By MARY GEISEN
Winter is fading and the calendar now indicates that spring has arrived. Trees are slowly stretching their branches toward the sun while buds are working their way to the surface. Daffodils push through the muddy earth and the grass is beginning to look a little greener. What looked like darkness and loss now blossoms into new life. Gray skies slowly fade into blue and the browns of winter become the greens of spring.
I find winter often reflects loss and grief. The colors and short days envelop me with darkness and the temperatures keep me wishing for warm blankets and inside activities. In my mind, I begin ticking off my lack, my sorrows, and the loss of things I held dear. My view of gratitude and all that I have becomes cloudy as my focus seems to only find the list of what I wish I had.
Grief and loss are tricky. Winter is not the only time they sneak in and overwhelm. It’s easy to let the memories of those people, emotions, and life changes consume us when the truth we settle on is not God’s, but instead, driven by the world. In Job 17:7, Job writes his “eyes have grown dim with grief.” But Job’s story doesn’t end there and several verses later he calls for everyone to try again. Job says, “My days have passed, my plans are shattered. Yet the desires of my heart turn night into day; in the face of the darkness light is near.”
When deep loss enters our lives and alters the path we thought we were on, God still provides the light to combat the darkness. Winter does not linger forever because spring arrives in all its glory. New life arrives when we least expect it and the beauty takes our breath away when we let go of what was for what will be.
I don’t have all the answers for grief and loss. My own life shows the pockmarks of the loss of many people who made such a difference. What I am learning is how God is in the grief, loss, uncertainty and everything that threatens to pull me away from Him. All He asks is for me to call to Him. He is the Answer to all of our questions and the peace that we crave.
FOR FURTHER THOUGHT Is loss a word that has woven itself through your story? Perhaps the loss of a loved one, a job, a promotion, or a friendship? Today, take time to recognize the areas in your life where you have suffered loss. Name it, claim it, and say it. Give yourself the time to dig into the grief that comes with a loss. Then, remember that we are reassured Jesus will comfort us in Psalm 23:4. David’s words say, “Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” Read the words from Psalm 23 several times and write down what God brings to your mind. How do these words bring comfort and assurance as you face any losses in your own life?
PRAYER Father God, today I bring my loss and grief before you. Just as gray skies fade into blue, my loss fades over time when I turn to you for comfort. Show me your presence and guidance in those times when everything is overwhelming and I have trouble clearly seeing the way. I thank you that you promise to always be with me and will provide all that I need. In the name of your son Jesus, Amen.
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