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Listen while you read: "Be Present At Our Table Lord"1 (Lyrics)
My older brother and I shared a common bit of philosophy. We agreed that any years granted us beyond a certain given age would simply be icing on the cake, and death at any point thereafter should not be viewed as a great tragedy. We felt that our life up to that point would have been full and complete, with any remaining years being a bonus to be enjoyed as God should grant.
My brother was the first of us to put that philosophy to the test. He had lived two full and active years beyond his estimated threshold when — with sudden and shocking swiftness — he contracted COVID-19 and was gone within two weeks. He was able to display literally his willingness to let God choose even the day of his death, knowing that it had been scheduled from eternity past. Despite the hole in our hearts that can never be filled, we can trust God's timing and ways.
Psalm 139:16 – You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed. (NLT)
With our world in upheaval today, our ability to foresee our future and make long-range plans seems impossible. Yet, God knew all along that we would be living in this state of suspended animation. Our option is to grouse and complain about restrictions imposed upon us, or to trust Him despite our unpleasant circumstances. He knows the future and will care for us, no matter what. We can faithfully and wisely seek God's ways for our own personal choices, trusting Him to determine His plan for us.
Psalm 31:15a – My future is in Your hands. (NLT)
In the midst of the grief and sorrow that many are experiencing today, we can also see good coming from the circumstances we're living under. Churches are finding that they are reaching a far-flung, hidden audience through their livestreamed church services. The gospel is being spread to many who would not walk through the doors of a church. Neighbours and communities are reaching out to others, expressing great kindness. On a personal level, I have found this time of imposed restrictions to be somehow calming as the busyness of life has slowed down.
Even the greatest upheaval with all of the uncertainty that comes to daily life can be endured when we place our lives trustingly in God's hands. The hole in my heart that comes from losing my brother during this pandemic can be mended as I look ahead, knowing that I will see him again in heaven.
Prayer: Loving heavenly Father, You have known from eternity past what our world would be like today. As we confidently place our lives into Your keeping, we trust You to measure the very days of our lives. May we evidence our trust as we wisely navigate our world. Amen.
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So very sorry about your brother.
Comforting words, Gail. God bless.
Thank you, Gail, for this encouraging testimony.
Oh Gail, may the God of all comfort embrace you within His loving arms. Blessings.
Sorry for your loss Gail. Thank you for your encouraging words today. Blessings and stay safe.
Thanks for sharing Gail.
May God continue to strengthen and bless you in Jesus name
My condolences to you and your family. Thanks for sharing in your grief.
Please accept my heartfelt condolences on the passing of your brother.
I pray our Good Lord blesses you with His peace.
O my dear friend, this is SO helpful, full of hope and faith and love, the trilogy of the life with Christ! Blessings be yours as we both walk forward with our hands in His.
I am sorry for your loss but grateful for the gift of wise devotionals that you so willingly share with us
Thanks for your sharing.
I fell that your brother is RESTING IN PEACE, having always trusted in God.
So very sorry for your loss, Gail.
May our God keep you strong throughout the grieving process, and comfort you, and your entire family at this time.
I am so sorry for your loss, so glad for your sure hope, and so encouraged by your steadfast trust. Thank you for today’s devotional.
Joy and Peace to you.
Good morning Gail,
This again was an inspiring devotion…Thank you!
The loss of your brother stings our human reality, but we rejoice knowing that we will be reunited with all of our loved ones at that great banquet in Heaven.
May God’s loving arms comfort and bring peace to you.
I just read your devotion this morning. I thought that both My Brother and I would live to be at least 82, the number of years given to our beloved Mother. He diedpoiof cancer, never reaching that goal. We had been close since childhood, so that loss was very difficult.
Thank you for sharing your message today.
My dear Gail,
I am so sorry to hear that you have lost your dear brother to this unknown virus.
Please accept my sincere sympathy, may the good Lord grant you and your family many blessings and strength!
Stay safe and stay well, as we pray for one another.
Thanks for sharing and may the Lord comfort you in this time. I like how the Psalmist also instructs us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom in Psalm 90, and I like the translation of Psalm 31:15 “My times are in your hands” (NIV) and I like the NLT as well. Thank you for reminding us to trust in the Lord and let Him be King.
Good morning Gail,
Good devotional this morning, so sorry for you that your brother died, I’m sure it has left a whole in your heart.
I lost my favorite sister some years ago and I think about her almost every day.
But we do get strength from the Lord to cope
I wish you and yours all the best.
Sincere condolences on the loss of your brother, Gail Lundquist. Difficult in the best of times, extremely so in these times where one cannot be physically comforted by extended family and friends. An experience unimaginable to those of us who have not lost a sibling.
A time for sure as your devotional points out, to lean on and strengthen our faith in God.
Your devotional is a lovely tribute to your brother. May you have the love and support of your family and friends through various forms of technology.
May you keep safe and healthy.
Thank you for sharing part of your story and your aligned philosophy with your older brother. It is always good to be reminded that God is in charge and he has a plan for us in which we can trust. I also lost my older brother to COVID in the early spring. He was one of the early ones before they knew different treatments and what to watch for. I do believe we have a time, and it was his. Having lost a younger brother the year before, made this one doubly difficult and I needed God’s comfort to begin to heal. There were six of us and now only three. My parents lived into their 90’s and my grandparents into their late 80’s so I was not prepared to think of them dying at 66 and 73.
It was good to read the positive things you have noticed from this unusual time. May you continue to share your thoughts and feelings with others. Blessings.
Thank you for a very wise discussion.
I do hope, though, you are allowing yourself to grieve.
Even Jesus, wept.
First of all, may I just say I am so sorry about the loss of your brother! Yes, that would definitely leave a hole in the heart! But you have turned something tragic into something that can be a blessing to others in your write-up in Presbycan.
Thank you for sharing with us even the passing of your brother.
May God bless and comfort you and your relatives..
For Jesus’ sake. Amen.