Sharing God's Grace

August 3, 2019
by Mary Lou Tompkins

2 Corinthians 1:3-4 – Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. (NKJV)

As I ponder this journey called "life", I wonder what on earth God has in store for me. What possible purpose does He have for me that I would still be here, while my Bob, who had a clear calling to share his faith through music, both playing and singing, was taken home above?

The loneliness, the ache, the emptiness threaten to swallow me and suffocate me. It hurts, and then it subsides, and I cope until the next tsunami threatens to overwhelm me.

One morning, I awoke feeling confident, strong, and ready to face the day. A new day and a fresh week lay ahead. And then, it happened. After dropping off my eldest granddaughter to write her second-last exam, I was heading home when I saw the hospice building to my right, where I had recently joined a grief support group. The tears started, as memories flooded my mind.

It wasn't long before a phone call came to say that an acquaintance had passed away during the night. I went over and hugged his wife, now a widow, and left a card with her after we had a little visit.

To comfort others with the comfort with which I have been comforted may be one of the purposes that He has for me. I am surely more sensitive to the feelings that grief stirs.

Sharing how God's grace has really been amazing throughout this journey is perhaps another gift that I'm called to use to bless and encourage others. There are so many examples of God's grace lifting me up, surrounding me with love and care, and providing help and comfort when I have needed it most. We serve a great God who really does know our needs. I am blessed to have one dear friend who has texted me each day, sometimes both morning and evening, since my husband passed so unexpectedly on the second day of our eastern Caribbean cruise in March. A simple text, even an emoji of praying hands, with or without words, has been such a blessing to me.

How is God nudging or urging you to share His love and care? It may seem like a small thing to you, but it might just be the world of difference to another. As recently as Sunday, I was attending worship in a different community than where I live. At the end of the service, when most had exited the sanctuary, the tears started to flow, and a dear, sweet woman, whom I've never seen before, came near and asked what was wrong. When I told her that my husband, whom I miss so much, had passed on recently, and that it was my grandson who had been baptized that morning, she began to hug me. I can't recall what she said, but she was such a blessing and comfort. I thank God that she stopped and comforted a stranger such as me, whom she'll likely never see again. It didn't take long, but her kindness is lasting! Our Lord says:

Matthew 25:40b – Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me. (NKJV)

I urge you to be His hands, His feet, His arms, His voice.

I wonder how God is ready to use you as an instrument of His peace and love and is waiting for you to respond to His call. Ponder this, and be aware of opportunities. They could be right before your very eyes!

Prayer: Dear heavenly Father, heighten our awareness of how we can be Your instruments in this world where there is so much need. Thank You for friends, acquaintances, and even strangers who show others Your grace. Open our eyes that we may see opportunities that You set before us. In Jesus' precious name, we pray. Amen.

About the author:

Mary Lou Tompkins <bmltompkins@hotmail.com>
Lindsay, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    I understand.


    Thanks Mary Lou. Good reminder of how we need to be encouraging of others.


    Thanks, Mary Lou, for sharing your story. I lost my husband 3 years ago and I know God will lead you through this.


    Thanks for sharing such a touching story, Mary Lou. A great reminder for us all! God bless you as you continue his important work!


    Thank you, Mary Lou, for such an inspirational devotion. It is a good challenge.
    May the LORD continue to comfort you and bless others as you comfort them.


    Mary Lou,
    Thanks for sharing that important message that we often get too busy to remember. I pray for you to experience God’s comfort.


    Thanks for writing today’s devotional. You share your feelings and give us all a challenge to reach out to others. Appreciate you.
    Keep writing.


    Thank you so much for your inspirational devotion today. If God brings you to it, He will see you through it.
    God bless you.


    Thank you so much for sharing that! You have been in my prayers since I heard of his passing. Know that the Lord is there to provide to you the comfort and encouragement you need when you need it. Continued blessings.


    Mary Lou, thank you for sharing part of your life’s journey in such a powerful devotional which hopefully will wake us up to share God’s grace in many more ways even if we are a little uncomfortable reaching out. May many more blessings come your way.


    Mary Lou,
    Imagine if all God’s children acted as you are experiencing in being God’s hands/feet, etc?
    What a blessing
    (CA)


    Dear Mary,
    Thank you for sharing your heartache and how God is using it for good in your life and in the lives of others.
    God’s peace.


    And I think, Mary Lou, you are being “prepared” to be a witness to others. Not much fun being “prepared” by the unexpected death of a spouse. And, I have every confidence that you will be such a friend and witness.
    (Texas)


    Dear Mary Lou,
    You have written a blessing devotional.
    Thank you for sharing your experience in such a touching and helpful manner — true to God’s Word.
    Keep writing.


    Mary Lou, I hope that you find comfort in the knowledge that your devotional will encourage so many people. Both those that are grieving and those that need a push to leave their comfort zone and comfort those in need that they encounter.
    Together in God’s service,


    Hello Mary Lou
    Thank you for your devotional. So, encouraging how God will show us what He needs us to do because He has equipped us in different ways. Sorry for the loss of your husband but it is rich how God is using that grief to help others.
    God bless.


