Proverbs of Ashes in a World Burning Down

In my Scripture reading early yesterday morning, I chased a rabbit trail that landed me in a cul de sac with Job 13. I got so preoccupied I was late for work then, once I got there, still couldn’t keep my thoughts from circling around that curb. In the corner shadow of more substantial themes, the Book of Job gives impressive credence to the adage, “With friends like these, who needs enemies?” God bless them, they started out well but time took its toll and the temptation to offer explanation for human suffering became intolerable. When in doubt, after all, what better coping skill could there be than dogmatism? To the reader’s measurable relief, chapter 13 marks the spot where Job indelicately invites his friends to shut up. Unroll the scroll to verse 5.

“Oh that you would keep silent, and it would be your wisdom!” Then a little further down to verse 13, “Let me have silence, and I will speak, and let come on me what may.”

The show stealer in the chapter is the temerarious declaration the pummeled mortal makes in reference to his God. “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him.” (13:15 AV) The HCSB says it like a boxer spitting blood from a busted lip through broken teeth: “Even if He kills me, I will hope in Him.”

But one of the things I love best about Spirit-breathed Scripture is that the Spirit reserves the right to animate a passage that has never attracted our attention before. For me yesterday morning, it was the first half of the 12th verse. Job, to his friends:

“Your maxims are proverbs of ashes.”

For all we know the man made the statement sitting in a heap of ashes like he’d positioned himself in Job 2:8. Of course, it’s easy to miss the ashes in that early scene because we’re too disturbed by him scraping his loathsome sores with a piece of broken pottery. When these words come out of Job’s mouth in 13:12, one commentator suggested he may have gathered some ashes in his palm and blown them into the wind in case his observers were inclined to miss the point. Ashes symbolized loss, grief, mourning and death to the ancients and at times were the wares of sorrowful repentance. The idea probably germinated with God’s words to Adam after the fall in the Garden when death was born.

“For you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”

Mourners commonly practiced demonstrating their profound grief by wrapping their waists in skin-rawing sackcloth and covering their heads in ashes. At least it showed. Don’t you sometimes wish our shattered hearts would at least dignify our suffering enough to show up? Tamar, Mordecai and Daniel displayed their anguish with ashes but here’s the irony: so did Job’s three friends. Yep. At the very first glimpse of him.

And when they saw him from a distance, they did not recognize him. And they raised their voices and wept, and they tore their robes and sprinkled dust on their heads toward heaven. And they sat with him on the ground seven days and seven nights, and no one spoke a word to him, for they saw that his suffering was very great. (Job 2:12-13)

 But then Job opened his mouth and released his lament and they opened theirs.

And their maxims were proverbs of ashes.

I never noticed the wording before because maxims had yet to be promoted to our primary means of communication. Shoot, a good maxim today could bring you a whopping ten thousand likes. We’ve developed such an appetite for maxims, we’re bored to oblivion by actual messages from our pastors. We demand twenty minutes of strung-together maxims or we’re staying home and surfing podcasts. Give us tweetables. Quotes we can stick on a picture and post.

And I’m neck deep in the middle of it splashing around in my floaties while people are down at the bottom of the lake drowning. This is not a rant for more meaningful maxims. It’s just a reminder to me today that my aphorisms don’t mean a flying flip in a frying world. Nobody’s likely to thank me in heaven for that life-changing tweet. I love Twitter. Good grief, I love all the things. And, man, do I ever appreciate a good aphorism. It’s fun. Quippy. Can even make people think.

For five seconds.

Mind you, five seconds is better than none. But let’s take it for what it is then get to the real business of ministering to the mournful. They are crowded around us, blinded by the darkness, flailing, feeling around in thin air for somebody’s warm-blooded hand. And sometimes the mournful is you. Me. Sometimes the mournful zips itself up in our ruddy skin and makes it hard to get out of bed. And, Good Lord, no wonder we’re depressed. We’ve turned social media into a spiritual discipline. We’ve made a diet of cheese puffs, bloating our souls with air and calling ourselves healthy.


