Today was a very, very dark day, filled with much sorrow. I watched a sister in Christ say goodbye to her teenage son at a memorial service with family and friends. It was a celebration of his life, with fond, loving memories of a very special boy who brought a lot of laughter, joy, and fun into the world. Now he’s gone to be with Jesus.
I don’t understand; and though I know God is always a good God, it hurts. It hurts way, way too much for this family to deal with such pain and suffering. All I can offer is prayers and support, and it’s just not enough. How can it be? Only Jesus can be enough.
This morning, I woke early and took two photos of the sunrise within twenty minutes of each other. They both looked so, so different. The first was dark; the next was light. In an instant, everything had changed. I felt God whispering to me that though it may be very dark, everything can become light and different and changed; because of His holy presence. It can happen anytime, which is why we need to hold on to hope… even when nothing makes sense at all. The Bible verse that came to me was “Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness” (Lam. 3:22-23 New International Version).
Though it does not compare to a parent losing a precious child, I’ve made my way through my own fearful darkness. Having been there gives gives us empathy and compassion for others. Even now there are dark days when life is uncertain, though not as dark as before. I know God is here among us; it’s just hard to see when the sun hasn’t come up yet. In the past, when the darkness was so thick I couldn’t see my hand before my face, I found myself in the deep, dark pit. But Jesus still met me there, reached for me, and and pulled me out into the light.
After today’s service ended, all I wanted to do was hold my beautiful friend, the mother in mourning, and give her a huge hug. My tears came as she summed it up in one very real sentence; “This is the pits.” It is the pits. It was a remark people often say casually, when they are bummed out about the electricity going out, the car running out of gas, or their server bringing a plate of cold food. But those things are not the pits. This is. Losing your child is the pits, for real. It’s a dark place most people haven’t been; certainly not down that deep.
I pray for this dear, precious family of God to be wrapped in the arms of Jesus. For, “Surely the arm of the LORD is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear” (Isa. 59:1). May The Lord, Jesus Christ, comfort them as they mourn. May he provide them with strength and courage in the days and months and years to come. May Jesus remove them from the pit of despair. For there are no words mere man can offer; only Jesus can heal our broken hearts.
God’s children are aware that God has a greater plan; and it’s ultimately to save more lost souls. What a sacrifice to lose a child, so others can live eternally with Jesus. When we can’t believe what’s happened, or even begin to make sense of such a tragedy, God cares about our heartbreak. We cannot fathom the depths of His love for us. He sacrificed His One and Only Son, Jesus, so we could live with Him eternally in Heaven. The silver lining lies beyond the dark black storm clouds. Yet, right now, this grieving family of God needs pure comfort. Let this be our prayer for them. Sweet Jesus, bring them peace. “And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:7 ESV).
If your heart hurts today, and you find yourself in the pit, may you take comfort knowing Jesus loves you, and that he can pull you out, because He can find you in the utter darkness: “Even the darkness is not dark to You, And the night is as bright as the day. Darkness and light are alike to You” (Ps. 139:12 New American Standard).
“He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end” (Eccles. 3:11).