Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Stand Up And Bless The Lord"1 (Lyrics)
I had students coming to my home to help ready my garden for planting, but I had no tools. At the time, I was working as a greeter at our downtown credit union, right inside the front door. A friend said that he'd bring me something to use. But instead of turning up at my home with the weedwhacker that I'd been expecting, he brought a seven-foot scythe with a curved and sharpened five-foot blade, and deposited it right across my little desk alongside the coffee machine and cookies. My manager hurried to stick it in the back until I went home. The students loved it!
These days, such a scythe is only seen clutched in the bony hand of the Grim Reaper, a hooded figure in a black robe. But the Bible is very clear that for Christ-followers, death is not forever.
Hebrews 2:15 – And also that [Christ] might deliver and completely set free all those who through the [haunting] fear of death, were held in bondage throughout the whole course of their lives. (AMPC)
Long ago, my husband's parents were on a bus that braked sharply in traffic, throwing his mother up against the fare box. His father rushed over and gathered her up in his arms, then carried her off the bus, rather than leave her lying there till an ambulance arrived. But her spleen had been damaged, and she died. The police had to investigate, and though nobody blamed him, his father blamed himself, stopped attending church, and felt that God could not forgive him.
His actions that led to his wife's death remained the central fact of his life. Years later, with lung cancer, he travelled across the country to move in with us. Since we went to church, he went back, too. One day, in desperation, to our pastor, he spilled out everything about the torturous turn his life had taken long ago. That pastor put his arms around my father-in-law, telling him that God had forgiven him as soon as he had asked, and He had kept on loving him. You never saw such a change in a person when the pastor's words sank in. My father-in-law found peace.
In the last few minutes of his life, I was holding his hand. "Open the curtains, Daughter," he asked me, with a smile. "I want to see where I'm going." Then, he looked toward heaven, closed his eyes — and died.
Do you need forgiveness for something in your life? Is death a source of fear for you, whenever you hear it mentioned? Peace is God's gift to all believers — no more carrying around the past and its pain. For those who believe in Jesus, death itself will have an end, the Bible promises. Until that day, we have God's forgiveness, and we can know peace.
Prayer: Dear Father God, how grateful we are for Your grace and mercy. We know the reality of death as we age. But as believers, we know that it no longer has any power over us. We know that our hope in heaven continues to light our pathway with the reality of Your presence in our lives. Thank You for ridding us of haunting memories in this life, replacing them with hope and peace as we turn to You and let go of all our old doubts and fears. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.
Forward this devotional Share this devotional on Facebook Like PresbyCan on Facebook
Thank you, Rose.
Amen, Rose. Well done!
Thank you, Rose. That was a beautiful devotion.
Thank you, Rose, for sharing this encouraging devotional with us!
What an incredible story and beautiful prayer, Rose. Thanks and blessings!
As always, Rose, your personal stories and their spiritual application touch me.
That story is so moving. I’m SO glad I read today’s reflection – and your prayer. Thank you so much for sharing.
What a touching story, Rose, assuring us of the peace that comes from full faith in God’s gift to all believers. Thank you for sharing this meaningful experience.
Dear Rose, thank you for sharing with us your story and meditation! What a wonderful minister, who has listening ears and proclaims God’s Forgiveness!
I am looking forward to reading your meditation.
Dear Rose thank you for another of your special writings. Yes, we really have the Lord’s peace and comfort to look forward to each day as we go forward in life. Blessings for your encouraging writings.
Rose, a devotional from you is a treasure God drops into my day. I remain confident that you are working on your memoir; it will surely draw many to the Wonderful One who is your Saviour and Redeemer.
Praise to God Who has given you such a beautiful gift to write such beautiful truths about HIM!!!!
Praise to God for His strength to help you obediently USE this gift.
Oh Rose, how I identify with your father’s story. You don’t need to know why but thank you so much for sharing it. Stories like these are the reason this uprooted Episcopalian now in NC, keeps returning to a Canadian Presbyterian devotional. May God bless and comfort you.
What a beautiful definition of the Love of God against the power of sin. This story from your past has greatly touched my heart and reminded me that the Father is always waiting for us no matter how far we are away from him. When we finally see him and his open arms welcoming us home… well, like the old hymn says, ‘that will be glory, be glory for me’.
It was good to see you on Sunday, albeit from a distance. Your smile always brings
Let us rejoice in this day that God has given us.
Good morning, Rose,
Such a good devotional this morning, sometimes there are events which may bother us for many years, things we may have done or have been done to us. Such a sad story about your father-in-law, but such a joyful ending, thank you for your good words as always.
PS: During the war, my father had a scythe made by a blacksmith, you could do that in the 40s. He used it all the time to cut grass for the goats we had for milk and meat during the war.
Thank you for writing.
Good morning, Rose,
Well this is definitely a different title for a devotional and is an excellent devotional of finding belief in God once again. Sometimes people turn away from God because they think God has let them down or because God can not forgive them for what they have done. Rose, your devotional of your father-in-law’s faith journey is powerful. It is a wonderful example of how he found that God is always there to forgive us and offer us comfort and peace.
I think the “weedwhacker” is to get our attention and a lead into the real story.
Praying your prayer offers us assurance and helps us gain strength from this devotional. We all lose our way at times and need help from others to find our spiritual path once again.
May you feel God’s comfort today and every day. Blessings.