Encouragement for widows and basic Christianity

Encouragement for widows and basic Christianity

Kathleen Maxwell-Rambie

Copyright August 2021

“Kathleen, this is Ann,” the woman said. “I need your help.”

“Ann, is everything OK?” I asked.

“No, Bill is dead. I received a phone call that he collapsed and he is gone.”

“No!” I responded with a loud voice.

I did not want anyone to experience the pain I had experienced as a widow.

Since that day when my friend called for help, I have had numerous acquaintances who have lost their mate. My heart is tender toward them.

None of us have any guarantees in life. Bad things happen to good people, and it is in our broken places that God’s love, grace and hope see us through the pain. I speak from experience.

If you have lost a mate, take heart. There are some wonderful promises in scripture. If you have not, you have a wonderful opportunity to practice the basics of Christianity.

James 1:27 tells us, “Look after the fatherless and the widow in their distress.”

Widows and widowers are close to the heart of God. It is easy to feel alone, lonely and wonder where you fit, when you are no longer married. All these feelings are natural, as part of you is now gone. Scripture says that when we marry, we become one; therefore, when a mate leaves this earth, part of you is missing.

In my journey as a widow, several scriptures became very special to me.

Psalms 68:5 proclaims God’s character and reads, “A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows is God in his holy dwelling. God sets the lonely in families, he leads forth the prisoners with singing.” God is compassionate toward those who find their life in ashes, and he heals the broken-hearted.

God’s heart is tender toward the fatherless. Many children are fatherless for a variety of reasons: abandonment, prison, addiction, just to name a few. God will defend the widow, be a daddy to the fatherless, and he cares for those who are lonely.

I have personally seen how God has defended me in situations when I did not have a husband to protect me and look out for my best interests. Knowing I had a special place in the heart of God gave great comfort and confidence.

Isaiah 1:17 reads, “Seek justice, encourage the oppressed, defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow.”

If you are widowed, you can hang on to how special you are to God. There were many times I have prayed and asked God to send someone to plead my case, to help me, and he did.

My dryer broke and was under warranty. I was going through a lot of hassle to get it fixed. I asked God for help, and the assistant to the president of the company oversaw my case and came to my defense after weeks of waiting. Ask God to raise up those who will defend you.

Exodus 22:22 reflects God’s heart for widows. It reads, “Do not take advantage of a widow or orphan. If you do, and they cry out to me, I will certainly hear their cry. My anger will be aroused, and I will kill you.”

It is a good thing we live by grace and not law anymore. This scripture shows us that God hears the cry of the orphan and the widow. He does not tolerate treating them unjustly.

James 1:27 gets right to the point about what is important in our Christian walk. It reads, “Religion that God our father accepts as pure and faultless is this; to look after the orphans and widows in their distress.” It is just that simple.

Sometimes in our busy world, we forget to do the basics of Christianity and forget what God says is pure and what is right.

Is there a foster child, a child without a mom or dad, a widow or widower who needs your help? Perhaps you could mentor or include them in your lunch or dinner plans? Looking after these who are right outside our back door is important.

“I have come that you may have life and life to the full,” Jesus said.

If you are a widow or widower, you have a God-given right to live a full life.

I’m living proof that starting over isn’t easy, but God is right there to help and guide you.

My late husband has been gone almost 12 years now, and I remarried eight years ago. I have a good life now, but I will never forget the kindness of God and people during my hard years of being a widow. I am forever grateful for all I learned in that season.

We are very blessed to have plenty of opportunities to practice the heart of God to the orphans and widows in our community. Look

around, and let’s get busy in this mission field God has placed before us.

And for those widowed, I ask God to richly bless, defend, comfort, heal and fill you with hope.

Kathleen Maxwell-Rambie is a native of the Hill Country, a writer and speaker. She is passionate about helping others discover the joy of walking with God. At 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 7, at The Kroc Center in Kerrville, she will begin leading a study, The Gathering: Bringing God into everyday life. For more information or to register, contact her at [email protected] or 830-377-8061 or visit her website, www.kathleenmaxwellrambie.com. For opportunities to mentor area youth, contact her at the email above.