When something happens that takes the wind from your lungs you never know how to respond to the question, “How are you?”
Most everyone uses those words as a greeting. They slip from innocent lips like butter. It is the fabric of our society.
“How are you?”
Although innocent and genuine, I never know how to answer that question. People were posing it to me mere weeks after Doug was killed. Years later, I still don’t know quite how to reply.
Most of the time I say, “Making it.” If I am feeling humorous I say, “Joyfully sucky.”
Joyfully sucky about sums it up. I’m not happy. How can I be when half of me is gone?18 But I am joyful because of Jesus. He came and He conquered. He paid the price for Doug’s sin and He paid the price for mine. Nothing, not even an IED on the terrorist ridden streets of Bagdad could undo what Jesus did on the cross.
“My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand.”
My third response for “How are you doing?” has never been taken well. When I am feeling spunky I say, “Waiting for the rapture.”
That sends the recipients of my reply into a tailspin. After the moments it takes to register what I mean there is awkward silence.
The world has its unspoken rules and one of those rules is, “you have to be happy here.” Most people fall into the trap of depending on certain pleasures or possessions to enjoy life more.
It’s a lie. There is nothing that will make you happier. The more you get, the more you want.
God says, “Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness.” When you follow this advice, this world fades in comparison to the world awaiting us.
“Waiting for the rapture” is really the way I feel. It isn’t sad; it is hopeful. And that hope is in God. For those who believe, God’s promises stand firm.
What are His promises? I’m glad you asked.
God will always be with us.
“I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support, I will not, I will not, I will not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake you nor let you down (relax my hold on you)! Assuredly not!”
God will always hear us.
“I call on you, Oh God, for you will answer me; give ear to me and hear my prayer.”
God will ultimately save us.
“In that day they will say, ‘Surely this is our God; we trusted in him, and he saved us. This is the Lord, we trusted in him; let us rejoice and be glad in his salvation.’”
And there will be no more agony.
“He will swallow up death forever. The Sovereign Lord will wipe away the tears from all faces; he will remove the disgrace of his people from all the earth. The Lord has spoken.”
We will live forever with Him.
“For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.”
Because of God’s grace, I am able to stand. Because of God’s love, I am able to breathe. Because of God’s promises I am able to put one foot in front of the other and look forward to the day when evil will be defeated forever and I can once again hold Doug’s hand.
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