Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Give To Our God Immortal Praise"1 (Lyrics)
2 Corinthians 4:16-17 – Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. (NIV)
Habakkuk 2:20 – But the Lord is in his holy temple; let all the earth be silent before him. (NIV)
Sadly, on May 16th of this year, I lost one of my closest and dearest friends, Parise Arakelian. Often, when I tell others how we met through this PresbyCan ministry, they are surprised to hear that we never actually met in person, but rather via Skype. Nevertheless, despite the two thousand plus miles between us, we experienced a unique bond of friendship. We helped each other through many difficult, life-changing situations — like the time when Parise had to give up her car, or when my husband was diagnosed with cancer. We also celebrated the good times — most recently, the co-authorship of our book, The Martyr's Son, based on the extraordinary life of Parise's father, Armen John Arakelian.
I was blessed to have known Parise and to have learned so much from her years of experience. But she also learned a few things from me. We often laughed at how my interest in turtles and other wildlife had rubbed off on her, too. She became fascinated about how God designed these creatures to go underground during the winter, and then pop up again in early spring. She mentioned how this phenomenon reminded her of the resurrection.
But above all, our faith in Christ is what made our relationship truly special. In recent months, today's Scriptures had become particularly meaningful to Parise. She understood that no matter what happens in life, the Lord is in control, and that He is always worthy of our praise. Even during her illness, she reminded me, "The Lord is in his holy temple; let all the earth be silent."
I will forever treasure these and many other memories of the special way in which Parise touched my life. Her devotionals (saved in the PresbyCan archives), are a testimony to her faith. I hope that you will take the time to read some of them and be encouraged by her writing.
2 Timothy 4:7-8 – I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day — and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing. (NIV)
Prayer: Dear heavenly Father, as Your Word declares, You are not the God of the dead but of the living. We thank You for the precious life of Parise, who is now made whole, alive in the fullness of Your presence. We are grateful for the treasured memories of those we hold dear, and for the hope that is ours in Christ. We look forward to the day when all our tears shall be wiped away, and together, in the company of Your holy angels, we will rejoice, singing Your praises forevermore. In Jesus' mighty name, we pray. Amen.