Parting with someone you love is never easy. Grief is a powerful emotion, capable of swallowing us if we are not rooted in the grace of God. When the loss was sudden and unexpected, the impact can be even more severe. I’ve traveled to the depths of grief and I know the terrain well. That valley has overwhelmed me as the waves of sorrow and loss beat against my weak vessel. But I have gleaned one important lesson from my travels in the valley of the shadow of death, God’s grace is always sufficient, He is always good.
Elizabeth Ann was born on this date, June 20, in 1979. The English meaning of her name is “my God is bountiful,” and God was indeed bountiful by allowing her to grace our lives. She was perfect and healthy, all that we had prayed that she would be, the answer to our many, many years of prayer. Our hearts were full of joy and thankfulness, our lives, perfect. But we learned quickly that tomorrow is never promised and life can be painfully short. God took our angel home to Heaven when she as only eighteen months old, breaking our hearts and crushing our souls. We were given little warning, the devastating illness swept through her immune system in a matter of hours, and within two days, we were saying goodbye to a huge part of our hearts.
Job suffered loss that was much deeper than ours. He lost everything-his substance, his health, the support system of his friends, and all ten of his children. Ten children, gone in a brief moment! I cannot even fathom the pain and unspeakable grief experienced by this godly man, it would have paralyzed me. Job was human and did grieve deeply, his words of pain are recorded for us. But did he abandon faith in his God, even though he didn’t understand God’s plan or purpose? No, he reaffirmed his devotion through these faith-filled words, “…the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away, blessed be the name of the LORD.” Though his world had become unstable, God remained God. What unshakeable faith; what undeterred trust; what an amazing ability to praise God even when the pain is overwhelming!
We will all travel our own hurtful valleys, and sometimes the depth of our pain can only be relieved through the Great Comforter. He alone understands that hurt and loss, He sees the burden we carry, the loneliness, the isolation, the broken heart when no one else does. He is waiting, willing to carry us when our strength is depleted, comfort us when we are inconsolable, and reassure us when our faith is weak. By faith I know that I will see my angel again, and what a reunion that will be! Until then, I rest firmly in my Father’s gentle hands. Give your pain to Him today and allow Him to bear it for you. He loves you and wants to walk the valley with you.
Hebrews 13:2 Be not forgetful to entertain strangers; for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.
Lord, thank You for Your comfort and love, even when my faith is weak and my strength is depleted. You promise never to leave us or forsake us, but sometimes in my grief and pain, I forget that promise and feel alone. In those moments, please gently remind me of Your presence and wrap those loving arms around me.<div class='sharedaddy sd-block sd-like jetpack-likes-widget-wrapper jetpack-likes-widget-unloaded' id='like-post-wrapper-164683012-158-650bf3f5c5c4b' data-src='https://widgets.wp.com/likes/#blog_id=164683012&post_id=158&origin=_bimi.grandmasgleanings.com&obj_id=164683012-158-650bf3f5c5c4b' data-name='like-post-frame-164683012-158-650bf3f5c5c4b' data-title='Like or Reblog'><h3 class="sd-title">Like this:</h3><div class='likes-widget-placeholder post-likes-widget-placeholder' style='height: 55px;'><span class='button'><span>Like</span></span> <span class="loading">Loading...</span></div><span class='sd-text-color'></span><a class='sd-link-color'></a></div>