The taste of your apple pie or your attendance at church does not determine your entrance into heaven. The way that you handle your grief does not determine whether or not you get to heaven. It is only by faith that someone can stand before the amazing God of the universe (John 3:5). God knows that we cannot handle all of these situations in a perfect matter, and that is why he sent his son to pay for our all of our wrong doings on this earth. And once you come to God through saving faith, you are "reborn" meaning you get a clean slate from God, and when you give your sins to Him, they are on his shoulders.
Did you grow up wearing Keds? I did, and I remember having a white pair that I wore a lot when it was hot outside. One day I was eating a melting red Popsicle, and I am sure that I was not being careful as instructed, the sugary, red liquid fell on my shoe. This was not coming out, and even after trying to get the red stain out myself, I could not get them clean! That red stain is nothing for God! He made the greatest sacrifice when he sent his son to die for us, so when we make mistakes that are undoable and have left scars, God can come and give us a fresh start.
Once the Holy Spirit truly resides in your heart, how you live your life will change. I like what Nancy Guthrie says on page 28, "many of us want God to save us, but we don't always want him to change us or control us." We may hang onto sins because we think that is what will make us be our best. Like we know what is better for us than our all-knowing God! When I write that I think to myself, "Well, duh! God knows better than I do!", but in my life my wanting to be in charge forgets to go before God, pray and give him my life. Even with having faith in God, I still need to bring my struggles, pains, and requests to Him daily.
When I read certain parts of this book it is obvious that Nancy was following God's will by writing this book. Some parts seem to have been written just for me, and one of those readings titled, "No Words" is one of them. While Magdalena was with us I struggled to pray consistently. Sometimes I would plead with him and beg him for a little more time or for certain little things, but staying on my knees for hours was not done as it should have been. I was hurt, angry, tired, and just like Nancy wrote, I wasn't sure how to pray every day. The Holy Spirit, who knows are hearts, intercedes for us (Romans 8:26-27) to God in a way that is in accordance with God's will. Even when I was too weak to pray, others were intervening, praying for me, and the Holy Spirit was doing the same. I know that this may be wrong comparison, but so many times I have treated God as I probably would antique furniture. I have so much respect for such beautiful, quality things that are made so much better than plastic furniture, but instead of enjoying a beautiful and inviting piece because it is "untouchable" because I am not worthy of it. God is not like that! He invites us to come and fellowship with him through the Holy Spirit! And one day when we get to heaven we will bask in all of God's glory!
Whether you have truly suffered in the past or you are living your life with little loss, God will comfort us with the truths that we know about him, but we have to learn these truths. Seek after who God is through The Bible that he has given us here on this earth. God doesn't always show us why we have endured such trials here, but he will comfort us and give us the strength that we need. And when are weakness begins to overwhelm us in this life, let us turn to the continual flow of strength and comfort in our God.
During my reflection time I realized that the Holy Spirit was truly with me during the week that Magdalena left this earth. I don't see how I stood for hours greeting people during the visitation and funeral, how I listened to every word that the pastor said, or how my knees remained in tact as I saw her tiny casket for the last time. The Holy Spirit gave me the strength that was needed just for that day, and the next I needed to seek after Him again.