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Tag Archives: grief

The Final Resting Place

At end of a grueling day, many people have a bed which serves as resting place.  The less fortunate may have to rely on a couch, sofa or floor to lay their heads.  Meanwhile, the homeless are forced to find an abandoned home, park bench or shelter to survive.  Whatever struggle you are forced to endure, everyone faces the same destination, a final resting place six feet under the earth.

And the dust returns to the earth as it was, and the spirit returns to God who gave it, Ecclesiastes 12:7.

Solomon provides insight to what happens to individuals after dying.  Just as God created Adam out of dust, one day human beings will return to this previous state.  Yet, this wise king adds a new dimension to death.  In the same way that Jesus gave up his spirit on the cross, this essence returns back to the Creator the moment you pass away.  This concept suggests that our lives are on loan from God, a temporary gift that lasts far too short.

He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away, Revelation 21:4.

On Monday afternoon, I watched helplessly as my father in law was laid to rest.  As crying, grief and sobbing surrounded me, I came face to face with the grim reality of life.  As the casket was lowered six feet beneath the earth’s surface, this final resting place is permanent.  Yet, John the Revelator shines light on the hope which waits to those who call upon the name of the Lord.  The words in the passage above should serve as inspiration to get right with God before your hour glass of life runs out.  While your final resting place on earth will not change, there is time to secure your reservations for heaven now, 1 John 5:13.  May this blog encourage you to leave no doubt, Romans 10:9-10.

by Jay Mankus

 

 

Owner of a Lonely Heart

The classic rock group Yes introduced their song in 1983.  Debuting on the 90125 album, Owner of a Lonely Heart spoke to broken souls, striking a nerve that many experience throughout life.  Prior to its success, this song was turned down by a number of record companies, calling Owner of a Lonely Heart a strange song that would never be a hit.  If Paul Harvey was still here, I’m sure he would say, “and now you know the rest of the story!”

Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.- Isaiah 41:10

In recent years, Jon Anderson, the lead singer of Yes teamed up with 4Him, a Christian Contemporary group to sing Where There is Faith.  Whether its coincidence, fate or mere circumstance, but believing you will be set free from a lonely heart takes faith.  If you’re down in the dumps, with little hope of improving, doubt creeps in, opening the door for depression, isolation or suicide.  This is where faith can intervene.

Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you. – Deuteronomy 31:6

The lyrics of Owner of a Lonely Heart refers to free will on several occasions.  After reading the lyrics, loneliness is a choice, a decision one makes to either dwell in their sorrows or take a chance on tomorrow.  If any of you find yourself to be an owner of a lonely heart today, take some time to read God’s promises in the Bible for those suffering from loneliness.  May the message in these words turn your heart from grief to comfort, trusting in the loving hands of Jesus for healing.

by Jay Mankus

 

 

How Would You Respond to This?

Like most men, I’m not as emotional as my wife, nor do I get involved in the lives as others like she does.  However, today I witnessed something gut-wrenching.  On my out of a local restaurant, I saw an elderly man with his head down on a table.  Continuing toward the exit, I noticed the reason for his grief on the other side of the glass, a lone suitcase on the floor.

Before the days of retirement communities, families took care of and watched over their grandparents.  This wasn’t a nuisance or something to dread, rather it was expected.  This was the least you could do to pay homage to the legacy each lived.  Unfortunately, this man is a casualty of the times, a victim of families destroyed by abuse, abandonment and divorce.  With no where to go, this broke man took a break from his misery, hoping to wake up with a place to call home.  How would you respond to this situation?

Before my eyes was a modern day parable of the good Samaritan, Luke 10.  Immediately following the sending out of 72 disciples, they were put to the test to see what they were made of.  As for me, I re-enacted the character of the priest and Levites, pausing before moving on with my life.  Disappointed by my failure, I pray that a good Samaritan arrives to lend a helping hand.  When you face a similar scene, how will you respond to this?  May the Holy Spirit fill you with a heart of action to be the hands and feet of Christ to the brokenhearted.

by Jay Mankus

 

 

Faith Beyond Comprehension

Before the first rain drop touched earth, mankind had lost touch with God.  Like a New Year’s Celebration, out with the old and in with the new, boundaries were eliminated.  This mentality is described in Genesis 6:1-6, causing the Lord grief.  In an age of wickedness, Noah found favor with the Lord.  Unlike Adam and Eve, Noah actually did everything the Lord commanded, Genesis 6:22.  Building an ark the size of a football prior to the existence of rain, now that’s faith beyond comprehension.

