Straight from the Living Heart
By Lisa Elliott
I love spring! Especially after enduring a snowy and cold winter like the one we’ve just come through in southern Ontario! I don’t know many who don’t love spring. The sound of running water as snow melts and runs into the road grates. Puddles taking the place of snow mounds. Bulky, cumbersome winter-wear shed and replaced with lighter spring jackets. Singing birds breaking the silence with cheerful chirps announcing the hope of spring! And of course, the smell and sound of those wonderful April showers!
As the saying goes, “April showers bring May flowers”. And such is the case in our hearts. A fresh sense of vitality permeates our souls after long, harsh winters that take place in our lives. And herein lies my hope. With showers come rebirth and new life.
I can attest to the fact that there really is life after death. I’ve experienced it firsthand.
To begin with, on Family Day weekend I released my second book entitled, Dancing in the Rain. I gave birth to this book in the aftermath of my 19-year-old son’s death six years ago. I wrote it to assure my reading audience that there is life after death. Based upon the assurance I have in God’s Word and the fact that Ben knew Jesus as his personal Saviour, he has never been more alive than he is now!
And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. (1 John 5:11-12)
Secondly, on that same weekend, we received word that my oldest daughter is expecting her first baby; our first grandchild! Even beyond the miracle of life being formed in her womb, there is even more significance to this special event. Here is what our daughter had to say to all of her Facebook friends:
Our baby is coming at the most perfect time, as only the God who creates life could orchestrate. We are pleased to announce that baby’s due date is August 20, 2015, the day after the six year anniversary of my brother’s last moments on earth. What a bitter-sweet experience to be expecting new life in a time that has, until now, been surrounded in memories of death and loss. I know Uncle Ben would be thrilled to share this precious time, though I know my family and I share deep sadness that he won’t be here to celebrate the arrival of his first niece or nephew. Taking time to ponder these things in my heart; giving thanks for the things that God has given and also the ones He has taken away, in his perfect timing. Here’s to new life! John 10:10 "A thief is only there to steal and kill and destroy. I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of.”
Life after death!
Even as I write this blog I have, only moments ago, received news that my father-in-law passed away after a lengthy battle with cancer. And given the timing of a text from my daughter, he was likely breathing his final breath at the same moment that she was at a doctor’s appointment listening to her baby’s heartbeat.
Ecclesiastes 3:1-2 tells us that, “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens; a time to be born and a time to die.” My sweet assurance comes in verse 11 that goes on to say, _“He has made everything beautiful in its time.” _ Life after death!
Each and every day the Lord gives us a choice between life and death. Choosing life can be a challenge when you’ve experienced significant loss. But let me encourage you to choose life in whatever form it takes! God is the giver and sustainer of life. In fact, He is our life.“This day… the Lord has set before us life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the LORD your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the LORD is your life…” (Deuteronomy 30:19a-20)
There truly is life after death! But the choice is yours.
For added interest: View YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XyCt1f_ULkc “This Is Life” is a song that my three children wrote to celebrate their brother’s first birthday in heaven.
Also view my son, Ben’s final words to our church family given only ten days before he died. Talk about speaking of matters of life and death! www.youtube.com/watch?v=rK4P3axkhag
Translated into our lives, rainy seasons can be anything from: difficult time of hardship, burnout, illness, trial, crisis, financial stress. At times storms lead us toward what I’ve called the “deadly d’s” of discouragement, despondency, disillusionment, and depression. The untimely death of a loved one or the loss of a friendship, job, dream, or a marriage can leave us soaked in loneliness and grief. They can certainly take a toll on us as they can threaten to shake the stability of our mental, emotional, and spiritual health and well-being.
But as we all know, the rains of life will come like it or not. We will all face them at some time or another.a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal,a time to tear down and a time to build,a time to weep and a time to laugh,a time to mourn and a time to dance,a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,a time to search and a time to give up,a time to keep and a time to throw away,a time to tear and a time to mend,a time to be silent and a time to speak,a time to love and a time to hate,a time for war and a time for peace.What do workers gain from their toil? I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.
About this Contributor:
Lisa Elliott is an inspirational speaker and award-winning author of The Ben Ripple and Dancing in the Rain. Additionally, she has written articles for Just Between Us Magazine and devotionals for theStory. She and her pastor-husband, David, have four children (3 on earth, 1 in heaven) and serve the Lord together in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
To book Lisa for a weekend retreat or day conference contact her at: firstname.lastname@example.org