Alone. For the first time in my 60 years. My stomach knotted.
My husband had died five weeks before, my children were grown and the home we’d lived in bore a “For Sale” sign. I was moving from the only life I had known for the past 40 years.
In my hands lay an open Bible. These words from Isaiah 41:10 stood out clearly: “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.”
But I was afraid. I was dismayed. My world had been shaken to the core. I felt so scattered, I didn’t know who I was anymore.
Yet because of my long years of walking with God, I knew he would see me through my uncertain present and future as he had in the past. I wasn’t alone.
Max Lucado says, “We cannot go where God is not. Look over your shoulder; that’s God following you. Look into the storm. That’s Christ coming towards you.”
“He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge” (Psalm 91:4). Imagine that. God doesn’t send someone else. The creator of the entire universe is involved in a personal way with those of us in grief.
Because of him, we survive—even our worst times during grief.
No. Could it be we don’t just survive, but we thrive in the care of God’s gentle love and compassion for us in our suffering? In Isaiah 41:15, God told his people that he would make them into a “threshing sledge, new and sharp.” We are broken and wounded. Yet when we are down, God picks us up. When we are sad, the tears he created for us to shed soften our sorrow.
Why would God do this for us?
Isaiah 40:11 tells us that the Lord “tends his flock like a shepherd.” Lambs, by their very nature, are prone to panic, as we are. And their shepherd is the most effective one to calm them down. God’s tender heart toward us is revealed in Isaiah’s next words: “He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart.” All the way to the other side of our grief and beyond. What a treasure in the midst of a heart-wrenching loss!
In what ways does God calm your fears in regard to grief?