would have been true and comforting(Romans 8:28).  Jesus could have told them to put their grief behind, have faith, and move on with God’s will (Philippians 3:13-14).  He even could have challenged Mary and Martha to look at their loss with joy rather than sadness, for Lazareth was in a better place and the tragedy of his death could only build a more lasting endurance to their faith (James 1:2-3).  But, Jesus chose none of these biblical responses; he openly grieved with them instead.  And so it is with God and you, when you suffer or when your day comes to suffer, He will cry tears with you first before He does anything else.

Teachable Moment

In teaching your children how to handle ministering to those who have suffered loss, like the death of a loved one, encourage them to openly grieve should they be inclined to do so.  Grieving for and with others can be a great help to those who are hurting.  Doing so makes them feel not so alone in their grief.  Just as Jesus was a great example of how to openly grieve before others, as He did with Mary and Martha, so you should do likewise with your own children.

God’s Word

John 11:32-33, 35  Therefore, when Mary came where Jesus was, she saw Him, and fell at His feet, saying to Him, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died.”   When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her also weeping, He was deeply moved in spirit and was troubled.  Jesus wept.

Romans 8:28  And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.

Philippians 3:13-14  Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; But one thing I do:  forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

James 1:2-3   Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.

Kent’s Monday Prayer Walk

When God is all you have, then you will finally know that God is all you need.  Rick Warren

Comfort

Psalm 139 1-18   1   O Lord, You have searched me and known me. 2 You know when I sit down and when I rise up; You understand my thought from afar.  3 You scrutinize my path and my lying down, and are intimately acquainted with all my ways.  4 Even before there is a word on my tongue, Behold, O Lord, You know it all.  5 You have enclosed me behind and before, and laid Your hand upon me.  6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is too high, I cannot attain to it.  7 Where can I go from Your Spirit?  Or where can I flee from Your presence?  8 If I ascend to heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there.  9 If I take the wings of the dawn,  If I dwell in the remotest part of the sea,  10 even there Your hand will lead me, and Your right hand will lay hold of me.  11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will overwhelm me, and the light around me will be night,” 12     even the darkness is not dark to You, and the night is as bright as the day. Darkness and light are alike to You.  13 For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb.  14 I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; wonderful are Your works, and my soul knows it very well.  15 My frame was not hidden from You,  When I was made in secret,  and skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth;  16 Your eyes have seen my unformed substance;  and in Your book were all written the days that were ordained for me, when as yet there was not one of them. 17 How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God!  How vast is the sum of them!  18   If I should count them, they would outnumber the sand.  When I awake, I am still with You.

Security

2 Cor. 4:  7-10, 7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves; 8 we are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing; 9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed;  10 always carrying about in the body thedying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body.

Confidence

Gal. 2:20  “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.

Faith

Jeremiah 32: 27 “Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh; is anything too difficult for Me?”

Wisdom

Pro 20:18 Prepare plans by consultation, and make war by wise guidance.