Abraham was an old man when the Lord came calling.  The thought of a nation as massive as the sand on the seashore must have been enticing, Genesis 12:1-3.  However, there’s just one problem, elderly men don’t have children with elderly women.  As time ticked away year by year, most people would have given up, quit and called it a life.  Just as a doctor once confirmed in Luke 1:37, “nothing is impossible with God” so Abraham held on until his first child was born.

Today, skepticism abounds, with countless souls disappointed by lies, hypocrisy and unbelievable promises.  Although in their hearts they want to believe, troubled minds hardly ever come around to faith, side tracked by doubt.  Perhaps the words of the apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 1:18-2:16 still serves as a stumbling block to the wise.  A fool doesn’t have much to lose whereas the wise have their reputation to hold on to.   Regardless of the barriers that are present, may Christ like lives and transformed saints shine light into a dark world so that faith can be embraced by the lost.

by Jay Mankus

No Reason to Pretend

In order to put on a happy face, some individuals feel compelled to hide their misery from co-workers, family and neighbors.  Like a Halloween masquerade party, many profess to be fine all the while anguish, grief and pain collect.  Although the motto “fake it until you make it” sounds logical, there is no reason to pretend.

From a mere vocational point of view, the last 5 years of my life have been like a hurricane, causing flood waters to break through levy’s.  As the storm surge continues to rise, my heart, soul and mind cling to promises of the Bible, hoping the trials subside soon.  When success reigned supreme, life was a piece of cake.  However, as turmoil entered my life through the winds of change, I’m not the same person.

Sure, I try to stay upbeat, but I am a mirage of my younger years, a piece of drift wood transformed by time, wind and water.  Water logged, especially around the waist, I long for dry land, a beach to call home.  Footprints along the shore are obvious signs that God has been carrying me.  When the waves calm, I will arise, perhaps wiser than before.  Like a work in progress, a strand of clay in the molding process, there is no reason to pretend it isn’t well with my soul.  Yet, I press on to take hold of that which Christ Jesus took hold of me, Philippians 3:12-14.

Don’t be afraid to be transparent; real so that a hurting world can see the only thing holding believers together, Romans 5:5.

by Jay Mankus

Things That Break the Heart

If the words of King Solomon in Proverbs 4:23 hold true today, the heart is vulnerable to numerous attacks.  Beyond physical ailments, there are various trials which can upset, puncture or wound this precious organ.  As women lose a child to complications, a miscarriage or still born death, one can only imagine the grief experienced by this poor soul.  Beside the obvious, accidents, illness and shattered relationships can bombard an innocent heart, leaving pain that lasts a lifetime.

According to King David, another element inflicts jabs to the heart, Psalm 69:19-20.   Scorn is like a deadly weapon, poison on the tips of human tongues which derides a bystander, resulting in a sense of worthlessness.  In an attempt to get ahead in life, words cut like a knife using contempt, disdain and mockery.  When thoughts become verbalized, the Holy Spirit grieves, Ephesians 4:29, recognizing that a heart has been bruised by sticks and stones with names that do leave a scar on one ‘s soul.

Beside watching what you eat, it’s impossible to control or predict the circumstances in life.  Thus, it’s essential to guard your heart with the word of God, Psalm 119:9-11.  No matter where you live or work, unless you’re prepared for the future, you will likely fail,   Hosea 4:6.   Although heartbreak may be a way of life for some, you don’t have to accept this negative mindset.  Yet, when a piece of your heart does break, remember the promise of Psalm 34:18.  In God’s timing, He will mend your broken heart.

by Jay Mankus

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