Do you have “words to live by?”

Recently, when Layne called to share the heartbreaking news from the doctor, my unspoken mental response was, “What can I go to?”

Meaning, what is it within my realm of knowledge and understanding that I can hold onto so that this news does not derail my love for life, my passion, or – frankly – my faith.

I’m not impervious to crappy life situations/pain. But there is something about watching your child live in agony that takes pain to a new and different level. I like to “fix things,” and I quickly realized there was no “fixing this,” so I needed something to steady myself. I needed something to hold onto.

“The worst things are never the last things.” A quote from Fredrick Buechner came to mind.

“Oh, the joy of those who mourn, for they shall be comforted,” also rang true.

For days, those phrases rolled around in my head. Sometimes, it causes me to ponder them, thinking through “why” the worst things aren’t the last things. Other times, just having the words was enough.

This week, we are looking at the words from what could be called the greatest message/sermon ever written.

I hope you will take some time to make some of these statements your own.


Today, let’s start with the first three; each has three different translations.

Common English Bible (CEB) The Message (M) New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

Verse 3:

“Happy are people who are hopeless because the kingdom of heaven is theirs.” CEB

“You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you, there is more of God and God’s rule.” M

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” NRSV

Verse 4: “Happy are people who grieve because they will be made glad.” CEB

“You’re blessed when you feel you’ve lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you.” M

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” NRSV

Verse 5:

“Happy are people who are humble because they will inherit the earth.” CEB

“You’re blessed when you’re content with just who you are—no more, no less. That’s when you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can’t be bought.” M

“Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.” NRSV

Pick one. May it be your “go-to” words. I promise it will make a difference.

Grace and Peace,