The Journey from Unfathomable Grief to God's Peace
This morning as I listened to a dear friend recount the story of the tragic and sudden loss of her 16 year old son, I found myself wondering just how a person is able to walk through such grief and come out whole on the other side. My friend had lost her son, the oldest of four children, a little over two years ago when he suddenly collapsed while exercising with his dad at the local gym. It was later determined that he had a heart condition of which they were unaware. His death was totally unexpected, sudden, and life-altering for this dear family. In addition to the loss of her son, my friend had just lost her mother, a faithful and godly woman with whom she had an extremely close relationship... only 4 months before.
Many people, having experienced such unexplainable and devastating loss would have certainly turned away from God...asking questions like, "God,why did you do this to us?" or "What have I done to deserve such punishment?" It is so hard for us to understand what possible good could come from such a catastrophic loss. A young man's life was cut short...an older brother is gone forever...a son with great potential will never see it fulfilled.
My friend, however, did not turn away from God. She turned towards him! Make no mistake...she grieved deeply and passionately and will never be "over" her loss. But, my friend knew that only turning toward God would bring the healing, strength, and peace that she desperately needed. You see, my friend had been raised in a Christian home by a godly mama and had known the Lord for many years. She was well grounded in the faith and she had a strong Christian husband for support.
In the following months after her son's death, I watched my friend walk through her grief with strength, grace and faith. I saw her dig deeper into the Word, pray more, attend Bible study with a renewed vigor, and turn to Christian friends for comfort. She knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that God was her refuge and strength. She understood Isaiah 55:8-9, "For my ways are not your ways, neither are your thoughts my thoughts. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts." She knew that although she may not be able to understand "why"this had happened...that God did have a purpose and a plan and her son's days on earth were ordained by the hand of God. She knew that God was, is and always will be, in control and on his throne.
As my friend recounted her story she told us that, because her son was saved, she found great comfort in knowing that he was in heaven. She pictured him holding his grandmother's hand as he had before her death several months before. In John 11:25-26, Jesus is speaking to Martha when he says, "... I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die." We can be confident that our loved ones who have died having trusted Christ as their Savior are in heaven basking in the glory of God.
I have no doubt that there will be people in heaven who would not have been there if not for the death of this young man and the testimony and witness of his mom as she walked through her grief. So many people in this family's circle of influence were impacted by their loss.
Kristy...you are an inspiration to me. I love you dearly and I thank God for you!
Do you know if you died today that you would immediately be in heaven with Jesus? You can know for sure! Here are the ABC's of becoming a Christian:
A - Admit to God you are a sinner."For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." Romans 3:23
"As it is written, 'There is no one righteous. Not even one.'" Romans 3:10
B - Believe that Jesus is God's Son and accept God's gift of forgiveness."I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the father except through me." John 14:6
"But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." Romans 5:8
"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish, but have eternal life." John 3:16
C - Confess your faith in Christ as Savior and Lord."That if you confess with your mouth,'Jesus is Lord,' and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved." Romans 10:9
"Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved." Romans 10:13
This post was written in honor of my dear friend, Kristy, and in memory of her son, Kevin, who would have been 19 years old on May 30th of this year.