For the last few weeks we’ve been thinking about the relationship between grief and faith. There is a great mystery with God and suffering. Sometimes it’s really hard to understand why God allows things to happen. This struggle to understand can sometimes result in a person feeling a sense of despair or depression.
The depression stage of grief is so very hard. The person grieving looks at their situation and concludes “Things will never get better”. They are concluding there is no hope.
Part of the tension we feel with grief and faith is that we are finite and God is infinite. We know a little He knows all. We can't know all the plans that God has for us as we walk through the valley of the shadow of death. I read this quote at St Jude's - “God has a purpose for your pain, a reason for your struggles, and a reward for your faithfulness”. That quote was written by a child living with cancer!
If you feel that sense of despair and even depression I would encourage you with this truth: In the midst of depression God comes to us. He doesn’t sit and wait for us to come to Him. That’s the message of the hope of the Gospel. Jesus came to earth to make it possible for us to know God and be in a relationship with Him!
I would encourage you to once again look at Psalm 13, look at verse three: - “Consider and answer me, O Lord my God; light up my eyes”. This is a prayer of a deep heart that's searching. Darkness is all around and I need to ask you to light up my eyes.
Notice this verse is a prayer of faith. A prayer that believes that even in pain and suffering, God hears and answers our prayers. Look at that middle phrase ‘O Lord My God. If your heart is weak and burdened today turn to the Lord your God.
In despair: I choose to trust.
Based on what I know about God, what I read in His Word and what I see around me, even when I don't understand: I choose to trust.
Let me illustrate it this way: imagine you are stood at the top of a large snow covered hill. You fashion a large snowball and roll it down the hill. As the ball leaves your hand and gets bigger and bigger and goes faster and faster you have no idea what will happen to that snowball or where it will stop. That snowball is impacted by what lies in front of it, what it comes into contact with and an infinite number of other factors. You only have a limited ability to know what will happen. That’s what it’s like with grief and faith. Anyone of us can only see a small part of what God has done, what God is doing and what God is going to do. It’s like the infinite paths that snowball could take but trust says God knows exactly what could happen and what will happen.
Life is a gift, life is precious, and life is brief. Trust Jesus today and hug those you love a little longer before you say good night! And, as always, if I can help, please let me know