Monday, October 7, 2013

Good Grief

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve, as do the rest who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus. For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, and remain until the coming of the Lord, shall not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words.

Good Grief.
Have you ever really thought about that expression? It’s like an oxymoron, isn’t it? I mean, how can grief be good? And yet, it is good. Grief is meant to be faced and felt and embraced. It is intended to help us heal.
The first week-end in October is now behind us. It brought with it intense grief and pain as we mourned a profound loss with our dear friends who welcomed their first baby and grandson into the world. God had already taken him into His loving arms before he was even birthed. They had looked forward to this child. As is typical of expecting parents they had planned, prepared, had a baby shower, enjoyed feeling their little man’s movements in her growing belly. They had talked about names, prepared their home to welcome him and dreamed about what it would be like to meet him. He was to be their first child; a son and the first grandson for both sets of parents. The whole family is very dear to us on both sides and our hearts ache for them with an intensity that is indescribable.

At the hospital we cried, hugged, prayed, processed the chain of events, trying to come up with an answer for the reason it happened and it just didn’t make sense. There simply are no obvious answers. For some reason, we as humans long to have an answer in moments like this. We want to know why. We think we have the right to know why. Sometimes the “why” of things just isn’t for us to know. Sometimes we simply have to be content with no answers, at least for a time and in this case, there are no answers. There just isn't an obvious reason for his sudden departure, except that he lived the number of days that were planned for him before the foundation of the world. Maybe there will eventually be a clear answer, but for right now, it is hidden from us. His young parents are content with that. They are amazing! Their faith, grief, joy in finally meeting him, pain in saying good-bye to him, labor and delivery were all met with such strength, beauty, maturity, and love. It was a beautiful thing to observe and be part of. The most amazing thing we all felt over the week-end is God’s grace and His obvious finger prints over every detail. His comfort was clearly felt. His direction, the peace that only He can give and joy in meeting their baby even after God had taken him home, was celebrated.
He was beautiful, precious and his life was so very special.
There were many special moments. Special bonds were formed as a result of grief and a depth was added to each of our lives that will change them forever. There is such a peace when we know who holds the future and we trust the Creator of life. The peace that passes all understanding…unexplainable, amazing, deep, profound peace……and grace.

Peace and Grace.

These are the two words that sum up His goodness in grief.
Isaiah 43:2
"When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, Nor will the flame burn you.
Matthew 5:4
"Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
Revelation 21:4
And He shall wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there shall no longer be any death; there shall no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away
Psalm 73:26
My flesh and my heart may fail, But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever


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