Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Land of the Living


Ps. 118:17: “I will not die but live,
and will proclaim what the LORD has done.”

There comes a point in grief where you realize God has allowed you to live and you must live on. Why? Why have you taken my love and left me? Why her and not me? Oh how often I wished it had been me. I’ve never thought God was obligated to answer my questions, and I’m sure I’ll someday appreciate His refusal to give me the desires of my confused heart. I have no intrinsic right to know anything—and I couldn’t pretend to understand what His answer might be, even if He gave it.

What I can see, and determine to live out, is the second part of the verse. I’m in the land of the living for a purpose. That purpose is to proclaim what the LORD has done. What the LORD has done for me is amazing. With great patient love and tenderness He meets me daily and provides my bread. He is the living water and I no longer thirst for other drinks. He is faithful and true to His own nature and dependably acts on my behalf. He is my intimate shepherd LORD. I feel His presence in the land of the living where it is painful to really live. He leads me with His eye upon me.

Do not fear if you should walk this way. If the LORD is your LORD, He cannot be anything but faithful. I won’t promise a painless walk. Sometimes following Him produces more pain.

Ps. 116:10: “I believed; therefore I said,
‘I am greatly afflicted.’"

Because He shows us how to love more deeply, it follows naturally that the pain of loss is more intense. But the fear is gone, because He promises to deliver us from death and its power forever. My testimony of God's grace is that He is doing this today—not in some distant tomorrow.

Ps. 116:8: “For you, O LORD, have delivered my soul from death,
my eyes from tears,
my feet from stumbling,
that I may walk before the LORD
in the land of the living.”

Today I walk in the land of the living by the grace of God. I walk before Him and with Him and for Him. My God is faithful and true. As the anniversary of Tammy's death drew near, I had no idea what I would feel or experience. I found that my God was once again faithful to sustain me in the land of the living. There was an unusual peace and even joy.

Praise His Holy Name!

Ed Litton

4 comments:

JGWmom said...

Thank you Bro. Ed for being a lighthouse for so many going through the struggles of this life, both great and small! I would dare not choose for anyone the process for which you have gained your insight, but I am thankful to our Lord for His great mercy and grace in your life and how you have been so transparent in allowing those of us who read your words to gain from it too. You said it so well in your address at the pastor's conf. at the SBC when you said it is not our formal education that He uses, but our brokeness! Praise Him for being the Divine Healer and the True Sustainer of Life! May He continue to use you for His glory and may His Goodness and Mercy follow(hound) you all the days of your life!

Believing Him,
Shannon Stringer Harvey
(Former FBNM member and current pastor's wife -Calvary BC, Hamilton, TX)

MessickMom said...

It's awesome how God shows up as our future becomes our present. You're right...He IS there, indeed!

Creston Mapes said...

Ed,

Thanks for your humility and transparency and authenticity. I can't imagine going through what you have, and am so very thankful our Lord has sustained you.

Creston Mapes
Atlanta

Anonymous said...

Letting go of pain is fearful because some of us wear it as a cloak; as if it (fear) bundles us up protecting us from the painful actions of others. Those intense feelings are very uncomfortable.
But the cloak of fear is really a binding garment of torment, sewn by satan..a fanicful tapestry woven by a single thread of deceit.
I am tired of walking among the dead. I am ready to walk among the land of living. I have removed my cloak. Thanks, for sharing another incredible insight.