Grieving with God
"Job stood up and tore his robe in grief. Then he shaved his head and fell to the ground to worship. He said, “I came naked from my mother’s womb, and I will be naked when I leave. The Lord gave me what I had, and the Lord has taken it away. Praise the name of the Lord!" " (Job 1:20-21, NLT)
A little over a year ago my family and I were at a wedding in Texas. During the reception, I received a text from my aunt asking me to have my dad call my uncle. I remember feeling a check in my spirit that something was really wrong. I watched my mom and dad from a window as they stepped outside to make the call. The distraught look on their faces confirmed the uneasiness I had.
My parents didn’t say a word to me and my sister until we were back in our hotel room. They sat us down and told us the horribly impossible news that our cousin Darren had passed away. I have never been in such shock in my entire life. My cousin was 24 years old, happy, healthy— and just like that he was gone. All I could think of was my aunt, my uncle, and their daughter. How were they going to get
through this? No parent should ever have to lose a child. My heart broke for my Aunt Jackie. She is the sweetest and most loving woman; so tender-hearted and an amazing mother to a beautiful family who loves the Lord so dearly. I knew this grief would be the hardest thing my own little family unit has ever faced, but I could never imagine the pain of stepping into their shoes.
One Biblical story comes to mind when I remember the deep feeling of loss that came after Darren passed away: the story of Job. The account of his life never ceases to leave me in absolute awe and has stuck with me throughout my walk with the Lord. To summarize it briefly, Job was an amazing servant of God who was blessed by Him because he pleased the Lord. One day, Satan comes along and argues that the only reason Job is so faithful is because the Lord provides for him so abundantly. Satan says that if God would lift His favor off of Job and allow it all to be stripped away, that Job would curse God. So, in a testing of his faith, Job went from having a wonderful family, a lavish lifestyle, and perfect health to having close to nothing in a split second. And just when you think that Job is going to do exactly what Satan predicted, he turns around and does something that just leaves me absolutely speechless. In all of his sadness and anger, Job falls to the ground in worship. How I long to have a heart like that.
I watched my aunt and her family be the living example of modern-day Jobs. Somehow, when all seemed lost, they kept full faith in God. I have never seen anyone run after the heart of Jesus like my Aunt did. No matter how hard it got she knew and realized that we can have joy in Jesus no matter what; it’s just our choice to pursue it or not. Her whole family trusted that God is sovereign and loves us with an everlasting love. The hope they put in God after they lost so much is astonishing, and when you see where they are today, it’s nothing short of a miracle.
You might not be grieving over the loss of a person today, but we all deal with loss at one point or another. You might be feeling at a loss in life right now. You may have lost all joy. You may have lost some friendships. You might be struggling financially. Whatever it is, it’s loss. That is why the story of Job lingers in my mind every day: because throughout my walk with God and my walk through life, I have felt loss in many areas, but Job reminds me of what relentless faith can do.
It is absolutely horrible when we get absorbed in our struggles. Imagine how amazing it would be if we completely absorbed ourselves in Jesus. I’m not saying that when you cling to Jesus through loss, all the sadness will vanish. There’s good days and bad days. What I am saying is He will lead you through. My Aunt is still dealing with the loss of her son daily, but God has brought her so far as she continues to worship Him anyway, and each day she feels the abundance of his love. God longs to carry you through everything you’re facing, and when your vision is clouded and it’s hard to see how things could get better, remember that God has it all worked out. We don’t need to see for ourselves. We need His vision. We need his comfort.
God can fulfill your every need. He loves you more than you know and you are his first priority. I miss my cousin Darren more than anything, I wish I could sit down and have a conversation with him, but I know that there is a reason for everything that happens in our lives. Even in such unbelievable sorrow, my family has never been as close and strong as we are today, and I give all thanks to God for that.
Remember: In your loss, God is right beside you. He’s reaching out to you. Lay back against his heartbeat and let Him soothe your soul.