Separated Together #8
Welcome to part eight of our “Separated Together” devotional adventure. It is with the deepest sorrow that I must inform our church family that Denise Krup went to be with the Lord last night. However, we can rejoice that she is no longer battling the cancer and is with the Lord in glory.
Ken's Facebook post today began: We are grateful to so many that have expressed your friendship, care, support and love for Denise these past several weeks.
The Lord took Denise home last evening just after 11:00 pm.
Looking back - the Lord in His providence, took her home fairly quick. Her initial test that showed the first cancer mass was taken on March 3rd (her birthday). Six weeks later, she is no longer suffering. Our initial thoughts were surgery would remove the mass and all the uterine cancer. Then radiation was needed to shrink the mass. Then a CT Scan indicated that cancer had spread to her lungs and spine. Then additional spread to her ribs and jaw. Finally to her brain. Treatment went from surgery to radiation (uterine) to chemo to radiation (brain). We contacted hospice on Tuesday and they started care of her that evening. Everything went fast. Really fast..... ... We will not be responding directly to people for some time. Until we are ready, that may take some time. I spoke with Ken last night a little after 11:00pm. He was doing very well and is trusting in the goodness of God. He thought they would wait several weeks before planning any type of service. As their church family, I ask that you continue to lift up Ken and Karissa to the Lord and give them some time to process all that has happened in this short amount of time. --------------------------------------------------------------------------- Today's devotional is extremely timely. There is nothing worse than having to share the bad news about Denise losing her battle with cancer. Denise was someone who blessed everyone who knew her. She blessed me over and over again personally many times! And I know I am not alone in this loss because many of you know firsthand what the "sting of death" feels like. There was more news announced today about the COVID-19 pandemic here in Illinois. Governor Pritzker announced that all schools will remain closed for the remainder of the school year and yesterday reported the highest single-day death rate due to the virus at 124. Sadly, we are not over this virus yet!
It's far too easy to become troubled and worried because of our own circumstances or by turning on the news.
But I want to remind us all of another side of bad news. Just before Jesus went to the cross, He gave his disciples the bad news that He was leaving them. He was going to die, but He also gave them a command to provide hope for those who trust Him.
Scripture for today
“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me." - John 14:1
Belief and faith in God’s character and trust in His power are the antidotes to a grieving, worried, fearful, or troubled heart.
Belief is centered on who God is.
All throughout Scripture, God has revealed Himself through His Name(s) and His actions.
There is a wonderful Old Testament story that illustrates this truth. From Hagar, Sarah’s servant and Ishmael’s mother, we learn multiple things about the attributes of God that I hope will encourage us today.
God is the One who finds us in the wilderness places of our lives. And He hears us when we cry. He sees us right where we are. He sees what we need the most. And He provides exactly what only He can provide. Read more about the Hagar and Ishmael’s story in Genesis 16 and Genesis 21.
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. - Psalm 46:1
Hagar lived to experience this truth for herself. She was a slave with no money or resources. She and her son were driven from her master's home to the middle of a harsh and barren wilderness. She had every reason to expect the worst; that she and her son would die in that wilderness. But.... She had an incredible encounter with the living God.
He heard her cries and comforted her.
He told her the truth, and He supplied her needs.
God is the same now as He was then, so we need to let Him know when we feel worried, overwhelmed or in need. This is how we will experience His ever-present help.
We can trust in His love, in His power, in His comfort, and in His name.
Prayer for today
Heavenly Father, I confess that sometimes I feel worried and overwhelmed by what's happening in the world. Thank you for hearing me, for answering my prayers, for providing for me, and for being my shelter in the midst of this harsh world. Please replace my worry, my sorrow, and my fear with faith in You and in Your goodness.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.