For Those Who Are Grieving…

482 Hidden sunlight

My heart has been heavy in recent months as I have witnessed increasing division in our country. And this morning, as I prayed and sought the Lord, my heart broke all over again for our country. A song has been on my mind (song attached at the end), and as I read this passage it came to me again,

“Restore us again, O God of our salvation,
and put away your indignation toward us!
Will you be angry with us forever?
Will you prolong your anger to all generations?
Will you not revive us again,
that your people may rejoice in you?
Show us your steadfast love, O Lord,
and grant us your salvation.

Let me hear what God the Lord will speak,
for he will speak peace to his people, to his saints;
but let them not turn back to folly.
Surely his salvation is near to those who fear him,
that glory may dwell in our land.

Steadfast love and faithfulness meet;
righteousness and peace kiss each other.
Faithfulness springs up from the ground,
and righteousness looks down from the sky.
Yes, the Lord will give what is good,
and our land will yield its increase.
Righteousness will go before him
and make his footsteps a way.”

Psalm 85:4-13

Oh Lord, only you can heal the hurts within us, and within our country. Only in recognition of how much we need you- our healer, our sustainer, our vine- the one to whom we must be connected. You are necessary for life. In you we find the only abiding peace that this life offers. We long for your peace. We long for your presence. We long for your glory to dwell in our land. Redeem and restore us Lord. Thank you Lord for the reminder this morning, that the answer isn’t in looking at others and what they “should” be doing, but availing myself to the work that needs to be done in me. May your glory and righteousness dwell in our land, and Lord, may we be faithful to your very personal call to each of us, and be faithful in the work you have called us to do. In Jesus Name, Amen.

Coming Home

Heaven

What a blessing to spend the past few days surrounded by family.  As the day approached to travel for my Grandmother’s funeral, I felt a sense of apprehension.  It had been so long since I had been with my family, would it be the same?  Would time make for awkward interactions and disjointed conversations?

I felt the doubts starting to weigh on me a little, and the guilt that I didn’t try harder to be with them, to find time to travel- we are all busy with our children, jobs, and commitments in our home states.

Yet, as I met each one of my family members- I felt the time melt away to insignificance as we came together to celebrate the life of a woman of God we all knew- and were blessed to have shared this life with her.

We laughed, we cried, we told stories, we remembered.  I love the remembering- treasuring the times of the past- we are a forgetful people.  We need to remember.

We need to remember all that God has done.  How many times He has answered prayers.  His Faithfulness, His Love.  How easily we forget and can be filled with doubt.

Remembering can also heal us- or simply remind us that God has healed us so many times before.  He has shared our sorrow, held us in our grief, and given us the courage to embrace life once again- to not run away from pain or seek escape.

Today sorrow and grief are pressing me- I feel the weight in my chest, making it hard to breathe.  Emotions are just below the surface, churning, threatening to spill over at any moment.

But I am not running from the pain or sadness.  I feel the depth of loss, what I will miss, letting memories wash over me.  I know that all this will pass- and what will remain is a confident hope and peace.  My Grandmother suffers no longer, she is at peace with her Savior.  I will see her again.

Someday there will be another homecoming.  A friend of the family sang this song at Grandma’s Funeral- it is a favorite of mine- here are the words.

Finally Home

When engulfed by the terror of the tempestuous sea,
Unknown waves before you roll;
At the end of doubt and peril is eternity,
Though fear and conflict seize your soul.

But just think of stepping on shore-And finding it Heaven!
Of touching a hand-And finding it God’s!
Of breathing new air-And finding it celestial!
Of waking up in glory-And finding it home!

When surrounded by the blackness of the darkest night,
O how lonely death can be;
At the end of this long tunnel is a shining light,
For death is swallowed up in victory!

But just think of stepping on shore-And finding it Heaven!
Of touching a hand-And finding it God’s!
Of breathing new air-And finding it celestial!
Of waking up in glory-And finding it home!