When we lose a loved one, life changes drastically. For some, the loss is great–it is deeply personal. It creates havoc in our lives and devastates us emotionally. For others the loss is minimal. For some, it’s simply a name and a paragraph or two in the obituary column. Grief can be so overwhelming. Sorrow grips one’s heart and tears it apart. Some cannot eat, nor sleep, or function normally. Things seem so out of control. Beyond hope. After funerals, and the mourners go home, the most deeply affected by the loss remain. They have an empty chair, an empty bed, an empty house. Indeed they have an emptiness of soul. Sometimes grief is too hard to bear. We try to go on, but nothing we do gives us comfort. We may think we are beyond hope as Jeremiah relates:
“Oh that I could comfort myself against sorrow [for my grief is beyond healing], my heart is sick and faint within me.” Jeremiah 8:18.
I’ve had times like this. Sometimes it is not the loss of a loved one. It may be the loss of a relationship. Or overcoming rejection and criticism. In these times I wish I could comfort myself…I look for ways. I sleep. I lie in the hammock and read. I listen to music and sometimes sing along. I go to lunch with friends. I busy myself and try to cram as much as I can into each hour so I do not have a moment to reflect on the void within me. I fall into my husband’s arms and say “I need a hug”. It feels good, even if he doesn’t understand my heartache. Inwardly I cry. Oh my soul why am I cast down, O Lord? What makes me forget You in the darkness of an hour? What causes me to rail against the chords of Your sufficiency? Why must I seek to comfort myself when You stand ready to lift me up? My husband’s arms remind me of the strength I have in Jesus, the warmth of His comfort. In Him is the peace that none other can impart. In Him is the rest, the healing. For He is acquainted with all our griefs. Comfort comes from within–within the body of Jesus Christ Himself Who dwells within my soul and moves within my spirit.
PRAYER: Lord, we know You are our comfort. We know You are always ready to embrace us and surround us with Your love. You’ve walked where we walk, You’ve grieved as we grieve. Keep us mindful of Your presence in the darkness of our souls. Restore Your light to our spirit and peace to our hearts. selahV