The thing is, I can’t get the Oakland warehouse fire off my mind. That’s where this whole thing started. I don’t want to get it off my mind right away anyway. That community and those terror-stricken families will need prayer for a long time. I know that because my family has lived in the ashes of murderous flames for decades. I know that because the evening before the news broke out about the fire in Oakland, my husband brought up the fire in his childhood garage over supper with our daughters.

We know the story by heart. I knew it by our third date. Keith and his big brother were knee-high, plump-faced preschoolers playing in the garage when a slender river of gasoline rolled underneath the water heater and ignited. Both boys were burned. Both boys rushed to the hospital. Both admitted. Both treated for several days. Both desperately prayed for. Both were impossible to imagine living without. One went home with his mommy. The other went home with Jesus.

A couple of years ago, Keith and I were sitting with his parents at a picnic table on the porch of a burger joint we often frequented. The men were sitting on one side of the table and we women were facing them from the other. When Keith got up to fetch our order from the carry-out window, my father-in-law leaned across the table and, in a tone dripping with tenderness, said to me, “Baby, today is the anniversary of Duke’s death.”

My eyes immediately shot to my mother-in-law. She did not say a word. She couldn’t. Even all those years later. She reached in her pocket for a tissue and blotted her wet eyes. I can hardly write these words without doing the same. I hugged her, squeezed her hand, picked at my food like she did then sobbed all the way home. Every loss etches an absence. But tragedy threatens to carve an abyss.

Especially a fire. Its destructive force doesn’t just dent, cut or bruise. Fire has the capacity to consume. It has the capacity to take something teeming with life and vitality – a church, for instance, or a home or, God help us, a life – and reduce it to ashes. Something weighty into dust in the gust. I think maybe that’s what makes such vivid imagery of ash: its cold reduction of something to almost nothing.

Forgive me for being so graphic. I don’t do this often. But, the thing is, we are the Body of Christ commissioned to flesh Him out through the ministries of His Spirit to this graphic global darkness. We flip on our screens or open our feeds daily to news of tragedies somewhere on this aching orb. Unless we’ve let our hearts grow cold to shield us from the harsh elements, we shake our heads and shed some tears and at times drop faces to palms and sob. We summon Jesus to hold the hurting and to comfort them in a way that is otherworldly. In a way that is deeply personal because, if we possess a whiff of wisdom, we know that no two hearts process loss the same way. In the wording of Proverbs 14:10, each heart knows its own bitterness.

No two losses are exactly the same. And not all tragedies are equal. There is no one-size-fits-all remedy for the pain-ravaged.

Our maxims are not only a waste of breath. Of electronic space. They are offensive to the suffering. Sometimes even things we know to be true are better left unsaid for a long, long time. In the presence of those suffering, we say less and do more. We still our tongues and loose our hands. We mute our volume and vacuum their dens. We save our words then spill them like a dam breaking before God. Because He’s the only one whose feet don’t fail in a tidal wave of suffering. He’s the only one who really knows the whys and hows and wheres and whens. And He won’t tell us now. But He’ll tell us then.

Yesterday morning it was the word “ashes” that took me on that rabbit trail. I kept thinking about what I’d read in a news article about the first responders carefully, “reverently” removing the ashes from the Oakland warehouse. “Reverently.” That was the description the writer used and I appreciated it even if it made me want to wail. So I looked up every time ashes are found in the Scriptures. I found this among them.

The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me,

because the Lord has anointed me

to bring good news to the poor;

he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,

…to comfort all who mourn; to grant to those who mourn in Zion—

to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes.

(Isaiah 61:1,3)

This section had long-since been dear to me but that’s the beauty of research. That’s the beauty of looking to scholars God has equipped with spiritual gifts of knowledge. You learn something brand new. I’ll let Dr. J.N. Oswalt tell it to you the way he told it to me in New International Commentary on the Book of Isaiah: (emphasis his)

“In 60:17 the prophet promised the best (gold) for the better (bronze), but here the Servant/Messiah promises the best for the worst…The picture of the mourner, with ashes on the head, wrapped in sackcloth, with a spirit crushed by despair, is replaced by the picture of a party goer with a beautiful headdress, smelling of costly oil, and wearing a garment of praise.[1] 

 There is a wordplay in the Hebrew that makes it especially spectacular. The peʾēr, “beautiful headdress,” replaces ʾēper, “dust.”[2]

If anybody at all is still reading, I’m almost done. Just take this part of Isaiah 61 in one more time.

to grant to those who mourn in Zion—

to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes,

the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit.[3]

Instead of, instead of, instead of.

