The Heartbreak of Hopelessness

Many years ago when I was living in Dallas attending seminary, I received a phone call that led me to a tiny, dirty garage apartment. I was met at the screen door by a man with a 12-gauge shotgun. He invited me in. We sat for over an hour at a tiny kitchen table with a naked light bulb hanging above it. He poured out a heartbreaking story. He had just been released from the hospital, recovering from back surgery.

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Mortality

Life is so short. We really don’t have many years. And to spend them doing dumb stuff seems like such a waste. I was intrigued several years ago when reading about some ghost towns littered across the plains of Nevada. The writer pointed out that there was every indication between the middle and the end of the 1800s that these towns would flourish forever. There were people by the thousands.

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For Facing Our Own Death

“I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die.” (John 11:25–26) Our Father, this is a sacred moment because we all must answer the question, “Am I ready to die?” And not until we’re ready to die are we truly ready to live.

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God’s Control

The bitter news of Dawson Trotman’s drowning swept like cold wind across Schroon Lake to the shoreline. Eyewitnesses tell of the profound anxiety, the tears, the helpless disbelief in the faces of those who now looked out across the deep blue water. Everyone’s face except one—Lila Trotman. Dawson’s widow. As she suddenly walked upon the scene a close friend shouted, “Oh, Lila . . . he’s gone. Dawson’s gone!”

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Trophies

He was brilliant. Clearly a child prodigy . . . the pride of Salzburg . . . a performer par excellence. At age five he wrote an advanced concerto for the harpsichord. Before he turned ten he had composed and published several violin sonatas and was playing from memory the best of Bach and Handel. Soon after his twelfth birthday he composed and conducted his own opera . . .

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After the Avalanche

JOB UNDERSTOOD WOUNDS. The words he used to describe them were more than patronizing platitudes and theoretical proverbs. He’d been there and back again. He could write about intense inner suffering in the first person because of his own massive ocean of pain. No one would deny that the man called Job was “the greatest of all the men of the east” (Job 1:3, KJV).

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Tears at Christmas

I’VE LIVED LONG ENOUGH TO know that sometimes Christmas hurts. And when words fail, tears flow. In some remarkable way, our complex inner-communication system knows when to admit its verbal limitations and signal its need for assistance. It’s an amazing thing. Lips that previously moved freely begin to quiver.

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Never Too Late

EVER THOUGHT about how you hope to die? I’m not necessarily talking about your literal death; I’m really asking about how you intend to live until you die.

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Expressing Grief

There are days too dark for the sufferer to see light. That’s where Job is as we end this chapter. Unfortunately, his so-called friends will not bring him any relief. Like Job, you may not have seen light for a long time either.

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God’s Presence in Suffering

The book of Job is not only a witness to the dignity of suffering and God’s presence in our suffering, but it’s also our primary biblical protest against religion that has been reduced to explanations or “answers.”

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