Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – April 15, 2020
For no one is abandoned by the Lord forever. Though he brings grief, he also shows compassion because of the greatness of his unfailing love. For he does not enjoy hurting people or causing them sorrow. Lamentations 3:31-33
In our lifetime, there has not been a level of catastrophic loss like we are currently experiencing. Without God it’s overwhelming—with God it’s bearable, but so sorrowful! A pandemic of grief. Grief over the loss of life. Grief over the loss of freedom. Grief over the loss of finances. Grief over the loss of safety and security. Grief over the loss of community. Grief over the loss of worship at church, social gatherings, sporting events and workplace camaraderie. Only God.
Only God can heal our grieving hearts. Only God can heal our excruciating hurt. Only God can heal our land. Only God can heal our broken communities. Only God can heal our bodies. Only God can make sense out of nonsense. Only God can take ashes and make something beautiful. Only God’s unfailing love can bring comfort to our compounded sorrow. Only God. Only God. Mourning is medicine to bring us back to God. Our laments are a language of love to our Lord.
“The roads to Jerusalem are in mourning, for crowds no longer come to celebrate the festivals. The city gates are silent, her priests groan, her young women are crying— how bitter is her fate” (Lamentions 1:4)!
“Her people groan as they search for bread. They have sold their treasures for food to stay alive. “O Lord, look,” she mourns, “and see how I am despised” (Lamentations 1:11).
“Joy has left our hearts; our dancing has turned to mourning” (Lamentations 5:15).
Jeremiah was a man most familiar with grief—multi-faceted grief. The grief of personal shame. The grief of rejection. The grief of relational loss. The grief of financial loss. The grief of a nation on its knees suffering from the destruction of its once impenetrable walls of protection. Exiled and estranged from the life once taken for granted, the people of God learned to live for God in a land not their own. A dislocation from familiar settings facilitated a fierce faith. Love grew out of the ashes of adversity, and fear of God was birthed in places where He was once an afterthought. The walls of Jerusalem fell, but those who looked up saw hope, healing and heaven.
“God blesses those who mourn, for they will be comforted” (Matthew 5:4).
Where are you in the process of grieving? Denial? Anger? Bargaining? Depression? Acceptance?
Health comes to a heart that processes pain in a helpful manner. Grief accepts death, so life can be embraced. Silent prayer and speaking out loud are the Lord’s levers to process pain well. Denial’s remedy is to wake up and acknowledge reality. Anger subsides with patient comfort. Bargaining is replaced with trusting God to do what’s best. Depression is deflated in the face of hopeful thinking., while acceptance of loss is able to be loved tenderly and to joyfully love well.
“Even a tree has more hope! If it is cut down, it will sprout again and grow new branches. Though its roots have grown old in the earth and its stump decays, at the scent of water it will bud and sprout again like a new seedling. But when people die, their strength is gone. They breathe their last, and then where are they” (Job 14:7-10)?
There is life after loss. Your life may be cut down to the stump, but don’t allow grief to be a stump grinder. Look for the green sprout of God’s grace and start over. God is a God of new beginnings. Enjoy a fresh start with your Savior Jesus Christ. Grow new branches of belief, stronger from sorrow and more fruitful from failure. Let the roots of your righteous life go deeper in the rich soil of the Lord’s love. Water with weepy eyes and a tender heart. Grief is for a season, but the winter will warm to spring. Resurrection follows death—the Spirit gives you life!
“For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland” (Isaiah 43:19).
Dear precious Jesus, I am afraid, I am sad, help me by your love, mercy and comfort to process my grief. Your grace is greater than my pain, I love you, in your name I pray, Amen.
Where can I find hope right now? Who can I help be hopeful?
Here is a helpful resource during these days of grief, sorrow and uncertainty: A Little Book of Comfort
Mourning is medicine to bring us back to God. Our laments are a language of love to our Lord. #grief #WisdomHunters #truth #Jesus
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