Read this all the way through before you start your inner dialogue please. It’s a much more complex concept than you can get at face value so read, consider and digest. Then we’ll talk.
So often over the last two weeks, I have heard, “I am so sorry!” and it is meant with all the good intention in the world. I understand that. But please don’t be sorry.
I LOVE to take a word and really try to figure out what it means. It’s a hangover from my days as a Christian Studies student and in particular my Hermeneutics class with the amazing Dr. Draper. So of course as I was sitting beside Momma’s bed last week I asked myself what “sorry” actually means.
3. 4. 5.
4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! 5 Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is [c]near. 6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all [d]comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.8 Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is [e]lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, [f]dwell on these things. 9 The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.
I think we have confused people a little when we have chosen to make our peace with these circumstances. How can you rejoice? Because we know she will be healed. “I don’t understand any of this.” Neither do we but God’s peace is bigger than our understanding and I can absolutely assure you that there is a guard around my heart and mind right now that I can not explain.
That is why we are so encouraged and comforted by every thought and story that is shared about Mom and what she meant to people. We have heard story after story of how she sat with someone who was grieving and provided comfort. How she encouraged someone new in their faith or a new teacher and made all the difference in how they grew as a result. We have heard from all manner of people how Momma shared her gifts of cooking or sewing and made them feel loved, respected, and special.
We hear those stories. We share them with others. We cherish them. We let our minds dwell on the stunning beauty of Mom’s life and we have peace.
So back to definition #5. Don’t be sorry. You aren’t wretched, poor, useless or pitiful! You are loved, precious, purposeful and gorgeous! Look at verse 9 one more time.
The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.
Share the good thoughts, fun stories, precious moments with us. We love the encouragement. Think on those things! But more importantly, practice those same things. Love one another through service. Take time to sit quietly with those who are grieving and allow them to cry on your shoulders. Use my personal favorite and bake something for a neighbor! Walk with a new believer who may be a step or two behind you on the faith journey. Respect everyone.
And the God of peace will be with you.