God Holds Us Close

Many of you know that my precious Dad (Elmer B. Shellenberger) passed away a month ago. He was almost 93.

He was my hero.

When I was a little girl, I asked him to build me something:

“Daddy, will you make me one of those things that people stand behind when they speak?”

“You mean . . . a podium?”

“Yeah, that’s it.”

“Honey, why do you want a podium?”

“So I can speak, Daddy.”

I watched as he gathered some old wood and during the next week carefully constructed a little three-foot-podium that I could stand behind in our garage

I gathered all the kids in the neighborhood and they piled themselves between bicycles, basketballs, hula-hoops and skateboards in our garage while I stood behind my little pint-sized podium teaching them the stories of the Bible. Ha!

I have a lot of great memories of my dad (and also my mom who passed away in 2003), and I’m grateful for those.

But in the midst of wonderful stories, the path of grief remains.

Even though both parents are in heaven, I miss them on earth.

Many of you have lost someone through death, and you know first-hand how difficult the path of grief is.

I rejoice that we serve a God of extreme comfort.

He often comforts me through His Word.

He reaches right through the pages and holds me tightly in His arms.

That’s why I’ve attached this illustration today.

I want you to visually SEE what we can FEEL when we literally saturate ourselves in His Word.




I’m speaking in Fortville, IN this weekend.

I’d sure appreciate your prayers.

6 replies
  1. Deena
    Deena says:

    My prayers are with you for Indiana and as you and the Lord go down the path of grieving together. He loves you beyond our understanding. I lost my Mom five years ago but God has sustained me just like your illustration shows. Praying for you and your ministry!


  2. Pamela Uhl
    Pamela Uhl says:

    Susie, My 83 year old dad died 3 weeks ago. Part of my grief is, that as far as I know, he was not a believer. But my great comfort is in our God who is faithful to hear and answer those 32+ years of prayers for his salvation and to know that what our God does in the lives of others is not always visible to me (DUH!). So, though I do not know if my earthly father is in heaven, I do know beyond a shadow of a doubt that my heavenly Father loved him and “wooed” him to the end. And that is His awesome and sufficient TRUTH holding me.
    Praying for you, Susie.

  3. Nancy Prien
    Nancy Prien says:

    My Dad died in 64 I was 23 and he was wonderful. Died watching TV and I’m 76 now and I still see his face and miss him as my sweet Mom also who lived to be 83. I was lucky to be raised by Christian parents. Looking forward to our reunion in Heaven. God is good. Susie heard you in person in Decatur Illinois and love following you now. Thank You and God Bless You. ❤

  4. Marcia Greer,
    Marcia Greer, says:

    That really hits the spot… Just love God’s words enveloping our whole being. Yes Susie, praying for you in Indiana!

  5. Diane
    Diane says:

    Indeed you are right Susie. I lost my dad in 2000. Memories still come after all these years (a song I hear, a memory of us fishing together, etc.); they can even bring tears and sadness at times – in my humanness, I still miss him. I have also learned when we are weak in our humanness, the enemy will use those time to attack us and make us feel worse (even years later). The pain of grief is very real; though with time it can lessen. But we have a Wonderful God who does indeed wraps His arms around us and brings us comfort.


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