Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Seeing Jesus Face-to-Face

1 Peter 5:7

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

I pulled this message from five years ago. I’ve reworked it some but basically it is the same. My father’s passing five years ago is part of what has me emotionally depleted today.

As I sit in the hospital room with my dad my thoughts are scattered. I know I need time to grieve. I know my emotions are on edge. I know that just the sight of my in-laws this morning followed by my father’s brother brought tears to my heart – for them and for me. Did I say I know I need time to grieve? I know that working helps me grieve and helps control my emotions at the same time. I have thoughts like: what will I do without my father? Who will I turn to with my many questions in life? As the oldest son – the oldest patriarch of the family – what does that mean? Why can’t I be strong for the family and friends? Why must I be so emotional? What will my mom do without dad? What about my sister and brother and the grand/great children? What about my wife, my sister-in-law and my brother-in-law? My brother-in-law has been like a son to dad and has cared for him like his own father – and we cried in each other’s arms last night at the hospital! My mind races to the next steps. Should we have a private burial followed by a memorial service? Should we have a fellowship meal? Where will we hold the service? Who would we ask to help – there are so many pastors in the family – pastors dad influenced – pastors that know him and us? What funeral home will we use – we have such a good relationship with so many? Should we call Hospice Care? Is dad really comfortable? Can he still hear me pray with him? How many angels can dance on the head of a needle? These are just a few of the things running through my head. If you have been where I am right now – you know the many thoughts that are going through my mind.

So a classmate from High School sends me the above Scripture: 1 Peter 5:7 – Cast all your anxiety on Him because he cares for you. For the person who always needs to be doing for others and doing – period – I must rest in Him and give Him all my anxiety and concern. I must allow others to minister to me and to allow the emotions to run their course. I need to sit and listen to the still voice of God in my heart. So I began to sit and search the Word of God for the voice of God.

Philippians 4:6 – Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

Psalm 55:22 – Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall.

Hebrews 13:5-6 – Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?”

I know – from years of ministry – what I’m supposed to say and what I have told others – and I am hearing my words and the words of others – trying to get through to my mind and heart. But they are merely words – however well intended – and just dwelling in the Lord is what brings me the most comfort – and knowing that others care for and love my father so much! Facebook has been amazing for us as we read the comments that people have made about our father.

So we sit with him – waiting for that moment when he will imagine no more and see Jesus face-to-face. We sit with him knowing that soon and very soon he will be with Jesus for the rest of eternity and will see his mom and dad and other saints that have gone before him – and – if time is no more and we all arrive together at the throne of Jesus – we will rejoice and praise His holy name together!

Thanks for all the prayers – the comments on Facebook – the calls and text messages – the offer to help – whatever is needed. Thanks for the visits and the love showered on us. Prepare yourselves for an awesome worship service as we celebrate the life of one of God’s saints! For now we sit and watch and pray and stand in the presence of God.

Yesterday was hard for me – five years without my father. I thank all who prayed for me and for my family. I’m thankful I found this devotional thought. It ministered to my heart and to my soul.

Just something for us to think about today as we go on our way.

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September 19, 2017 - Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Personal, Prayer, Theology, Worship | , , , , , , , , , , , ,

2 Comments »

  1. Rev Ray, I lost my father four years ago. The pain is tremendous the grief is sometimes uncontrollable. I pray that as the anniversary of your father’s passing is upon you that you will have strong supportive men around you being stretcher bearers and taking your heart to Jesus in prayer for healing and renewal.
    God Bless you.

    Like

    Comment by thebrycelife | September 19, 2017 | Reply

    • Thanks Rebecca. Men’s Study tonight – I hope many come and they pray for me for sure. Others have prayed including my dear wife.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by raymcdonald | September 19, 2017 | Reply


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