Dear Ones,
Hope you are having a good day and staying warm. Burr! We woke up to -11 below. I still went to Aldi’s and then downstairs for coffee and muffins. Just a  minute ago I got a message that one of my friends from my former Bible Study died last night and now she is with the Lord! 
Devotions from Judy’s heart
Death is an absolute certainty, for all of us will experience death, unless the Lord comes back first. During COVID we have all had an opportunity to examine how we live and to realize what is important in light of eternity. II Cor. 5:6-8 (ESV) says, “So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. For we walk by faith, not by sight. Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord.” During this brief time on earth, we are away from the Lord but one day when we die; if we know the Lord, we will be at home with Him forever.  Maybe we have had lots of thoughts lately about our mortality and have seen death up closer than ever before; hopefully it has also changed how we live each day. We pray to Jesus who Himself has experienced death and is our ultimate destiny. Ever since the day we were born, we have been in the dying process and God decides our final moment on earth. We must accept our mortality and not run from it. We will of course, experience suffering in this life for we have never been promised that we will escape it; but it can become preparation as we realize God is most present with us in those dark times. We come to know how fragile our life is and how much we need Him. Our granddaughter loves plants and recently I went with her to a huge nursery where I have never seen so many varieties of plants. There are ones that even bloom in the dark like moonflowers, evening prim roses, and others that can only be viewed in all their glory after dark. Perhaps God is most present to us in those dark moments, in our times of suffering when we long for comfort. Our culture is one that wants comfort and not suffering. Perhaps that’s why there are so many addictions as people search for short term comfort. But it doesn’t work, for as soon the deep pain surfaces again, we try to find ways to numb our pain. But when we turn to the Lord, it can rather be a time that we can more readily receive His strength and love. He may not take us out of our situations, but is with us in the midst. Let us not fear death for it is a defeated enemy, but let us be changed by our trials during our time on earth, for it is preparation for an eternity with the Lord.
Challenge for today: Ask the Lord to help you bloom in those dark moments!
Blessings on your day and prayers and love, Judy