I want to be there on the scene for at least a few thousand rounds of “instead of.” Sometimes we see those things happen right here in this earthly realm but other times it’s too late. Their tragedies took their lives. I want to see Jesus replace the ashes on the heads of the grief stricken in this lifetime with the headdresses of deliriously happy party-goers. Yes, party-goers. Don’t even try to talk me out of that. I want some parties when I get to heaven. I want to see some people shake a leg who’d suffered paralysis here. People dine in style who’d starved to death in squalor here. I want to see Jesus unwind the awful sackcloth from those who’d mourned on this earth and spin them around in garments of praise.

That’s what I want. I want to see my mother-in-law in a party hat laughing her head off. And I want to meet my brother-in-law. And sit cozy by a fire and never get burned.

Because this life is the hint of hell for a whole lot of people. But there is a God in heaven weaving eternity from an endless string of insteads. No proverbs of ashes from His lips. Just straight up promises.









[1] Oswalt, J. N. (1998). The Book of Isaiah, Chapters 40–66 (p. 567). Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.

[2] Oswalt, J. N. (1998). The Book of Isaiah, Chapters 40–66. Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.


111 Responses to “Proverbs of Ashes in a World Burning Down”

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  1. 1
    Shelly Elston says:

    Beautiful, Beth. Thank you for sharing your “rabbit trail” with us. I”ll be pondering what you wrote for awhile because it is worth it. xo

  2. 2
    Patsy says:

    Such pain. We lost much of the Smoky Mountains, several homes, businesses and above all lives last week. So much pain. Someday in heaven I will see their joy.

  3. 3
    Sharon Etheridge says:

    That was well said. I loved it. I have been my mother’s caregiver for almost ten years. She died and I looked at her lifeless body and thanked God she wasn’t suffering anymore but I dearly hope she is having a party with my dad. I thought I was ready for her passing but it is more painful than I could have imagined. I hope I can survive the funeral. I loved all your words. Hugs! Sherry_crochets

  4. 4
    Nancy Minor says:

    Beth you moved me to tears! This world is full of terrible things. Heaven is our reward! Thank you for your beautiful heart!

  5. 5
    Claudia Nutgrass says:

    Father burnt up in a house fire. This read was very good very helpful and very nice. UC I’ve been a Christian for over 50 years. Single Christian and 300 days of getting the house fixed stopped to help. Sister in Christ

  6. 6
    Jennifer says:

    Yes- me too- me too.
    I have been pondering on all the fires lately and loss.

  7. 7
    Betty M says:

    Dear Beth,
    I am studying the book of Isaiah ever since our NT lesson on Sun was Is 11 about the shoot that comes from the stump of Jesse. The promise of the Messiah who will redeem His people from the ashes of mourning to a day of gladness when the leopard will lie down with the goat the calf, lion and yearling together and a little child shall lead them. What a promise of peace. I know God loves a great party and there will be one some day the likes we can not even imagine. My handicapped son and daughter will no longer be hampered by limitations and my poor arthritic knees will allow me to frolic like a young calf from the stall.
    Our Whole existence is compressed to 144 characters and even a good article must be 600 words or less to keep the attention of a largely attention deficit crowd.
    Yes, ashes are so final. While others are mourning in ashes (as I think also of the Gatlinburg Tn people who came back to nothing after terrible fires) we in Dakota are being buried alive by 10 ft snow drifts.
    As my lamp on my work table sheds it’s golden glow on sifting snow just outside my window and I know most creatures out there are having to endure sub zero windchills, I am still grateful that I am warm, my family is safe and I shall see Christ. My eyes will one day behold Him and not another! Praise to Him Who will rise from ashes a new Heaven and a new earth. Even so come Lord Jesus!
    So sorry Beth to hear of that tragedy now so long ago I do remember the horrible details of it all. My father once was burned over 30 % of his body in a freak fire with mostly third degree burns. He had to be especially careful on these cold winter nights that he didn’t get frost bite out side taking care of animals as that is what Dakota people do best.
    Til we see the Lord of the Dance!

