Monday, October 3, 2016
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I've done my whole adult life with my Karen, the only woman I've ever needed. Suddenly, I have to figure out how to do the rest of my life without her. That Sunday night, we sat in the bleachers at our local football stadium and we watched our grandson graduate from high school as valedictorian and giving a faith-filled valedictory message. Monday afternoon, she was gone. Wrapped in this huddle of sobs with our three adult children, I just choked out the words, "It hurts so bad." It really does.
Now, it's been some weeks, but as I walk into our living room, I still instinctively look for that beautiful hair. I called it her "crown of glory" as she sat in her favorite blue chair. I go to make that oatmeal that she loved for breakfast. I turn to tell her about a conversation or situation and to hear her trademark laugh over my dumb jokes.
Our four-year-old grandson said it all the first time he ran into our living room and saw her chair empty. He just ran back to his mommy and said, "Mommy, you were right. She's not here." No, she's not, and she won't be again. I've probably shed more tears in recent weeks than I've shed the rest of my life. But I have a story to tell. Actually, it's the Story that I've tried to tell folks my whole adult life. And suddenly I'm living its ultimate validation.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "A Shattered Heart, A Certain Hope."
Everything I've ever believed, everything I've ever taught about my Jesus is true! Everything that my death-crushing Savior promised, I can tell you, He delivers in the darkest, most devastating days of my life!
He said of those who have put their total trust in His death on the cross for their sins, and this is in our word for today from the Word of God in John 14:19. He said, "Because I live, you will live also." Because Karen's Savior is alive, so is this woman I love.
In God's own words, we have "a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead" (1 Peter 1:3). I'm not talking about some "cross your fingers" hope. This is living hope. Hope is a Person – Jesus. He trampled death as He blasted out of His grave on Easter morning.
The hope that is holding my heart together is as sure as our hope that spring will follow a seemingly endless winter. Spring is a sure thing. So is heaven for those who've pinned all their hopes on the One who died so we could go there. As much as I love Karen, she is now with the One who loves her the most. Experiencing His promise that, as He said, "He who believes in Me will live, even though he dies" (John 11:25).
This amazing Jesus has got my Karen. And He's got me. I can tell by the peace. It's what He promised to His disciples in their darkest hour. He said, "My peace I give you...do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid" (John 14:27). That peace, along with that certain hope of a forever spring after this cold winter, is a powerful counterbalance on that scale that is so weighed down by grief. Through all my darkest hours, through my loneliest moments, the peace has never been shaken.
Oh, this Jesus I've talked about, that I've written about, I've believed in all these years has come closer and become more real to me than ever before. He promised He would be, as the Bible says, "close to the brokenhearted" (Psalm 34:18). He really, really is. When you walk through the valley of the shadow, you've got to have Jesus to go there. And when you walk across that final frontier beyond our death, you've got to know you belong to Jesus.
If you're not sure of that, would you please make this the day you get that settled? Say, "Jesus, what you died for was me. I am yours. You're alive! I want you to live in me." Please see what I've put on our website at ANewStory.com. It will help you land this relationship with Jesus once and for all.
Look, I'm in the biggest storm of my life; the Cat 5 hurricane, the EF-5 tornado. But Jesus is my safe room. Is He yours? He's stronger than the storm. The Bible says, "We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure" (Hebrews 6:19).
The Anchor holds.