This is what happened to me recently. I know the triggers, but their power isn’t always able to reach my inner core as they did this time. Perhaps the sudden death of my neighbor’s mother did it. Is the spirit of grief in our cul-de-sac making me vulnerable? Perhaps it is the change of seasons. That always seems to make the missing strong.
Maybe those two factors caused me to be incredibly sensitive to the sermon Sunday. The topic we’re studying is prayer—big prayers. And the scripture the preacher used was the story of Elijah against the prophets of Baal and the resurrection of Lazarus. Both of the scriptures played an important role in my faithFULL prayers for my sister. I could not control my tears in the service. The grief too strong to fight.
But rather than focusing on the grief and the questions that were stirred up in me, I must tell you the faithfulness of God.
My sister’s death was a huge blow to my faith. I didn’t doubt God’s love or ability; I doubted my sensitivity to His voice the effectiveness of my prayers. God knows this.
I love His gentleness with us. He didn’t snatch up my grief yesterday so that I didn’t feel the pain, nor did He rebuke me for my unbelief. He allowed me to experience an answer to prayer I prayed before church yesterday. A tangible response to my plea. An acknowledgement that He hears me, and I Him.
I had felt to pray: “Lord, let the cloud of your presence fall on us today. Let us feel the mist on our faces. Envelop us in your love.”
It didn’t happen in church.
But about six hours later I felt a nudge to walk the beach. It was a beautiful sunny day. As I crossed over onto the island and drove to where I like to park, I could see the fog rolling in from the distance. And by the time my feet hit the sand and began walking down the beach the fog had begun to get thicker and thicker until the entire strip of coast-line was enveloped in its presence.
He had answered my prayer.
He is so faithful my friends. So many lessons can be learned in the fog of grief. But yesterday He reminded me of His presence even in the misty cloud that seems to obstruct and inhibit what we think we need the most. Sometimes we need the fog to open our ears to His voice as He did for Peter, James, and John on the mountain.
Grief always sends me on my knees in search for Him. His presence. I did not hear a loud voice come from the cloud surrounding me, just a gentle “yes”.
He was there.