  8. 8
    Amy Dockery says:

    I read every word. Deeply needed at this time- for such a time as this- both personally and in our world. God promises reward for us who seek him, diligently seek him. I, too, believe it. I find it awesome how he not only fills us with hope and faith when we dig into his word, he even raises our IQs. When the walls fall, the brains can breathe and expand- what an awesome and brilliant, lovely Father we have. Your story, Keith’s story, my story, our story- God’s grace and mercy, God’s redemption, restoration, and renewal. Beauty for ashes. Can’t wait. Daily, I watch, listen, and expect. Daily. Not only can He, but He will. His words says so. Much love and blessing to you sister.

  9. 9
    Nicole K says:

    I’m speechless and I’m glad of that. Just, thank you Beth.

  10. 10
    Mary G. says:

    I am praying that one day a friendship although over a distance I was always so blessed with every encounter that relationship now seems to be buried in ashes will one day be beautifully healed by God. Be it in this life or the next. Words I know though they were not spoken carelessly, still can bring tears to these eyes. Trying so hard to reach around the confusion of conclusions, assumptions and then spoken publicly. Without direct communication until both are allowed to speak, tell their side of the story resolution cannot be found. Only assumptions made. Social media is not the road to take in knowing someone’s heart or their intentions. It is also my sincere prayer that it does not go unnoticed that although my heart has been broken by words spoken, that I have not taken one step in retaliation in word or deed and never will.

  11. 11
    Lori says:

    thank you. thank you.

  12. 12
    Patty says:

    Beth, your words are so timely right now for our area that just experienced the worst fires in one hundred years. So far, 14 people died in the wildfire while trying to escape. Two women died of a heart attack while trying to escape. A mom and her two daughters (8 and 12)died while escaping on foot. Leaving behind a husband and a son. A horrific way to die. Yet, in all the tragedy, there were miracles after miracles. The mom and two daughters were saved a month ago along with the husband and the son. One couple was led out on foot by a man they can’t find to thank him . Then, the Oakland fire. My heart goes out to all the families who are suffering loss. Completely heartbroken for all the families who lost their loved ones.

  13. 13
    Carol Howard says:

    My brother died in a house fire 35 years ago. My parents never were the same after that. They grieved so much. When they went home to Jesus I knew they didn’t have to think about that anymore.

  14. 14
    Audrey says:

    Beth, thank you. You have eloquently explained the truth. I am still struggling with grief. The loss of my mother 24 years ago. The loss of my father 2 years ago. I am 36 years old…and the longing for my parents is agonizing at times. Especially because I feel like I have no place to belong in this world. I have a beautiful daughter that will never know what it is like to have her grandparents come eat with her at school on grandparents day. I would give anything to be able to call my mom on the phone and visit. I trust that God is sovereign and His ways are just. I now long for the day when Jesus will wipe away all tears.

    I love you to pieces. May God continue placing His anointing on you.

  15. 15
    Mpho says:

    Thank you for writing this.Just what I needed to wake up from my slumber.It reminded me that I can still end the year strong. 2016 has been hard and extraordinarily challenging ,weariness has set in. As such I have deviated to the quick maxim :),time in the word is far in-between.I appreciate your candor.It has helped me and many others.
    “I want to be there on the scene for at least a few thousand rounds of ‘instead of’.

  16. 16
    Sarah Philpott says:

    Oh, Beth. I haven’t been on here for so long and I show up to read this. I am in tears at the loss of my biological family who live just down the road and are still here on this earth. But there are so many who are hurting so very much that my pain is just a prick. I needed the reminder. Praying for all who are hiring.

