CS Lewis once said that "grief is like the sky, it covers everything." In recent weeks, our family has found that this is so very true. It seems that there is no right or wrong way to travel this path of grief. I have created this blog in hopes that some day we will be able to look back on our journey and see written proof that our great God never leaves us. God is good all the time.

Celebrating Laynee

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Sunday, October 31, 2010

A Promise Kept

"I have told you these things,
so that in me you may have peace.
In this world you will have trouble.
But take heart!
I have overcome the world."
John 16:33

My daughter, Jamee, has this verse hanging on the bulletin board in her room.  It is written on a note card and is among several other verses that are meaningful to her.  Though I cannot say for sure, I believe that this verse was hung there shortly after Laynee's accident.  It warms my heart to see all of these verses. They hang there among the pictures and mementos of people and events that are dear to her.  Many of the pictures hanging there are of her sweet baby sister who brought so much joy with her presence and so much pain in her abscence.   As I was doing some cleaning this week, I went into Jamee's room and I stood there for awhile looking at the pictures and verses above her bed.  As my eyes came to rest on this particular verse, I was a reminded of a conversation that I had with someone a couple of weeks ago about this verse. 

  Though there are likely many who could not give the exact scripture reference for this verse, it is one that is familiar to most christians.  They are beautiful words"...that in me you may have peace"   in which we can find comfort and rest.   These words "But take heart, I have overcome the world"  are powerful words that bring hope and confidence in spite of living in a broken and mixed up world.  This week, thanks to the counsel of a man whom I have come to greatly respect,  I stared at the words of John 16:33 as if seeing it for the very first time.    The same verse that brings peace and hope and "warm, fuzzy feelings" has a promise written smack in the middle of it.  We tend to overlook the promise because it does not bring the same sense of warmth to our hearts as does the rest of the verse. 

"In this world you will have trouble."  Notice that these words are not preceded by "perhaps" or "it may be."  They are not a possibility or even a probability: they are a promise.  As surely as our Lord promises "never will I forsake you" and "I am with you always," he promises that we will have trouble. Just ahead of this verse, in verse 20 our Lord, himself says "I tell you the truth, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve...."  Mourning and grief is a guarantee, not even but especially, for those of us who serve him.  Why then does it take us so unprepared when troubles come to us and shake our seemingly perfect world?

Last night I had a bit of spare, quiet time before bed and I used this time to research this verse.  I looked up "God's Promises" and the computer instantly brought before me page after page of websites with lists of promises made by our Lord.  I began to look through the websites, searching for these verses which promise trouble and grief and mourning.   I scoured countless websites until finally I found one site which  listed John 16:33 as a promise from our Lord to us. It is somewhat alarming that only one site among hundreds claimed this verse as a promise to us.  Without question, all of the verses on these sites were God's promises.  They were good, warm, lovely verses.  They were verses pointed out to bring comfort and hope to all who know Him.   The lists are accurate ..............yet not all-inclusive. 

In our society, a country of abundance and prosperity, where medical intervention is at our fingertips, we tend to think of tragedy as something that happens to someone else.  When suddenly devastation strikes and we face job loss, medical crisis, or we have to bury our precious children, we find ourselves wondering why.  Why us? Why not someone else's child? What did I do to deserve this? What did I do wrong?  Why would God allow this?  I cannot deny that I have asked these questions more times than I can count.

 "In this world you will have troubles."  These words from the scriptures are God breathed and infallible.  God does not make mistakes nor does he change his mind.  In our humanness it is natural to want answers and to ask why.  Christ himself asked "Why" as he hung on the cross.  As we ask our questions, as we try to comprehend the reasons for troubles that come into our lives,  I wonder, is it possible for us to accept the clear, simple answer that was given to us long ago?  Can we find rest in the assurance that God made a promise and he always keeps his word? 


  1. If found your blog by accident through Ashley and Pat Sullenger and I am so grateful I did.

    I hope you forgive my intrusion on reading about your beautiful angel, but your words bring me such comfort. Troubles seem to abound in my life and seeing your strength and faith that God makes promises that are sweet if we look for them and that he keeps his word is a GREAT reminder for me to continue to endure...

    You have a beautiful family. Thank you for sharing it with us! God bless...

  2. Thought of you yesterday as you were missing your girl.Knowing you are missing her every,single,solitary day.

    Thank you for your post and most especially for this verse.

    *Still a no show on Laynee's garden gift... still on back order.I have to remember that it will come when it's meant to come.A simple thing but still not in my time.