I really want to end this week on an upbeat note. My former posts this week have been deep, hard places. But I want you to know that grief no longer digs its claws in me or takes my breath away. The ache is still there, especially when the seasons change, but I’m okay. I’m more than okay.
I know beyond knowing that faith is a miracle. Faith that has been sifted like wheat, fallen to the depths, but restored in strength is a miracle. Faith that believes despite the seemingly victory of death is a miracle. You and I are that.
I’ve wondered why I’ve written of this pain this week, why I’ve resurrected the summer of 2010. But I’ve received so many prayer requests for loved ones, so many comments through e-mails and messages that I’ve been reminded of the universal”ness” of suffering and grief. I’ve felt a timeliness to my words which I give all credit to God’s leading.
I’ve been awakened to the reality that there is always somebody on the planet in the mire of sorrow. And the best remedy for sorrow is someone who gets it. Someone who has been there too. The sting of grief is not as strong when shared.
Job’s friends did their best counselling when they simply sat next to him in silence for 7 days. We need someone beside us. Satan’s best and most harmful lie is that we’re alone.
For me, and I know many others, the most healing story in the Bible while in the midst of grief is Jesus’ reaction at Lazarus’ tomb. Jesus, Resurrection Himself, who knew He was going to call Lazarus out of the grave in 5 minutes, cried. He stood at the tomb next to Mary B. and was with her in her pain in the moment. Not in the future. Not in the past. In the moment.
That’s Jesus. He doesn’t chide us for grieving. He gets it. And we are not alone. He is with us. Beside us. Even when we can’t feel Him. I know that is the hardest part of all, not being able to feel His presence. I could not feel Him when my Lazarus died.
I’ve been reminded this week of some of the last words uttered from Jesus as He hung on the cross: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
They are haunting words. Yet not long after He cried out in abandonment, He proclaimed, “It is finished.” Was the final work of Jesus the experience of abandonment? After the cross He not only understood our grief, He understood our emptiness in the midst of suffering.
All I can say is “thank you.” I’m so deeply indebted to the God who would not only suffer and die for me but would feel abandoned by His Father so He would understand this human heart one day.
That’s how much He loves us.
I pray you know.