    • 16.1
      Mary Gegare says:

      Dear Sarah,
      I hope you know how beloved you are by your Heavenly Father and that He is so proud to call you His own. I am so sorry for the loss of your biological family. That is a pain that cuts like a sword whether we have lost them thru death or thru obstacles where there seems no way to resolution. I pray God will bring healing to that situation in a way that only He can, and to your heart and soul that is so precious to Him.I hope and pray with all my heart that you will know that God never looks on us and thinks there are other people in the world suffering so much more than you. Don’t forget if you were the only that needed to be saved and healed of a wounded heart He would have because He loved you that much – and because He loves you that much He intercedes for you with much love and tenderness with every care that comes across your path. God bless you dear sister. In Christ, Mary

  17. 17
    Sharon J. says:

    Headdresses of deliriously happy party goers…. yes looking forward to beauty for ashes…Seeing my paraplegic daughter in law dance…
    Thank you

  18. 18
    Deborah Mott says:

    Thank you for ministering to the mournful. I am one whose been covered in ashes a long long time. Beauty is promised! How listening to and reading your story and Keith’s and Job’s has helped multitudes of people. Genesis 50:20! Hint of hell to bring many to heaven? (Christ actually went to hell for us is what helps me accept that rruth.) Your stories and ministry helped me write my story as God directed me to do so. Monday eve at Bible study the group sang the song “Beauty for Ashes” over me in prayer!!! It was fist Bible study since I turned in book to publisher after three hard (almost died) years of writing it! Now you write this blog❤️Another confirmation of same theme. Thank you. One thing Job’s friends did right: they showed up …they listened for three days ,,,that I liked …they were willing to invest and ministered by time invested… listening?
    We can start out right but still miss it, LORD HELP US! Help us not miss it…help us learn and not repeat what Job’s friends did…but live Jesus’ way! Thanks Beth for all…

  19. 19
    Anne B says:

    This was a lengthy read but well worth the time. I loved the visual words at the end. To think of the party in heaven and how exact 360 it will be from this hellish world we currently live in. Praise for our Great great God who will make all things new!! Thanks for sharing this word Beth

  20. 20
    sandy lombardo says:

    Thank you for your insight! You have blessed my morning! Thank you for the visuals of great sadness and suffering and of great rejoicing. Thank you for this Scripture:
    The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me,
    because the Lord has anointed me
    to bring good news to the poor;
    he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
    …to comfort all who mourn; to grant to those who mourn in Zion—
    to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes.
    (Isaiah 61:1,3)

    We serve an amazing God!

  21. 21
    Pam says:

    Thank you Beth; you have such a gift. We are doing your Daniel study right now, and after each video I simply sit and am astonished at how our Almighty God is using you to touch so many hearts. Praise the Lord! Bless you Beth.

  22. 22
    Lisa Howard says:

    Beautiful. Thank you for your incredible Spirit-filling insights. And the vocabulary lesson…I had to look up at least 5 words

  23. 23
    Debbie says:

    Thank you for the reminder this morning… that if I had nothing else to be grateful for I can be so grateful for the “instead of”. But oh we have so much to be grateful for, in the midst of the ash heap HE IS FAITHFUL to keep His promises. LOVE YOU Beth.

  24. 24
    Lea Peters says:

    Thank you for describing the agony of loss in tragedy. Ashes remain. Unanswered questions. But God.

    Yes, thank you.

  25. 25
    Sue Belcher says:

    Oh Beth! Thank you for sharing this post; only God knows how it has both sweetened & challenged my soul today! Ashes are all around me – 4 friends who have “lost” spouses these last weeks, others looking ahead to the same emptiness as cancer works to its dreaded end. Christian, God fearing friends! I live in East TN where wildfires last weekend CONSUMED parts of our Great Smoky Mountains, reducing all in its path to ASHES! Beautiful people made in God’s image, a mother & her children, couples dying together, many dying alone, many still unaccounted for & just GONE! Reduced to ashes in a 1200 degree fire, reduced to ash that, for some families, could only be “weighed”! God, the horror of it & fires still smoulder in the logs & stumps, ready to ignite – like sin, and consume again if conditions become “just right”!

    We have become masters at ministering through our social media devices with our emojis, quips & quotes; usually not even conscious that we are competing at times with each other! Hands on caring for folks, praying “with” others while holding their hand -PRESENT in their world , not “at” them online – ASHES! I only partly understood til now, how this is being used to separate us, disconnect us emotionally from each other. It’s fast communication & serves a great purpose when needed and great avenue for prayer needs/requests. BUT, as you said so beautifully, our words & “missives” as a friend calls mine, have taken the place of “going”, knocking on the door with a cupcake & coffee, tears & ears to hear hurts and hands to “do” the work of the the ministry as Jesus teaches! Thank you Beth! May God use me to help bring beauty and garnents of praise to those who are right now reduced to ashes in their hearts! I write too many words, so thanks for listening to my heart! Sue B.

