“It was not until I allowed myself to voice my hurt and confusion to God that peace entered my heart.”
Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – October 8, 2021
by Guest Writer Rachel Prince
A Series: First of Three
I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. John 16:33, NIV
As Christians, when we experience loss, we often feel the need to label our loss, placing it neatly in a category and quickly moving on. We justify it with a variety of sentiments: “It could have been worse,” “It’s not as bad as ____,” “God has a plan,” etc. While all or some of these statements may be true, we rob ourselves of the time needed to grieve, as well as an opportunity to deepen our relationship with Christ. I know this to be true from my own life experience, and I am still in the process of learning to apply it to my life.
Fifteen years ago, I experienced a great loss through the pain of miscarriage. I quickly tried to shrug off my grief, discounting the loss with thoughts like “at least my baby wasn’t eight months old,” “we can always try again,” or “some people cannot even get pregnant.” Again, telling myself that it can always be worse.
Unfortunately, in my failure to grieve or wrestle with God through the hard questions, a seed of resentment began to grow inside of me, slowly distancing me from God, as well as the people most dear to me. Little did I know, this would become a lifelong journey of loss and confusion.
Over the coming years, my husband and I would experience the joyful birth of 3 beautiful children, as well as the gut-wrenching loss of an additional 5 children through miscarriage. With each child I lost, my feelings of anger and brokenness only grew. Did he not hear my pleas, begging to allow this child to live? Why was I yet again sitting with heartbreaking loss, overcome with grief, without a child in my arms?
It was not until I allowed myself to voice my hurt and confusion to God that peace entered my heart.
In moments of deep sorrow, God was the only one who could truly meet me in my loss and in my grief. As the Psalms remind us, the Lord is near to the broken hearted (Psalm 34:18). Sometimes it takes deep heartbreak to remove all other distraction. The all-consuming reality of grief has the ability to bring us closer than ever before to the Lord, our healer.
We are reminded that we draw near to the one who begged for the cup to be removed from him (Matthew 26:39). In our grief, we turn to the one who grieved as he cried out in pain over the loss of his dear friend, Lazarus (John 11:35), and knew the pain of relational loss, betrayed with a kiss on the cheek (Matthew 26:48-49). The same Lord who retreated in solitude after the death of John the Baptist (Matthew 14:13) was willing to join me in my own place of isolation and pain.
The way of healing is often defined by great struggle, wrestling with God over our heartache, anger, and unfulfilled dreams. “Why?” is not a question of unbelief but can, in fact, be the path to peace. For me, peace entered in as I walked this road with honestly and vulnerability before God. Though the loss of my children will forever be a part of my story, I have found peace in the reminder that this story is headed for a beautiful and redemptive end.
Father, help us to continue to walk with Jesus, believing he makes our burdens light and our hearts whole. Amen.
Is there pain or loss in your life that you’ve kept hidden and held in secret? How can you instead bring it to the Lord in honesty and vulnerability, believing that he alone can heal our deepest wounds?
Bethany Barnard: You Know
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