Hi and welcome to Week Two!! If you are just visiting, you can find more info about this online group on introduction post. If you decide you would like to join this online group text me or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and I will send you the coloring sheets and a reminder when next week’s video releases. If you would rather pick up a printed copy of the coloring sheets, let me know and I will help with that. Now, let’s reflect.
You can add your thoughts in the comments below, or send them to me (Lynnette) at email@example.com. The first time you comment, it won’t appear right away but I will let you know when they post.
- Who makes you feel better when you’re sad? How do they do that?
- How do you think the man felt when he heard Jesus’ promise that they would be together in paradise?
- When pain feels like it is the only true thing, how do you remember God’s promises?
- What are some truths you speak to other people when they are struggling?
- How do you imagine paradise?
When I am sad, I find it helpful to talk to my sisters, who will share in my sadness, sometimes offer helpful thoughts, but mostly just join me in my feelings. When we were kids we had a hard time really relating to each other’s feelings like this, unless one of us was sad because of the same thing another one of us had gone through (mean kids, mostly.) Just having someone hear my feelings and sharing them, rather than telling me why I shouldn’t feel that way helps.
When the man heard Jesus’ promise that they would be together in paradise, I imagine him having a burst of wild hope. I think he thought, “Here we are, in pain, being executed as criminals, condemned by all, but I think he really means it. Even after everything I have done wrong, even though I can’t offer him anything, he accepts me!”
When I am sad I usually prefer to be alone and pray. I know that God is always with me and he knows everything about me already, so I can open my heart to him and talk to him about what I am feeling. God understands that sometimes we are sad or angry or embarrassed or afraid. He is not offended when we are truthful with him and being honest brings us closer together. It makes me feel better talking to God because I know that no matter what I say to him he loves me, and he shares my sadness.
I think the man felt loved and accepted, even though he was a sinner. Knowing that he was forgiven and that he would be in paradise with Jesus must have been a comforting thought while he was suffering. Knowing you are loved no matter what makes hard things bearable.
When I am in pain I remember that God is always with me no matter what I am going through, and that God always keeps his promises. To quote from James MacDonald’s book, “Always True: God’s 5 promises when life is hard:
1.God is Always With Me (I will not fear)
2. God is Always in Control (I will not doubt)
3. God is Always Good (I will not despair)
4. God is Always Watching (I will not falter)
5. God is Always Victorious (I will not fail)
When others are struggling, I try to be calm and comforting and never tell them they should feel differently. I allow my friends to own their feelings, but I make sure they know that they are not alone and that I care about them. I give encouragement and support and talk often with them while they are struggling. I tell them that God loves them.
I am a big fan of all the Star Trek franchises, so I like the episodes in Deep Space Nine with Odo when he joins the Great Link of his people. I like the imagery of being an individual at the same time as being in one glorious, golden pool of community where all is known about each other, and all are accepted as One Body.
Yes, honesty with God is the only thing that makes sense, and God’s love embraces us in all the feelings.
Thank you for sharing Macdonald’s Five Promises! I don’t think I have ever heard those before, and they are thought- and hope-provoking.
I, too, love all the Star Treks!
This first one is easy! My sister. We are very close. So close that sometimes we send messages or video chats because we can feel that we need it at that moment. She understands me and accepts me and encourages me.
I like to think that at that moment the man hanging with Jesus felt peace by his words. That kind of love only our saviour has is beyond our comprehension but I like to think he felt both loved and at peace.
I don’t like saying the phrase “I lost my mom” because I know where she is but when my mom was called home, I felt such deep painful sorrow. I miss her every day (it will be 14 years this June) but when I miss her I take great comfort knowing where she is. Her faith was so strong and I imagine her and with her family and friends who have gone before her. I feel and sense her around me especially in the spring and summer when flowers are in bloom and butterflies are out.
All the time Gos is good
God is good all the time
I love what you said about remembering and sensing your mom with the flowers and butterflies, which I definitely think point is to paradise.
Great answers! Thanks for contributing your thoughts!