    Thank you for your sharing
    Our church is building a Community Serenity garden for the region focused on the Monarch butterfly. Some day if you are travelling through stop in on a Sunday am and ask someone to show and tell.


    Dear Mary Lou:
    God bless you Mary Lou. You are a power of example that even in sorrow you are sharing God’s love. May He continue to uphold you whether it’s by holding your hand or carrying you.
    My very best thoughts and prayers are with you.


    Hello Mary Lou,
    Thank you for your devotional writing expressing how important it is for us to share with others, the grace and mercy that God showers on us. Even a small gesture of caring can be an immense comfort to someone who is hurting.
    Blessings for writing and may your grief be lifted as time passes.
    (B.C.)


    Dear Mary Lou,
    I am so sorry for the loss of your husband.
    Just reading your devotional I couldn’t help but think ‘You are definitely the kind of person I would want to be around and especially, if I were going through something difficult.’
    Your devotional was filled with gentleness, love, mercy, and comfort and it spread over me like a warm blanket.
    Thank you so much for writing and sharing.


    Such a beautiful message.
    I can relate to your huge sense of loss.
    March is burned into my memory as one of immense loss too. My youngest son died unexpectedly. His passing brought us, as a family, to our knees. It has been a devastating, tragic tortuous few months.
    It has given me a new perspective on how I respond to other grieving souls.
    Thank you for your message of hope.
    (ON)


    Thank you so very much … the devotional this morning was such a gift. My beloved husband a Hospice Chaplain died recently after only 2 months. We did not know he was even sick. He had a little confusion at work so went to the ER and the Dr did a CAT Scan and diagnosed Jack with a brain mass. We started treatment immediately, but the tumor only got bigger and he was gone 2 shortly after.
    You put into words my feelings.
    Thank you for sharing.


    Thanks for your encouraging words! I too lost my husband early this year. It was the culmination of a lengthy illness after 8 years in long-term care. It seems irrelevant whether it is sudden or a long goodbye, the feelings are the same for the one left behind. We carry on as we are meant to do and hopefully like yourself encourage others! My thoughts and prayers are with you today and may the day unfold with joy. How wonderful to celebrate the baptism of your grandchild and blessings to the dear woman who saw your need! May you enjoy the warmth of the sun and family this holiday weekend. Blessings!


    Hello, Mary Lou, from the area hit by the big earthquake 3 weeks ago. Yes, we are blessed beyond having no property damage. She and I lost our real treasures, 16 years for my precious Sweetheart of 60 years, and her incredible one 2 years later. Going through these difficult times we learned a lot, the main one being, “I know what you’re going through.” Even though they meant well, we all go through our loss differently. Just hold me and let me know you love and pray for me. Not always perfect for any of us but we have the Lord help us when it isn’t perfect.
    May the Lord bless you in many special and surprising ways.


    I am so glad God has a good hold on your heart. When my husband passed, He was 46 years old and I understand the black hole you feel enveloped in.
    But God! He was my saving grace as were my children and the children I worked with in my job. Now I have remarried, have added to my family with a stepson and stepdaughter and two of my children have married and I have two wonderful grandsons. I think back to the day it happened when I actually thought of “joining” my husband as he lay there in hospital to be with the Lord. I said to myself I can’t do this… it is against my faith and I have three children who need me. I took a deep breath and lived one day at a time. God knew the plans he had for me. Isaiah 29:11
    God Bless you and your family!


    Dear Mary Lou,
    Thank you for this reading. I too have been recently widowed. A path I never dreamed would be mine.
    My husband of 66:1/2 years went within one week.
    I try hard not to ask “why”. Not easy. All I can console myself with is my Faith and the knowledge that God must have a plan for the rest of my life.
    I well understand your sudden weeping, I find myself, not weeping, but suddenly being very quiet. I have nothing to say or add to the conversation going on round me.
    As if I were in an empty hollow place.
    May our Lord bless you and walk beside you.
    May He give you strength and protection.
    Holding you in prayer.


    Thank you, Mary Lou, for sharing your journey through grief with us. I’m also a widow who keenly remembers that wrenching emotion. May our Lord’s arms continue to comfort you as they have myself and countless others. Blessings and prayers.


    Dear Mary Lou,
    Thank you for sharing this; I will keep you in my prayers.


    Dear Mary Lou,
    Thank you for your encouragement for me and others to be a comfort to people hurting.
    Matthew 25:40b – Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me. (NKJV)
    I pray to be more of an encouragement to many.


    Thank you, Mary Lou, for your devotional.
    Having lost my own beloved life partner just a few weeks after we retired, I could feel your pain intensely. What a comfort it is for us as beloved children of our Lord to know that we are surrounded by opportunities to share precious memories with others, and in that sharing experience God’s promise of peace.
    Blessings of grace and peace to you as you journey on, Mary Lou.


    Hi, I can appreciate your pain. I lost my husband almost 10 years ago and still tear at times when I speak of him. You do, however, get stronger and learn to cope better. God Bless you.

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