How a Devotional Brought Comfort after a Sudden Death

We publish stories about the ways God's grace touches our lives. Sometimes, he even uses us to do it.

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Mysterious Ways blogger Adam Hunter

We’re working on our fourth issue of Mysterious Ways right now, and we’ve been encouraged by the great feedback we’ve received from our readers. It’s an awesome feeling to know our work is making a difference in people’s lives.

Planning an issue is tough. What stories do we choose? We make our best judgments based on our desire to provide variety and give our readers stories that speak to them. It’s that same way with Guideposts, Angels on Earth and our books, like Daily Guideposts and our new "Spirit Lifters" e-books.

An email I read this week from Maryanne Gaffney of Flanders, New Jersey, reminds me that while our Guideposts staff focuses on crafting the perfect issue, the perfect book, the perfect video to inspire our readers, there is always someone looking over our shoulder, gently guiding us—and it’s not just our editor-in-chief. Sometimes, what we publish is truly part of a greater plan:

“Every morning I read aloud to my husband the entry for the day from Daily Guideposts,” Maryanne wrote us. “But on Saturday, August 11, 2012, the morning didn’t progress as usual... My brother Billy, only 54, had a heart attack and there was nothing the paramedics and hospital staff could do. We lost him.

“Billy had been going through some tough years, tough times. We all hoped that things would start looking up for him. Instead, we all gathered at the hospital to say goodbye to our dear brother, father, son, uncle. Why?

“After a very long, emotional day we returned home. I asked my husband to please read the day’s Daily Guideposts entry to me before we headed to bed, if I could even sleep. He opened to the page and his eyes widened. The Bible verse for the day was: 'This brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.' (Luke 15:32)

“I guess the good Lord took Billy into his arms and has bigger plans for him than we can imagine. That brought me such comfort, and I was even able to sleep a bit that night knowing he is safe and sound with no more worries.

“We have to keep loving even though our hearts are broken. We have to keep believing even though we don’t understand why these things happen. Billy, we love you, we miss you... until we meet again.”

Maryanne’s email isn’t the only time we’ve heard about a story that was read at just the right moment. I’m currently editing an article for our February Guideposts by Nancy Seymour, wife of the late Notre Dame college football star Jim Seymour. She also found a source of comfort after her husband’s death—inspired by a story she read in Guideposts.

Has a story in Mysterious Ways—or one of our other publications—seemed to speak directly to you just at the perfect moment? We’d love to hear about it. Share your experience with us.

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