One thing for certain, when you come out of a time of mourning, the feeling is not one that is generally taken lightly.

Loss is an emotion that if it’s allowed to go unchecked will consume a persons life. Often unknowingly. It just becomes the norm. The loss can be that of a person, job, friendship, church, or even something that was significantly important in your life.

Psalm 126 is generally thought to have been written by Ezra, or some good man returned from the Babylonish captivity. Jewish people faced exile from Israel. Being forced to leave Judah, they lived in Babylon between 597 BC and 538 BC. Fifty-nine years of captivity. No wonder there was rejoicing!

Psalm 126:1-6 KJV
When the LORD turned again the captivity of Zion, we were like them that dream. [2] Then was our mouth filled with laughter, and our tongue with singing: then said they among the heathen, The LORD hath done great things for them. [3] The LORD hath done great things for us; whereof we are glad. [4] Turn again our captivity, O LORD, as the streams in the south. [5] They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. [6] He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.

The Nightmare’s of Living Below

There’s an old gospel song titled “Where Could I Go But to the Lord.” The lyrics begin with

Living below in this old sinful world
Hardly a comfort can afford
Striving alone to face temptation’s sword
Now won’t you tell me Where could I go but to the Lord

They didn’t have that song in their hymnal in 538 BC, but I’m sure they had one similar and were no doubt singing it as they came out of captivity. Being held captive, literally or emotionally is a nightmare. The experience varies with great difference regardless if it is the same type of captivity. Grief is experienced by everyone, but the degree of grief, or the manner in which it’s handled is so different. I have two daughters who handle their emotions so differently. The oldest faces grief and tragedy inwardly, much like her myself. The youngest wants the world to know, as does her father. Tiffani and I may look fine on the surface, but if the inside would suddenly burst forth, the internal battle would look like a war zone. Whitney and David on the other hand, are commanders on a battlefield and I wouldn’t recommend getting in their path when they’re dealing with grief or earthly struggles.

I can only speak for myself and the way I handle it, which is to consider the effect or the result of the loss. When my dad died of Emphysema in 2003, my heart grieved for the physical loss, but my soul rejoiced in his having gone to be with the Lord. I imagined that first breath he took in Heaven. What a dream that would have been after having been unable to breathe for a decade! When I lost a friendship, I grieved not for the loss of the person ( they were still there), but for the loss of the relationship and the hole that remained in my life. That hole over time became filled with new friends and experiences but there is always an empty spot. When I left my church this summer, I grieved not only for the loss of the earthly foundational structure of my faith, but for the loss of two decades of comrades in faith that were a part of my spiritual tapestry. That tapestry was still there in Heaven in its entirety. But here below, in this old sinful world, the sword had torn it apart.

Grief is a nightmare.

The Joy of Living in the Moment

Then was our mouth filled with laughter, and our tongue with singing: then said they among the heathen, The LORD hath done great things for them.

Even to the heathen they rejoiced! When we finally come out of the storm, it’s important to tell those who care about us that we’re out, because they were concerned and they need to see us on the side of victorious living. But there’s a couple of reasons the heathens need told as well. First of all, and above all, so they are given the opportunity to see God glorified and get a desire to want that for themselves. And perhaps that should be the only reason. But there is a fleshly side of me that enjoys the celebration. I was standing at the front of First Baptist Church this Wednesday, in the center aisle at the front pew, just as I did at my prior church every service. I love to watch the people come in and I love to see them greet each other like they’ve not seen each other for a year. Oh the Joy!!!! My new people, are just that, they’re new to me. I’m not always comfortable with all of them because I don’t know their stories yet.

I’ve made it a point in my ministry to watch people. Not for the sake of being nosy, but for the point of being aware. I now know that she who sits behind me on the second row has a grandson in prison, and she needs prayer. I know that she who sits in the middle is concerned that her husband’s depression is overwhelming him. I know that my new sister in Christ was raised rough. It’s important to live in the moment, and while I still have a hole in my life, it is now being filled with new reasons to pray and watch and live in the moment. I cannot dwell on what I’ve lost, I can only rejoice in what God has given me in its stead.

Israel wasn’t out of trouble. But they were no longer grieving because of their captivity and loss of relationship with the Lord. God had turned their captivity to freedom.

Does He not do the same for each of us? Of course! Are you grieving the loss of someone or something? Look forward to the day when God will restore your joy. He will!!!


Tears come. Heartache and trials happen. But so does the joy! Savor in each second because to live in reality is to know that grief too will come again. But so will joy to follow.

And then there is that final day when there will be nothing but joy. No heartaches, trials or tribulation.

The Promise of Living in Perfection

I am so far from perfect it’s ridiculous. But I know the day is coming when I give up this earthly form that God will create me anew and I will be perfect. I will not hurt, nor hurt others. I will not grieve, nor will I have to leave anyone. We will all live in His presence, in a Home that He has prepared. But for now there is still a perfection we can rejoice in.


1 John 4:12 KJV
No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.

1 John 4:18 KJV
There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.


1 Peter 5:10 KJV
But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.


James 1:17 KJV
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.


Hebrews 12:23 KJV
To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,

Glory to God I wrote myself happy and I pray that this message brought you joy in the understanding that if you’re saved, even though we live in an imperfect world, in Christ Jesus, when God looks at us, He see’s nothing but the finest!

Glorrraaaaayyyyyy! Share that message with someone today. Share this message with someone today. I love you!

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Shari Johnson. (aka The Jesus Chick) has been encouraging women of faith and youth for a closer walk with Christ for over ten years. Having a burden for the leadership in American Churches, much of her writing is meant to spear on the servant of God to do more for the cause of Christ in these uncertain times. With humor, transparency and solid bible teaching Shari outlines messages that are easily understood, life applicable, and often with easily remembered points to ponder in hopes that they’ll be reflected on throughout the day and serve as encouragement on the go. Her servant’s heart is grounded in her own local church believing that it is there that the greatest impact can be made and unfortunately suffers the greatest neglect across America. Shari speaks at women’s gatherings in hopes of leaving a giggle in their soul and a burning desire to serve in their own local body of believers having it said of her “I laughed, I cried, and I was drawn to the foot of the cross…” Which is what it’s all about. For information on scheduling Shari, call her direct at (304)377-6036, message her via email at or find her on Facebook!

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