Seeing God's Faithfulness in the Shadow of Grief

Day 1 of 5 • This day’s reading

Devotional

As soon as I returned to the bedroom, I knew something was wrong. My wife, Wynter was slumped over into an odd and uncomfortable position. Her eyes were open, but lifeless. I patted her face to rouse her.


“Babe,” I whispered. Her only response was a heartrending moan. “Wynter…Wynter…stay with me.”


I lifted her from the bed and started in with chest compressions and mouth-to-mouth resuscitation but my efforts weren’t seeming to have much effect. I called 911. Then I called my family to ask them to pray. It took over 12 minutes for the ambulance to arrive. I kept attempting CPR, but it wasn’t making a difference.


There was no discernible heartbeat. I prayed aloud for a miracle, trying to stay calm, fighting for her life.


When the paramedics arrived, they suggested I wait outside. I knew she was leaving for another place, and so I didn’t pray “Don’t let her die,” but “Don’t let her leave.” I didn’t want the Lord to take her from me.


When I first began traveling as a part of my work, I was terrified of flying. At any bit of turbulence, and I would be overwhelmed by fear. God led me to a scripture which I memorized and recited every time I took a trip on an airplane: “Have no fear of sudden disaster or of the ruin that overtakes the wicked, for the Lord will be at your side and will keep your foot from being snared” (Proverbs 3:25-26).


God gave me this verse to overcome my fear of flying, but that trial was a test for the moment I was in now. I realized it wasn’t a promise that nothing bad would ever happen to someone who loves God, but a promise that God would be beside you at all times—no matter what.


Even as the light went out in Wynter’s eyes, I knew God was with her. I could trust she was safe. Even though I couldn’t protect her, that didn’t mean she wasn’t being protected. And God was also with me, in all my confusion and worry and fear. I didn’t have to face this crisis alone.


Because of our ever-present God, you can rest secure no matter what is going on. In any situation you don’t feel like you can handle, you don’t need to live in fear. 


If you are following Jesus, even as everything else around you comes crashing down, you can walk with confidence because you’re walking with the One who will hold you up.