Still With Us

Monday, January 4, 2016
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Listen while you read: "The Head That Once Was Crowned"1 (Lyrics)

Matthew 28:19-20 – Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age. (NIV)

Fourteen years ago, my wife, Pauline Hitchcock, wrote a devotional around this text. We had travelled to Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, Canada, to see the burnt ruins of St. John's Church which had been destroyed at Halloween. We saw a shaft of light shining onto a broken stained glass window where the figure of Christ still remained, His arms outstretched in blessing. She wrote, "It was a message, clear and true. The building is gone; Christ is still with us."

Pauline recently passed away. We had an interlude during the Sunday service to celebrate her life. A dear friend, Linda, was among those who spoke. She had lost her husband, Ian, not long before in similar circumstances, and she remembered that he used to google the names of their children to see what would turn up so that he could tease them with it. She decided to google Pauline's name, and she found her devotional to share. Those words, "And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age" were truly meant to come and comfort us both.

Linda and I decided that we would retrace Pauline's journey to Lunenburg. Again, it was a perfect, fall, Nova Scotia day. We found St. John's Church looking splendid in its "Carpenter Gothic", and the tenth anniversary of the complete restoration and rededication had just been celebrated.

How we talked. The Spirit was with us that day.

How wonderful it is that our Lord finds ways to help, love, and comfort us, bringing seemingly unconnected acts together into a coherent plan!

Prayer: Dear Lord, we thank You that, in the midst of our grieving, You are always with us, and that You have planned ways to send Your loving words to comfort us. Thank You that, in the light of Your love, we can go forward with confidence and know that You are with us and with those we love who are in Christ, until the end of time. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.

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About the author:

Peter Hitchcock <>
Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Thanks for the encouragement Peter.

    As a widow, I really appreciate this devotional.

    Awesome. My husband and I left a church and now we have found our new church home. God led us before and he continues doing that.

    Isn’t it amazing how God works in our lives! Thanks for sharing this devotional and may you feel God’s comforting Presence as you walk with Him. Blessings.

    Thank you for reminding me on the beginning of a new year that Jesus is with us all the way through. I am sorry for your loss, also for Pauline finding Jesus.

    What a special devotional that reminds us of the truth of the living Lord … always with us.
    Thank you, Peter.
    (Texas USA)

    Dear Peter,
    I really enjoy your devotional “Still With Us”.
    Thank you.
    P.S. I am so sorry for your loss.

    Dear Peter:
    I was touched by your tender devotional of today. What struck me most is that we never know how little details of things that happen often work into a greater plan.
    I send you my sympathies for your loss and wish you peace and good things for the coming year.

    Dear Peter Hitchcock,
    Thank you for the devotional.
    The depiction of Jesus in the remaining stained glass was significant. I hope they were able to use that portion of glass in the renovation.
    I especially appreciate the words in your prayer.

    Hello Peter,
    My condolences in the passing of Pauline. We were deeply saddened to hear of her passing. When we heard, the first thing I did was went to PCC Daily Devotions and re-read Pauline’s devotional article. Naturally, I began to read your devotional on PCC but without realizing you’d written it until the familiarity of the text was just so great that I was forced to look before I completed the devotional.
    May God grant you comfort and peace as you walk through these difficult days. He will never leave you, not even in your loneliest hours.

    Hello, Peter. Thank you for your devotions today. I went through the loss of sweetheart of many years several years ago, but our comfort is in the assurance that the Spirit of the Lord is always with us. I never mourned over my loss, but as I say it, I miss him like crazy. New Years day as I personally carried out some of our traditions, a few tears came as I missed him. At that moment I needed some hugs, and my son-in-law held me for a short time. The rest of the day was perfect.
    Thank you and God bless you and HAPPY BLESSED NEW YEAR to you and yours.

    As the ‘Linda’ referred to in this devotion, I would like to share of God’s provision on that day of sharing in celebration of Pauline’s life. My earnest desire was to share memories of Pauline especially as my husband and Pauline had co-lead a small group fellowship a number of years ago. But do to the grief and pain I was experiencing from the recent loss of ‘my Ian’ in July, as I was preparing the night before I was struggling to find the right stories as the ones I remembered were so connected to my loss. God has revealed his tender care and provision every day especially the past 4 years under very challenging circumstances. So as Peter mentions ‘doing an Ian’ and googling her name, to find the original devotion titled “Still with Us” was profound. In church the next day to share Pauline’s love for the Lord in her voice was very special. And in God’s fashion to also supply a friend in Peter to walk out our grief together is so like Him.

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