Sunday, February 17, 2013

How then shall I live?

9:50 p.m. Today's project was to join our church's "Widows' Might" fellowship. These sweet sisters meet on the third Sunday of each month for worship, encouragement, prayer, and teaching from the scriptures. I know them all from Home Fellowship and Bible study groups. A number of them attended Steve's memorial. On the sad side, they all watched Steve gradually leave us over the last four years, week by week, until he could no longer attend church. They most certainly and faithfully prayed for us, and still keep me lifted up.

After 2nd service, I stopped in at my daughter Heidi and her husband Pavel's 5th/6th grade Sunday school class to pick up oranges from Pavel's parents' grove, and then headed to the meeting. On the way down the hall, I ran into Roberta Murdaugh, the Widows' Might leader. This was amazing, because I had been praying about asking her if I might share a scripture and a few words at the meeting, and there she was! As we walked, we immediately began sharing together the closeness we have found with the Lord after our husbands' deaths, in a loss whose pain no other earthly relationship can cause. Truly, as Isaiah 54:5 says,

For Your Maker is your husband,
The LORD of hosts is His name;
And your Redeemer is the Holy
  One of Israel;
He is called the God of the whole

We all introduced ourselves and how long we'd been widowed,  for the benefit of another first timer, Felicia, a very recent widow (November) who had driven all the way from Idyllwild. In response to her tears, we all laid hands on her while Jo, who founded the group in 1999, led in prayer. Roberta then called me up and I shared from my post of January 6, five days after Steve's death, entitled "Not one thing has failed." I told the group that in only a month and a half, I may not actually be sure I'm a widow just yet, but by next month the full realization may set in and I'll be a basket case, so I'd better share a bit today!

My scripture was Joshua 23:14, where the dying leader of the Israelites reminds them,

Not one thing has failed of all the good things the LORD your God spoke concerning you. All of them have come to pass for you; not one word of them has failed.

Indeed, God gave Steve a brilliant career, abundance, a large family, and saw to it that his dreams and desires were fulfilled. God appointed the short duration of his life, and blessed him to the fullest!

I took many notes on Roberta's Bible study, which was based on the late Francis Schaefer's book How then Shall we Live?  She declared, "The answers are in God's instruction book, and the answer to our particular need just jumps out at us." Her four main points for us to remember about God were:

  1. God is love.
  2. God is good.
  3. God is faithful.
  4. He loves me!
Roberta reminded us that God gives us grace, unmerited favor, but do we give grace to others? Max Lucado was quoted here: "Where the grace of God is gone, bitterness is born." And for a group who are undoubtedly tempted to feel that all has been taken from them,  she chose Psalm 84:11 to encourage us:

For the LORD God is a sun and shield;
The LORD will give grace and glory;
No good thing will He withhold
From those who walk uprightly.

How privileged I was to join the gathering of this long-experienced, honorable and loving group!

1 comment:

  1. The first year, the anniversaries are hard. I love how the LORD continues to make you strong as you rely on Him. So glad you have this group and that you can even share your wisdom with them.

    Hugs and prayers,