According to Mary C. Neal, M.D. in her book, “7 Lessons From Heaven; How Dying Taught Me to Live a Joy-Filled Life,” there are two favorite bible verses that compete for the rank of #1. One as you might guess is John 3:16 – “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son…” The other is Jeremiah 29:11: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Mary says, “I find this little fact revealing because it shows what people most want to know and remember about God’s intentions toward us. In John’s gospel, I learn that God loves me. In Jeremiah, it’s that God has a plan for me. Both are exceptionally good news.”
I so agree with her when she later says that these verses are favorites because we humans need to know that we matter to the one who made us. That we have a future no matter how difficult life gets for us. We are all struggling hard to live life in a positive way when there are negatives all around us. We are hurting from the loss of loved ones; struggling with life challenges.
My beloved sister of 54, passed away on February 1st. She had high blood pressure, but was otherwise a healthy, active and adventurous young lady. Her loss breaks my heart. At her funeral our priest said something I will never forget: “We can welcome grief, at least be unashamed of our grief, for after all, when we grieve a loss it is because we loved greatly, and we are here on this earth to love.”
1 Corinthians 13:13: “And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.
Two Sunday’s later I was singing the Gloria in church and I had raised my voice to heaven when I saw in my mind my sister in heaven. Jesus’s arms were around her and she had the biggest, happiest grin on her face that I have ever seen. She had struggled with depression here on earth and at one time told my other sister that she couldn’t remember feeling real joy, she wasn’t sure what that felt like. So seeing her in heaven with such joy on her face, was healing for me.
“So if God does have a plan for me in all this mess, what is it and how can I find it?”
Source: 7 Lessons from Heaven; How Dying Taught Me to Live a Joy-Filled Life, by Mary C Neal, MD