ENCOURAGE EVERYONE IN THE HILL CITY AREA TO HAVE A CLOSER RELATIONSHIP WITH JESUS CHRIST!
THE SIN IN MY SORROW
Sometime during the night of June 21, 2015, my older sister, Barb, went Home to the Lord. Her passing was not unexpected – she’d been ill for months, and she was very tired. While visiting her in May, I said my good-byes, just in case. I made sure to say what I needed to – to thank her for all she’d done for me since our Mom died 16 years ago. My brother and I both suspected her time on Earth was nearing its end. Still, the news was devastating when it came. Barb was my best friend, my confidante, my conspirator, and my cheerleader. We shared the same warped sense of humor and sarcasm. Now, her voice had been silenced. I faced a time in my life without her. I also came face-to-face with the reality that I am now the eldest member of my family. I was sure I wasn’t ready for that! I tried telling myself that God must think I’m ready. He wouldn’t have called her Home if I still needed her. A couple of days after Barb died, my sorrow was compounded by the early symptoms of an oncoming cold (or flu, or something). Wednesday night, a phone call from my niece revealed a heartbreaking rift between her and one of her siblings. I did my best to sound supportive, suppressing my own thought about her anger. By bedtime, my neck ached and I felt ill. The next morning, my voice was gone. I jokingly told myself I’d strained my vocal chords holding my tongue. With my energy level low and my ability to focus gone, I accomplished very little over the next two days. As the weekend approached, I prayed that God would heal me in time for church on Sunday. Saturday morning, during my prayer time, I seemed to turn a corner . . . but the apparent cause was a surprise. As I sat there talking with God, I shared more of my feelings with Him about the sorrow I felt over Barb’s death. Suddenly, I stood face-to-face with my own sin. I had given in to fear. I had allowed worry and anxiety to take up residence in my heart. Heartbroken over my sister’s passing, I was terrified about how I would go on without her. Who would fill in that gap in my life? If I’d allowed these emotions to move in, that could mean only one thing: I had stopped trusting God.
Realizing the magnitude of that mistake, I immediately began asking God’s forgiveness. I also asked for the ability to lay these things at the Cross and leave them there. As the deep ache in my lungs began to ease, I heard more. I sat dumbstruck as God convicted me of violating a commandment . . . He revealed to my heart the awful truth. I wasn’t just upset over the rift between my nieces. I was also angry . . . because I envied them! I was jealous! THEY each had a sister to share life with and they were wasting it! I realized I was furiously jealous of them for having each other. As soon as I realized this and owned it, I felt different. While asking God’s forgiveness, I noticed the weight on my lungs lift. The tightness in my throat eased, and an old friend returned. For the first time in days, I felt the Joy of the Holy Spirit take up residence in my heart. I felt like ME again! The truth of what had happened hit me like a ton of bricks. In my sorrow over my sister’s death, I had listened to the enemy’s torments and taunts, instead of trusting God’s promises. In the process, I’d made myself sick. I’d sacrificed my voice for a lie. This is an easy trap to fall into when sorrow enters our lives. When disappointment pile up, it’s easy to lose our way. We can save ourselves a lot of anguish – and physical discomfort – by remembering on vital truth. When life is at its hardest . . . when pain and sorrow, and disappointments are surrounding us . . . those are the times we need God the most. Lean on Him even harder in the dark times, and He will turn on the lights. The darkness cannot stay in His presence. Psalm 23 reminds us: “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want . . .” and promises us that “. . . thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me . . .” If we cling tightly to that promise, God will wash away all the sin in our sorrows.
Hill City Area Ministries, Inc.
A South Dakota Non-Profit Corporation
Income Tax Deductible IRS 501 (c) (3) Organization