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:
- God is love.
- God is good.
- God is faithful.
- He loves me!
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!