Monday, March 17, 2014
God Gives Power (Isaiah 40:29)
When one of these anniversaries of Tim’s passing rolls around, I want to be in the state of mind that I am celebrating the number of months he has been with Jesus more than I am grieving the number of months I've been without him.
Honestly, I'm not there yet, but I am asking God to bring me to that place; I long to be obedient to His command to be joyful. He can and will get me there. I am looking forward to it.
My responsibility is to surrender my weaknesses to God. I am to bring Him my brokenness. The difficulties of continuing my life without the one I made a marriage covenant with before God are too numerous to count. God gets that.
Thankfully, I am not living this life by my own might or power. I am living it by the Spirit of God; and in Him, there is strength!
"'Til death do us part" really happened. The 19 years went by too quickly; we weren't finished loving each other. We hadn't seen our children into high school, or through first loves; we don't get to be side-by-side as they select their career choices, or marry their mates; we won't hold hands while we attend those adorable grandchildren's births. (And trust me, they will be adorable!)
My heartache is being a widow. Your grief might also be from the loss of a spouse, or it might be from the loss of a parent, a sibling, a close friend, or a precious child. Broken dreams hurt. God heals. He loves. Our God loves us enough to catch every tear. He loves us enough to give us the ability to move forward.
He loves us enough to increase our strength.
Sometimes it's tempting to want to stay stuck in one phase of grief or another. We long to wrap ourselves up warmly in the embrace of denial or depression. Another anniversary rolls around and we don't have the strength or desire to get out of bed or to make one more decision by ourselves. Friends, God promises to increase our strength!
If that doesn't put a smile on our faces, what will? We have a God who cares about us and each stage of grief we endure. He doesn't tell us to "Suck it up, Buttercup". He doesn't expect us to find our own way to "get over it". He understands.
He gives power!
God provides us with the power to process our grief. His healing comes to each of us in His timing and within His individual will for each one of His children. He is a personal God!
Whether we like it or not, in God's Word, He repeatedly commands us to be thankful and joyful. Those commands are not circumstantial. There are no exceptions listed.
I don't read in 1 Thessalonians 5:16 and 18 to "Be joyful always (unless you've lost someone) and to "give thanks in everything (except grief)". In the trenches of freshly broken hearts, we are incapable of joy and thanksgiving on our own. (And I use "freshly" as a relative, non-time-sensitive term, as each journey is so unique.)
Herein lays the beauty of our marvelous God. Let's crawl to God daily until He fills us with the strength and power to stand again.
Psalm 16:11, "You will fill me with joy in your presence". He fills us with joy. Praise God, He fills the emptiness with beauty when we bring it to Him.
Want to know what else we find in the presence of our Savior? Hebrews 4:15-16 tells us we receive sympathy with our weakness, along with mercy and grace to help us in our time of need.
Thank You Lord, for not leaving us to do this alone. Thank You that You increase our strength with Your mighty power. We may not like our circumstances, but we love You. Your provisions are perfect and You are always good. Take the ragged edges of our ripped apart hearts and bind them with Your loving kindness. Fill us with more of You. May the joy of our Savior penetrate the darkest places and radiate from within us. Amen.