How do we respond to Him? Sink into Him through His Word. As we read and wrestle, we call out to Him … listen carefully… offering thanks and praise for His Presence and very personal provision of divine comfort… presenting our honest emotion and questions … angst, grief… asking Him to enter in and show us elements of His own Character. He is trustworthy and true.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge Him, and He will direct your path.”
When earth’s hurt and heaven’s hope collide… we grieve, but we grieve …hearing the choirs of Heaven on the horizon. Trusting Him. Leaning into His Word… allowing His Word to shape our thinking…guide our grieving… comfort and “tune our hearts to sing His praise.” His Faithfulness extends this life-giving Hope to others when they’re hurting.
Abide with me; fast falls the eventide;
The darkness deepens; Lord with me abide.
When other helpers fail and comforts flee,
Help of the helpless, O abide with me.
Swift to its close ebbs out life’s little day;
Earth’s joys grow dim; its glories pass away;
Change and decay in all around I see;
O Thou who changest not, abide with me.
Not a brief glance I beg, a passing word;
But as Thou dwell’st with Thy disciples, Lord,
Familiar, condescending, patient, free.
Come not to sojourn, but abide with me.
Come not in terrors, as the King of kings,
But kind and good, with healing in Thy wings,
Tears for all woes, a heart for every plea—
Come, Friend of sinners, and thus bide with me.
Thou on my head in early youth didst smile;
And, though rebellious and perverse meanwhile,
Thou hast not left me, oft as I left Thee,
On to the close, O Lord, abide with me.
I need Thy presence every passing hour.
What but Thy grace can foil the tempter’s power?
Who, like Thyself, my guide and stay can be?
Through cloud and sunshine, Lord, abide with me.
I fear no foe, with Thee at hand to bless;
Ills have no weight, and tears no bitterness.
Where is death’s sting? Where, grave, thy victory?
I triumph still, if Thou abide with me.
Hold Thou Thy cross before my closing eyes;
Shine through the gloom and point me to the skies.
Heaven’s morning breaks, and earth’s vain shadows flee;
In life, in death, O Lord, abide with me.
Henry F. Lyte (1847)
He is faithful to hear our cries… and He answers… with Himself. Remembering He’s … always holding somebody up … (part 4) … Yes, we receive. And we remember. Next… we reach out. We pray to be vessels of His Love and Truth to the hurting around us. Ultimately, His Identity is… revealing mine in Him as well. My confidence is not in me or my ability to figure Him out, but rather…in the Great I AM… under whose wings we find refuge…and abide.
Jamie’s absence left an unfillable hole in our family. Karen walked closest with me through this. Our prayers for Heidi, Michael, and Holly along with Carlton and Kathy grew deeper. I’m thankful we had each other to walk through it all.
Since Jamie’s death, I’ve experienced the loss of a business colleague to suicide as well as talking through challenges of this kind of grief with others who endure it. I do not shy away from reaching out to those who are in facing fresh grief of any kind … broaching conversations… attending funerals… do what ever I can to be present with the living to honor those who’ve died. I’ll share about Jamie and the lingering pain. But, most importantly we remember to share the Hope we have in Jesus Christ – beyond our present pain… or Jamie’s past pain. He alone redeems… and ultimately He sets all.. right.
Losses unearth emotions and questions… … Even with the most devastating losses, He grants us memories… of Calvin and Hobbs… infectious laughs… churning needs to investigate and imagine… through the darkness into His Eternal Light … illuminating earth’s hurt and heaven’s hope collides in Him… Heaven draws near … that we might know our redeemed identity is secure in His.
written by Heidi L. Paulec