Sometimes things happen that bring the deepest of pains to our heart. Where can we turn for hope in times like that? I have an answer worth considering.
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We’ve all had it happen. We’re walking around somewhere and strike our shin against an object that is immovable. HARD. There’s little to no protection for the shin bone, so the pain is intense. Then, all too soon afterwards and before it has time to heal properly, we strike it again!!
The pain is intensified because of the earlier injury. It’s bad enough to have struck it ONCE; but TWICE almost seems to triple or quadruple the pain.
Three days one of my good friends in the Moral Compass Federation shared the news that someone we’d both been praying for had lost his final battle with a body that succumbed to the ravages of disease and abuse. She wrote, “Chris has been called home by the Lord. Katie and the kids are completely devastated. Chris will not be able to see his son Corbin turn 18 in two weeks, and he will not be able to see his new baby come into this world. Lorelai, his 2-year-old daddy’s girl will no longer be able to hold her daddy. All that’s left are memories.” Chris had won the battle over addiction, won the battle to be rejoined to the family he had abandoned, and won the battle to rebuilt their trust through years of sobriety. His family had decided to give him another chance, his body wasn’t so forgiving.
Each of us will face the agony of losing people we love dearly, none reading this will be spared that pain. And yet, with my own beloved Dad passing away just a couple of years ago, I feel as though I’ve just slammed my shin into a brick wall …. AGAIN. I have a special sensitivity for my friends Ben and Jess, and for this family I’d never met but only prayed for because my own wounds are still so fresh. So how do you deal with pain like that?
Today’s verse says GOD REMAINS THE STRENGTH OF MY HEART
We all enter situations like this from a position of utter weakness, feeling small. But God says, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” As weak as I am, God’s power can be displayed. So I’m going to boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. And then be seen in others.
Sure, we have the hope and promise that Chris is enjoying the rewards of his faith in Christ. And that is truly no small thing. But like me, Katie and the family are not able to behold Chris’ arrival in heaven. They, like all in our position here upon the earth, must behold that moment only in our hearts succored by our faith. Thankfully, today’s verse contains a promise for BOTH SIDES of this struggle. Yes, God remains the strength of my heart. That’s an awesome beginning.
But the full verse from today actually reads, “Though my flesh and my heart may fail, GOD is the strength of my heart — and my portion FOREVER!” WE get Christ and His portion here on earth now – grace upon grace, peace beyond understanding, the presence of His Holy Spirit to comfort us. CHRIS and those who pass beyond get Christ and His portion …. FOREVER !!!
In the midst of this most poignant of pains as one of our closest family members passes into glory, the words of Psalm 73 bring great comfort. God is always faithful, even (and perhaps most especially) in the midst of our deepest pain.
Yes, though my flesh and my heart may fail, GOD most assuredly is the strength of my heart — and my portion FOREVER.