Monday, February 23, 2009

Bitter-Sweet

As I said yesterday morning before my sermon, life is bitter-sweet.  Sometimes the sweet outweighs the bitter.  Some seasons in life, the bitter outweighs the sweet.

We experienced a new birth yesterday in our church -- that's sweet.

Tomorrow I will officiate at the service of a man who is a hero to me.  He fought in the Pacific during World War II, and earned the silver star.  He raised four children in tough times working for the railroad.  He worked nights, but had a couple of nights a week off.  On those nights, he would turn off the TV, sit his family down -- and they would read from God's word together and then take turns praying.

He was a remarkable man.  And his passing in itself is bitter-sweet.  I am going to miss him.  But he has been struggling physically for many years.  He was ready to go be with the Lord.  And that is sweet.

On the bitter side, yesterday one of our church families suffered the loss of an infant son.  He was a triplet, and had many complications in his 7 short months of life.

Here is one of the real challenges of ministry.  What do you say?  We are full of theologically-crazy platitudes at times like this.  They do much more harm than good.  I sometimes think the best thing to do is be like Job's friends when they FIRST came to him.  Just sit in silence.

But Wednesday, I will need to speak a word for God into their lives, as well as those who gather for the memorial service.  I know the Lord will provide for me.
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On a lighter note:  TIGER IS BACK!  It will be interesting to see how he does in his 1st tournament back from knee surgery.  He was on a torrid streak before he was sidelined.  Those in the know say he has been playing in pain for years.  What might this guy be like if he is healthy?  It ought to be fun.         

 

4 comments:

Jeff said...

I am Tiger Woods.

I miss those commercials.

I can't imagine what to say in the situations you describe. I will be praying for both families and for you in the coming days.

randy said...

Rick,
In my experience there is nothing that can be said to soften the grief. However, what must be said, what you have said before is that this tragedy does not come from God. It comes from the adversary. What does comfort but not soften is the knowledge that we do not stand alone with our grief - we stand with our brothers and sisters.

Randy

Josh Ross said...

May God use you mightily this week!

Beverly Ross said...

I am in prayer for you.