Moving From Grief to Grace
"He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds." Psalm 147:3 (NIV)
Grief hits each one of us and can come from so many different directions.
A romantic relationship gone awry. The loss of a cherished friendship. A puppy put down. Empty arms and a broken heart due to abortion. Infertility. Abuse. The death of a loved one.
Dreams with a hope and future dashed in an instant. I know. I’ve lived it, too.
A phone call changed my hopes and future as Matt, my older son, wailed into the phone about my younger son, "Kyle died last night!"
Hopes, dreams, future …
Wedding invitations from his friends simply ripped my heart apart. Birth announcements of babies from those now married friends rekindled the loss. And the realization that there would be no grandchildren from him — running to me, holding their pudgy little hands or him tossing them into the sky showered with shouts of glee — hit hard.
Yes, weddings, graduations, birth announcements — all reminders of those hope-filled dreams that had been shattered — caused weeping, groaning and bitterness. My heart often wondered: Will I remain bitter or will I get better? Will I continue to dissolve into tears, or will I ever erupt into cheers for these precious friends?
At one of my lowest moments, realization and remembrance flooded my heart and mind: God lost His Son too, His only Son. The Father knew my loss, pain and brokenness oh so well.
That revelation was like supernatural glue applied to bind my wounded soul. The lost, dark, broken part receded as God proceeded to heal my broken heart with His love and light.
How about your lost plans, hopes and dreams?
Are you bitter?
Do you want to be better?
Are you ready to lay your heavy cares at the foot of the cross … and leave that burden there, so you can step into God’s plans for you? Jesus promised, "For My yoke is easy and My burden is light," (Matthew 11:30, NKJV).
God’s plan for His Son was not what the people hoped for and expected as they celebrated the arrival of Jesus in Jerusalem that first Palm Sunday, then experienced His death on the cross by week’s end. They did not know Easter Sunday — His Son’s day — was coming.
Remember, friend … Sunday’s coming! Jesus arose from the grave by the grace of God to save and redeem us. He has plans for us that include a hope and a future, even when our plans are dashed and we can’t see beyond the overwhelming loss of now.
"‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future,’" (Jeremiah 29:11, NIV).
We lost Kyle seven years and three days ago today. Yet, out of the ashes of grief a story of grace rises — the grace of our Lord, Jesus.
Father, help me ease the grip on my grief and lay it at the foot of Your Son’s cross. Thank You that You can bind our wounds and heal our broken hearts. Remind us of Your magnificent plans for us, Lord God. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
1 Peter 5:8-11, "Keep a cool head. Stay alert. The Devil is poised to pounce, and would like nothing better than to catch you napping. Keep your guard up. You’re not the only ones plunged into these hard times. It’s the same with Christians all over the world. So keep a firm grip on the faith. The suffering won’t last forever. It won’t be long before this generous God who has great plans for us in Christ — eternal and glorious plans they are! — will have you put together and on your feet for good. He gets the last word; yes, he does." (MSG)
REFLECT AND RESPOND:
Reflect on how you felt when you read, "He gets the last word," from our Truth for Today Scripture above.