  26. 26
    Becky says:

    Thank you, Beth. I woke up this morning with a song’s chorus running through my head. It’s Alive in You, and the chorus says “You are God, You’re the Great I Am, Breath of Life, I breathe You in. Even in the fire, I’m alive in You.”

    Of course, that was before I read your beautiful post. And I cried all the way through. The commentary you shared about Isaiah 61:1,3 was like a blanket of peace to my soul. I think of the tragedies that seem magnified during a season like Christmas- the Oakland warehouse fire, but also the precious family who lost their sweet toddler from the alligator attack in Orlando this summer, the family that is from my community here in metro Atlanta that just lost a father and daughter in a horrific car accident, another family who mourns their son in their first Christmas without him, for my sister who is divorced and lonely and dealing with layers of pain, and the list goes on. My heart can hardly take it and I don’t know most of the people I mentioned.

    Thank you for this: “BUT there is a God in heaven weaving eternity from an endless string of insteads. No proverbs of ashes from His lips. Just straight up promises.”

    If we aren’t reminded of the Truth, we will drown in our grief. Lord, help me to say less and do more this season to be Christ’s hands to those in need around me.

  27. 27
    Julie says:

    Amen Beth. What an awe inspiring article. As you said…but there is a God in Heaven weaving eternity from an endless string of instead she. Glory to God. Let us pray for all the weary, the grieving, the persecuted, the lonely. Amen.

  28. 28
    Peggyann Calderwood says:

    WOW!!!!!!!! thank you Beth.
    Always remember Jesus Loves You
    Mark 10:27

  29. 29
    Karen says:

    Thank you for sharing this Beth. Of course you have such a way with words I feel like I was sitting with you and your family at the hamburger stand. I myself feeling an urgency to be apart of what’s important. To come along side those in their suffering instead of standing at a healthy distance with a fear that if I get to close my world will come undone. Nothing is beyond His grace. I pray to be His vessel to another and accept Jesus’ S love and comfort from another when my world does come undone. God restores all things! I know it I believe it I’m betting my life on it. Blessings to you and your dear family.

  30. 30
    Ashley says:

    I love that you went there, Beth. In a world with so much pain, I’ve grown weary of our western one-liner Christianity. I’m tired of snappy one liners. In this Advent season, we acknowledge that creation still groans, right alongside the fact that we have so much to be thankful for. We must acknowledge both the joy and the pain, and not many are willing to do both.

  31. 31
    Janet Musselwhite says:

    Thank you, Beth, for sharing your ‘rabbit trail’. I’ve had many of them and yes they are apt to take much time but it’s time well spent. One thing you shared really touched me, Proverbs 14:10 “each heart knows it’s own bitterness”. Like you I was subjected to childhood sexual abuse and that scripture really helps me because I know people cannot see or comprehend the pain I experienced. It’s not that I want attention but recently I realized there are things that trigger a flood of memory and I have no way of explaining why I’m all of a sudden overwhelmed with grief. It’s not something you can be casual about but there’s nothing in me that wants to say it out loud. I have trusted ones who will listen and most of all I have a Savior Who hears me when I cry. God Bless you and your ministry,

  32. 32
    Stevie Stevens says:

    I love you, Beth Moore. I promise there will be a party in heaven as a friend of mine was memorialized yesterday and she is in heaven planning said party.

  33. 33
    Melany says:

    This is a lot to ponder. As a Tennessean who grew up near where the wildfires happened last week, I’ve had flames on my mind as well. There are so many stories of people who literally had to drive/walk through that fire trying to escape. Some made it out and some did not. A story of a mother and her young daughters who all died attempting to run away on foot has particularly devastated me. I was sad to hear about the Oakland fire as well. After the Smoky Mountain blaze, it was shocking to see pictures of roads I have driven countless times, places that have been havens of peace and sanctuary to me, surrounded by an inferno. The whole scenario led me to think of many people I know who have figuratively been “through the fire” during the past few years and have had their peace and sanctuary disturbed, and, in some cases, consumed. So, I really appreciate the insight into how to help grieving people. Love to Keith’s family and to all who are dealing with the ongoing aftermath of tragedy!

