This past week I've been surrounded by death on all sides. First my cousin's husband died, then the husband's sister was killed by a drunk driver, then the husband's mother had a massive stroke and is hanging on by a thread and it does not look good for her to pull through. My cousin's sons have lost their father, aunt, and most likely their grandmother in the span of 7 days. Words fail me. Grief chokes my heart.
This past Sunday the Hanley family lost their precious son Mattias or "Tiggy" as they called him in a tragic accident that could happen to any one of us in our own home. Words fail me. My mind lingers on my own 4 year olds face as I imagine losing him in this way - or any way for that matter - and grief threatens to steal the life from me.
I'm reminded again how quickly you can lose a loved one when Ann Voskamp of A Holy Experience shares an excerpt from her upcoming book One Thousand Gifts. Words fail me. The darkness rushes in.
I know you might be tempted to ask "Where are you God? How could You let all this happen?" I know you are tempted because I once would have asked the same questions.
Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope. We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him.
1st Thessalonians 4:13-14
I grieve for all the loss around me. Tears flow freely. Words fail me. There are only heart groans.
In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; Romans 8:26
In my weakness there is Hope. I cling to that hope, that knowledge, and it allows me to rejoice in the grief. Little Mattias is with Jesus. Little Aimee is with Jesus. And Jesus has made promises that I stand on in times like these.
And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away. Then He who sat on the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And He said to me, “Write, for these words are true and faithful.” ~Revelation 21.4-5
This seems the best time to start my 1000 gifts list. Here now as I wait on the coming Savior. I can start my 1000 gifts list now because He did come. As a baby. He will come again as King. This I am sure of.
#1 ~ The Sweet assurance in Jesus Christ. When all else fails this does not.