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Death and hope

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I lost a precious friend a few weeks ago to brain cancer. And indeed, death has been much on my mind as I’ve heard of many others recently losing loved ones or babies in miscarriage.

It brings a heaviness and sorrow to my heart as the inevitable question rises up within. Why? And for those left behind to process and carry on, I pray. The God who knows and understands all, and whose goodness is the bedrock of my life, will comfort and heal.  It’s what He does.

It has brought to my mind again an incredible truth I learned a few years ago when my mom passed away. All my life I had dreaded that loss.  We were so close, she was such a huge part of my life, and I couldn’t imagine how I could handle her being gone.

But when the day came—and the many days following—I was stunned to truly experience what the Bible promises to us and those who know Him: we sorrow not as those who have no hope.

I had the clearest sense the night she passed that I was not saying the heart-wrenching good-bye I’d …

Getting ready for the answer

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I read a devotional this week about preparing yourself to receive the thing you have prayed for--doing an act of faith to demonstrate your belief that the answer is on its way even though you can't see it yet.

It reminded me of an amazing lesson I learned about this very thing in the early years of our marriage. My husband and I had lived in our big-city condo for quite a while, following a strict budget to save for our first house. Now, with our dream close to being fulfilled, we began to explore neighborhoods in the area where we wanted to live. 

We settled on a lovely community flanking a hill that could be seen from across the city. Every morning in my quiet time, I would sit with my Bible looking out the window from our third-story condo to that very hill and pray about our new home.

"Right there, Lord, that's where we want to live. Please choose the perfect house for us, and please give us wonderful neighbors." 

One day an idea came to me. I remembered that oft…