  34. 34
    Tammy says:

    Thank you for this Beth. So beautifully said.

  35. 35
    Lynne says:

    Amen, sister. Amen.

  36. 36
    Glenda pogue says:

    As I’m reading this , I am crying from depression and no joy for many reasons. Death of family members……friends………my sins…….. Thank you for this beautiful, yes beautiful, reminder……I will party in heaven with those I have lost! Love you more than you can imagine!

  37. 37
    Dawn says:

    So good! Enjoyed reading this. You are so right about tongues being silent but hands helping. Sometimes just being there means more than any words could. Showing and demonstrating care and concern means so much, as well as praying.

  38. 38
    Vickie Gainous says:

    Oh, Beth, I couldn’t read this without tears. So beautifully said. My son lives in the neighborhood of the Oakland fire and my heart has been aching over such a tragedy. Thank you for reminding us of hope.

  39. 39
    Valerie Geib says:

    I am with you, Beth. I am ready for a whole lot of ‘instead of’. Along with the suffering in Oakland, I cannot get my mind off a family from the Christian high school that lost a son. Mom and son were driving along an a piece of metal flew up from the road and went through the windshield cutting the young man’s carotid artery. The mom drove to the hospital with her fingers trying to stop the blood flowing out of her dear son’s neck. Despite thousands of prayers, the Lord chose to take him home. Devastating. I am lost in the pain of this family. I didn’t even know him personally. He was a football player at my alma mater. My youngest played football. I recognize the football player as my own. I am crushed for them, my heart aches and the promise of the instead of gives my heart hope as I continue to lift them up in prayer.

  40. 40
    Teresa Stout says:

    Thank you Beth for these timely words.

  41. 41
    Kelly says:

    It is interesting that I read your blog today. I had just submitted the name of my speech for my Toastmaster’s meeting tomorrow – “A moment of silence please’. For all that has happened in the last month, there has been legitimate ‘breaking news’, along with which are breaking hearts. My challenge to my group tomorrow will be to take a moment to think for yourself, to pray for peace, to hear the good news again and again – “For unto us a Child is Born, unto us a Son has been given”.

  42. 42
    Brittany King says:

    Thank you for this post. My family recently has gone through a very traumatic loss and I love the end of this as it has been my prayer too. My two sister-in-laws and I are attending your conference in February and we can’t wait! The Lord has used our tragedy to draw us nearer to Him and for that I’m thankful. I never would have asked to raise two boys alone or watch my sister-in-law do the same with her 6 month old, but how thankful I am to know where our husbands are after their passing and that God’s promises are to give us hope and joy.

  43. 43
    Ann Thiede says:

    Timely words, Beth. Many mourners around this time of year. May I be the doer much more than the speaker. But I do love pithy sayings.

  44. 44
    Crystal says:

    Beth, this was so beautifully said and such a timely word!

    I told Patricia when I saw her in Nashville last month, that I don’t think it’s possible this side of Heaven for you to know the impact you have had on the Kingdom and how many of us love you and are so thankful for your ministry. I believe God will have a video to show you. You’ll need a BIG box of popcorn as it will be VERY LONG!

    Much love to you!

  45. 45
    Carol Hulin says:

    Beth, never apologize for going down rabbit trails. Those trails always lead to a deeper understanding of His Word and closer fellowship with Him and His people.
    Thank you for going down rabbit trails.

  46. 46
    terry covert says:

    Wowzer … Well said … in a world literally burning down around us we need to be bearers of joy [the joy of the Lord]

  47. 47
    Debbie Scherrer says:

    Beautiful and moving. The fires here in Gatlinburg, taking the lives of young and old alike ……those promises – we are holding tightly

  48. 48
    Diane Allen says:

    I understand your MIL’s pain. My 17year old son is home with Jesus. 8 years. This holiday season is difficult. We miss him so much! Our hope is in Him to see our son again! Praise Him!

  49. 49
    Meredith Kimbrough says:

    Just a simple amen!

  50. 50
    Courtney says:

    Still thinking of your LPL Youngstown Ohio, and looking to the one in Toledo, so thanks for this message, xoxo cb

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