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Heeding My Own Words of Wisdom

Thursday, September 14, 2023 @ 12:32 PM Heeding My Own Words of Wisdom ATTENTION: Major social media outlets are finding ways to block the conservative/evangelical viewpoint. Click here for daily electronic delivery of The Stand's Daily Digest - the day's top blogs from AFA.

Joy Lucius The Stand Writer MORE

If I’m honest, football season is very different for us this year without our son Chris.

It’s still a special time of year, and we love attending local high school games to watch our favorite family senior play. But it is very different.

Granted, it’s probably a whole lot less complicated this year since we do not have to juggle supporting two different high school teams, the one Chris would have been helping to coach at East Union Attendance Center and the one our senior quarterback plays on at Saltillo High School.

But I can say without hesitation that we would gladly have preferred juggling between wearing our brown and gold T-shirts for East Union and our blue and orange ones for Saltillo.

Alas, the choice was not ours to make. So, we make the choices we can, and our constant choice is to go ahead and enjoy the little things of life that we are offered.

And football is definitely one of those enjoyable treats.

This past week, we sat in the bleacher along with several other family members, and we watched our guy play his heart out. In the end though, his team came up short in overtime play. It was a heartbreaking end to a hard-fought game.

I knew he and his teammates would be upset over that loss, and I knew his mom dreaded dealing with her son’s disappointment at himself and the final score. She would have changed things for him if possible. All mommas hate to see their children hurting over any loss – great or small.

So, after the game, I reminded his mom that sometimes, the most important lessons in life are learned in the midst of loss. And before those words of motherly wisdom left my lips, my heavenly Father gently prompted me to repeat and then listen to my own words.

I did; I softly said that same sentence to myself: “Sometimes, the most important lessons in life are learned in the midst of loss.”

Then, I heard His still small voice whisper to me again, “Can you follow your own advice?” I tearfully (and truthfully) told Him that I wasn’t sure, but I most certainly prayed that I could.

I realized my words were filled with good advice, scripturally based advice. Advice I would do well to heed in my own time of grief and loss.

Romans 5:3-4 puts it this way:

Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

But grief can cloud a person’s view so fully that it’s hard to hear much less heed godly words of wisdom. I have to remind myself (over and over again) that our feelings can fool us, but the Word of God will never lie.

So, even though any loss hurts, be it the loss of a loved one, the loss of a job, or the loss of a hard-played football game, God is not surprised by the loss or unprepared. His plan is perfect and will be fulfilled in the lives of His children, even though we might not ever see or understand the fullness of His plan on this side of heaven.

If I ever doubt this truth, I think of Peter.

To be honest, he is the first disciple I want to meet when I get to that other side of heaven because, like me, he often spoke without thinking. Also like me, his verbal outbursts tended to get him into trouble. So, I cannot wait to share my own lessons learned – many of which Peter taught me through Bible stories about him.

For example, at the Last Supper, as recorded in John 13, I love how Peter quickly and honestly questioned why Jesus was washing the feet of his disciples. Jesus answered Peter, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but afterward you will understand.” 

Peter should have stopped right there and listened to those words of wisdom. But he didn’t. He balked in refusal, declaring, “You shall never wash my feet.”

But Peter changed his tune immediately when the Master told him, “If I do not wash you, you have no share with me.” Then, Peter asked Jesus to wash his hands, his feet, and his head.

I imagine Jesus smiled at Peter’s impulsive silliness because the entire episode was not about dirty feet. Like me, again, Peter just did not get it.

No, Jesugs was teaching us all about our dirty hearts. He was warning us to beware, for if a disciple who had followed Him closely for over three years could so easily betray the Lord, then we are capable of such a sinful fall as well.

Most of all, Jesus was reminding us that He longs to cleanse our hearts and save us from our sins. That was exactly why He went to Calvary – to cleanse us and save us from our sin.

So, even in this dark sea of grief, I hear Jesus lovingly calling to me, assuring me that, like Peter, I do not understand what He is doing with this hurtful loss and grief right now. But afterward … someday … I will.

And this is the assurance I rest upon in this season. It is my hope and solace. It is the unshakeable truth that helps me rise each morning and receive His new mercies. It is the blood-covered promise that I am standing on, the promise I am walking toward, step by step.

For I know Who awaits me at the end of my tomorrows. His name is Jesus, and because of Him, I can heed my own words of wisdom. He will take my loss and yours too (no matter how small or great it is) and He will turn it for our good.

He did it for Peter, He did it for our precious Chris, and He will do it for you and me. Of that, I am certain. Just wait and see!

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