Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Mixed Emotions

My Aunt Sarah shared this devotional from Our Daily Bread with me over New Years and I have been meaning to share it here ever since. When she read it, she thought of Lily and I. It has greatly ministered to me and I pray it ministers to you too.

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December 30
Mixed Emotions
Revelation 21:1-7
Our Daily Bread

For Marlene and me, “mixed emotions” precisely describes our wedding. Don’t take that the wrong way. It was a wonderful event that we continue to celebrate more than 35 years later. The wedding celebration, however, was dampened because Marlene’s mom died of cancer just weeks before. Marlene’s aunt was a wonderful stand-in as the “mother of the bride,” but, in the midst of our happiness, something clearly wasn’t right. Mom was missing, and that affected everything.

That experience typifies life in a broken world. Our experiences here are a mixed bag of good and bad, joy and pain – a reality that Solomon expressed when he wrote, “Even in laughter the heart may sorrow, and the end of mirth may be grief” (Proverbs 14:13). The merry heart does grieve, for that is what this life sometimes demands.

Thankfully, however, this life is not all there is. And in the life that is to come, those who know Christ have a promise: “God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away” (Revelations 21:4). In that great day, there will be no mixed emotions – only hearts filled with the presence of God!

-Bill Crowder

For the Christian, the dark sorrows of Earth will one day be changed into the bright songs of Heaven.

Peace! Peace! Wonderful peace,
Coming down from the Father above,
Sweep over my spirit forever, I pray,
In fathomless billows of love.
-Cornell

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How perfectly this describes life on Earth without my daughter of Heaven. My life is full of mixed emotions because Lily missing affects everything. I think of my future wedding day and how bittersweet it will be without Lily there, just like was written about in this devotional without Marlene's mother there. I think of so many future dreams for my life and how they will be dampened because she is not here. Never again will life be full of only joy, but joy tinged with sadness.

This devotional reminds me of some of the lyrics from the song that my friend Heather wrote for me, "Through laughter and tears, I will not forget sweet Lily, my beautiful girl." 

Life on this Earth will always be broken because of sin, death, and pain. However, those whose faith and hope is in Christ have the promise of Eternity. An Eternity with no more tears, no more sorrow, no more sin, no more death. 

One sweet, glorious, wonderful day, my friends, there will be no more tears. Only joy. Cling to Him and His promises. And trust that until that day, He holds each of your tears and cares for your broken, hurting heart.

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