Rejoice With Me!

Vic BartruffDevotional, Featured4 Comments

Christmas day has taken on a new meaning for our family, for it was on Christmas morning three years ago that Jesus decided it was time for our daughter to join Him in heaven. Frankly, if Jesus had asked for my two cents worth about this part of His plan I would have likely given Him a piece of my mind I could not afford to lose. But God is gracious, He could have easily called home both our children within 30 days that year as a result of medical issues. We are so thankful He left our son with us and He has provided some great memories and tangible remembrances of our daughter.

God gifted both our children to be caring, compassionate and helpful. We have seen this in our son and it has been borne out in his work through numerous awards and recognition by his customers. The Magi, who came a long ways and at considerable expense, had great, intense, hard to contain, joy when they met the baby Jesus. When our daughter passed away we were flooded with cards, emails, stories, Facebook messages, personal contacts, from people literally all over the globe whose lives she had touched in her unassuming, quiet, caring manner. The statements and actions of the 1500+ that attended her memorial services and those that contacted us were like the gifts of the Magi. While there is still a void in our hearts she has inspired us to keep her unselfish helpful spirit thriving in our lives and those we are able to influence.

Before Beth went into the hospital she wrote a note to us which simply said, “Rejoice With Me.” I have to admit that it not an easy task for me. Pastor Chad explained that the writers of the Bible needed four words to try to express how elated the Magi were as they saw the baby Jesus. Intellectually, I know Beth is no longer wracked with pain, she is celebrating Jesus earthly birth face to face with Him and she is looking forward to the time we will be reunited. But I still struggle with having any kind of meaningful rejoicing that she is no longer with us.

Beth’s Facebook page is still active. Hardly a week goes by that there are not several postings directed to her, thanking her for how she has guided them and made a difference in their lives. Of course, each year on Christmas the comments are especially plentiful. This past year Beth would have turned 40 years old. We were pleasantly surprised when we received 20+ birthday cards and dozens of emails and Facebook posts. While these are not tangibly valuable, there value to us cannot be measured monetarily.

Pastor Chad reminded us that Jesus is our King to be honored; He is our God to worship; He is our Savior who provides our ability to have an eternal relationship with God. We cannot be with Jesus face to face right now, yet we can make this Christmas season about Jesus. We can set aside some specific time to be with Jesus. We can present Jesus to the world through our words and our actions.

Also, we can show Jesus’ love by thanking someone who has influenced our life; encourage someone who is sad or suffering; look for someone who has a need and find a way to meet that need; find someone who is hurting and help them. Do it because it would make Jesus happy.

Rejoice with me!

4 Comments on “Rejoice With Me!”

  1. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us, Beth was truly special and thought many of us how we should react when going through tough things. I am one of the lucky ones that spent a lot of time with her. She also mentored most of my children. We will always love you and miss you. Tim G

    1. Even though our hearts still ache as we miss Beth so much, God uses people like you to encourage us, and all the others whose lives Beth touched. Above all else Beth wanted to honor God. We can honor Beth by showing her positive qualities to others through our lives. Thank you again for your comments. They help push away the images of pain and suffering I saw in her final days and know she is in a better place and helps me towards rejoicing with her. Vic (dad)

  2. We were blessed to travel to Israel with Beth in 2010….what a wonderful time we had with her. She was always laughing, sharing and smiling. She did complain about one thing and then we all laughed at her…she told us she bought cheep luggage for this trip as she knew by the time she got home it would be really dirty…well, I think the wheels broke on the big suitcase on the first leg of the trip…when we landed in Jordan. What a blessing she was to all of us! Gene and Claire Simpson

    1. Beth was never one to let her physical circumstances get in the way of something she wanted to do. From age 15, when she was first diagnosed with Lupus, if there was something she thought God wanted her to do she would do it, and with a positive attitude. One year she went to Guatemala with Youth for Christ with no other friends. The arthritic symptoms of Lupus hit her at the beginning of the trip, but by God’s grace, her big smile and some new friends, she, and her duffle bag that was as big as her, made it through the trip with positive results.

      Thank you for your comments. God uses people like you to encourage us, and all the others whose lives Beth touched. Above all else Beth wanted to honor God. We can honor Beth by showing her positive qualities to others through our lives. When we were establishing the criteria for scholarship recipients at Corban, a key item was that they be “Beth like” in their attitude and actions. Thank you for helping us rejoice with her. Vic (dad)

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