“Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why are you disturbed within me? Hope in God, for I shall again praise Him, the help of my countenance and my God.” Psalm 43:5
Pregnancy is a miracle. I am daily reminded of the gift that I carry, and I am grateful. Yet, for every moment that I ponder this, I find myself grieving. I have in me a deep sorrow for my sisters (and brothers) who find themselves longing for a child or for those who have felt the loss of one. I realize this is such a tender place to speak into and I can only understand in part, but I simply desire for you to know that I grieve with you. The Church, a haven for broken sinners, suffers with you.
“But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve as do the rest who have no hope.” 1 Thess. 4:13
We can see in the Scriptures that our pain is not absent of purpose. Made in the image of God, humans have been designed to bring him glory. In this, his ways are not our ways and his ways are higher. I acknowledge that this truth doesn’t remove the pain, but it does help us through it. It is by knowledge of the truth with which we persevere. The God who gives and takes away is the same God who breaks that he might heal.
Oh, how the valley of death causes us to question the Lord’s goodness. We are all familiar with asking how a good God could allow pain. But is not the greatest and most undeserved affliction that Jesus Christ bore, not conversely our greatest blessing? I pray that instead of doubt our suffering would bring about assurance of his goodness in the face of Jesus Christ.
We rejoice in suffering, not despite the thorn, but because of it. It is in our pain that we taste more sweetly Christ’s suffering on our behalf. It is in our sorrow that we experience more of God sanctifying and deepening our faith. He is giving us an everlasting joy that can only be found in the refining furnace.
He has not forsaken you. He is filling you with a joy-inexplicable and a glory unlike any other (1 Peter 1:8).
In your tears, uncertainty, and doubt, know that you sit close to a risen Savior who bore the ultimate infliction of pain that he might bring his beloved children home. Have you lost a child? Have you an empty womb? Know that there is not one cavity that the Lord cannot fill; no heart that God cannot satisfy with his embrace.
“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Cor. 12:9-11
I can’t assume to know the agony of anyone’s thorn but my own. Yet, though we are many, we are one body in the One who wore the crown of thorns. You and I are interwoven into this paradox as God’s children who grieve with hope and we can be assured of this: God is with us, he weeps with us, and he is honored through our grief. He is near to the contrite and broken-hearted. He is faithful to finish what he has started.
This life and all of it’s tragedy is but momentary affliction preparing you for glory (2 Cor. 4:17). I urge you to not forsake your God and pray to have eyes to see as he holds fast to you. It is in your steadfastness that you show him to be ever present and sufficient. You may be weak, but friend, therefore, you are strong.
“To grant those who mourn in Zion, Giving them a garland instead of ashes, The oil of gladness instead of mourning, The mantle of praise instead of a spirit of fainting So they will be called oaks of righteousness, The planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified.” Isaiah 61:3
I pray that God would cause your grief to be a sweet time of communion with the Savior.
Though he slay you, hope in him (Job 13:15).