NTMWD Plant Smart 2024

Finding hope in heartache

by | Mar 16, 2022 | Opinion

I recently received a call no one ever wants to receive. My sister had been horrifically murdered at her home in South Carolina. I was stunned as I tried to process a statement that didn’t make sense to me.

The next step of calling other family members to inform them made it worse. I had no answers. We couldn’t rally to help save her. It was over.

My biggest tears probably came as I prayed with my adult children on a conference call. As a pastor my job is to comfort others through tough times. All I could muster was heartbreak as I prayed for my nieces and nephew, parents, and a grandson now without a Mimi.

I wept as I thought of school officials having to tell her class of public school fifth graders that their teacher would never be back to finish the lesson plans open on her desk for the next day.

To compound the loss, we had just buried her husband less than a year ago after his battle with cancer. His death left my sister a widow at forty-nine and dead by fifty.

Knowing she was still struggling with the grief of losing the love of her life provided some comfort in knowing they were reunited in heaven through their faith in Christ.

I was reminded that Jesus wept. It’s a short verse that says that in John 11:35. Jesus already knew his friend Lazarus had died. He already knew he was going to raise Lazarus from the dead. So, WHY does Jesus shed tears when he arrives?

His heart aches for the people who hurt. His friends, Mary and Martha, had lost a brother. Jesus understood their pain.

When we’re commanded in scripture to rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep. It’s not a command for us to do something God is incapable of doing Himself. God is not an emotionless robot.

In the Old Testament God sings over us. In the Garden Jesus expresses sorrow and pain considering the cross that lies ahead. At one point in his ministry, Jesus looks out of the city of Jerusalem and weeps for them as he sees people who live like they have no shepherd; no God. 

This is a Savior who knows our pain and understands our sorrow.

God’s heart breaks FOR us & WITH us.

I don’t always understand what God does and allows to happen. However, I always know how deep is His love for me.  For you.

My sister had always had a strong faith. A strong relationship with the Lord. It’s what she had been clinging to since the loss of the husband she adored last year.

On a Facebook post around Christmas, my sister wrote these words: “There really is only one way to mend the broken heart. That is through FAITH….I don’t understand how others live without faith because I get to see [these] loved ones again.” She quoted from another favorite passage, Philippians 3, which includes a verse that says, “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.”     

She concluded her post, “Please, if anyone is struggling with a broken heart, God can give you peace which can allow you to laugh, to celebrate, and to look at all your blessings.

My baby sister left us with that message we’d need. Maybe one you needed to hear too.

By Jeff Denton

NTMWD Plant Smart 2024

0 Comments

Related News

Verses Versus Verses

Verses Versus Verses

If you’re a Baptist from the South, you’re hoping that if there’s a Pearly Gates pop quiz, the question isn’t, “What’s the third verse to any song in the hymnal?” You won’t know the answer. If you’re laughing right now, you know exactly what I’m talking about. In...

read more
Meat and Greet

Meat and Greet

Barbecue may not be the road to world peace, but it’s a start.” – Anthony Bourdain Barbecue is a versatile word. It can refer to an outdoor place to cook meat; to cooking meat; and can also reference a gathering of people for the purpose of serving meat cooked...

read more
Real good eatin’

Real good eatin’

My grandfather called it a “Po Boy Lunch.” That meant we were having leftovers in whatever creative way my grandmother came up with. Recently, I took two biscuits from breakfast and loaded them with smoked brisket, and from the garden, purple onions and jalapeños. A...

read more
Comic Relief

Comic Relief

People use different ways to learn to read. Some folks use the vowels and consonants method. Others memorize how the words look.  I used both, but I had a secret weapon many didn’t know about.  Comic books.  While most kids were having, “Fun with Dick...

read more
35 Texas counties eligible for individual disaster aid

35 Texas counties eligible for individual disaster aid

Residents in a total of 35 Texas counties now qualify for individual disaster assistance following a series of severe storms and flooding that began in late April, The Dallas Morning News reported. “I thank our federal partners and emergency response personnel across...

read more
Texas could face long-term water supply deficit

Texas could face long-term water supply deficit

Texas is facing a reckoning on water that we must address if the state wants to secure its future prosperity. The State Water Plan prepared by the Texas Water Development Board projects that Texas faces a long-term water supply deficit of 6.9 million acre-feet in 50...

read more
Hogging the channels

Hogging the channels

 I have a lot of my grandparents in me. I’m cheap. I also love the Arkansas Razorbacks. Nowhere is this truer than when it comes to radio, television, and an Arkansas game. I grew up listening to free radio and watching free television. So, the idea of paying...

read more
Laundry: There’s more than one way to fold

Laundry: There’s more than one way to fold

You would think that there’s only one way to fold towels. But, you’d be wrong. Growing up in Ashdown, Arkansas, my momma showed me how to fold them, as well as shirts, socks, underpants, and other personal sundries. I assumed that this skillset would carry me all the...

read more
The Lawn Moore

The Lawn Moore

America really is The Land of Opportunity. Even if there’s only one opportunity, and that opportunity is cutting the grass.  Ashdown, Arkansas, was a pretty typical small American town in the 1960s and 1970s.  Kids weren’t just handed things. If we wanted...

read more
A myth understanding

A myth understanding

In the South, we believed with all of our hearts what we were told when we were children. Even if it was wrong. In the 1960s, the RCA color console TV my family had on Beech Street in Ashdown, Arkansas, could make you go blind. It could if you believed what our mom...

read more
Subscribe Love