When We Have Reached the End

"You do not want to leave too, do you?" Jesus asked the Twelve.  Simon Peter answered him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We believe and know that you are the Holy One of God" (John 6:67-68 NIV)

I've been having some very deep conversations with one of my best friends.  They have been diagnosed with a degenerative disease and life is falling apart for them.  We've spent hours talking about God and the reasons for things like these in our lives.

I feel as if I am watching someone walk down the same road I did years ago.  I hear the same questions I asked.  I understand the feelings of not being able to go on - of not wanting to go on.

The best thing I can do is continually point to Jesus and how He used those days in my life.  

It's kind of funny, because as we share stories about what has happened in our lives, I am beginning to see something I had not recognized before.

There came a point in my life when I truly reached the end of my "old" life.  Nothing was left.  Just remnants of what I wished could have happened.  

Had I been an alcoholic, I would have been said to have bottomed out.

I remember those days so clearly.

Yet, now, I am able to see them so differently.

What I thought was the end, was truly only the beginning.

It was the beginning of a close walk with God - one where He became more real to me than He had ever been before.

It was the beginning of a new way of life.

Yes, I had to let a lot of things go - but I gained ever so much more.  Had you told me that at the time, I probably would have laughed at you and perhaps even begun to avoid you.  I didn't want to hear that.

I know my friend needs a mourning period.  We have to grieve all of those losses.  We can't stuff them inside.  We also can't stay stuck in them.

The one thing I can offer my friend is hope.

While life is not turning out the expected way, it is taking a turn that offers an opportunity to find God in a way that in unexplainable.

Yet, I can continue to encourage that it is not the end.  It is only the beginning.

It is kind of like our life on this earth, when we walk with Jesus.

When the end of our days comes, it is not truly the end.

It is the new beginning to a brand new life with Jesus.

Father God, I pray for my friend and for each reader who might be struggling as they watch the life they knew fall apart.  Help them to recognize that while this is an ending in their life, and one that they can rightfully mourn  - it is the beginning of an amazing life with You, if we so choose.  Amen and amen.

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