Psalm 88:5 NLT
'They have left me among the dead, and I lie like a corpse in a grave.'
After Katey died I felt forlorn, abandoned and alone. I’d been grieving one way or another throughout the 18 years she wrestled with MS. Yet, once she left this world, I began a new journey with grief. No longer could I sit alongside her, hold her hand, or gently stroke her cheek. The reality was hard to accept, harder still to embrace.
In a similar way, I both lost sight of God and grieved the loss of my previously held convictions. These had been born and sustained largely through my success within the context of evangelical Christianity. Now, with my wife dead, I felt as though my life had come to an end, as if my purpose was concluded.
I was sad, yet sadness led me into the mire of self-pity. While I recognised that my future was apparently to be alone, it did not mean I needed to be lonely. I had the power to open or close my heart. I had the freedom to accept or reject God. Why was it I avoided those who might offer me encouragement and nourishment in desperate times? The bruised part of me determined to sever my connections with everyday life and remain hidden from public view, even avoiding the gaze of God. Yet, that part that longed for spiritual nourishment cried out in lostness and confusion, hoping to find God again.
I slowly realised that God operates in the land of the living. I had to choose to live and place myself in the way of God. Starting a journey with the spiritual inertia I had built up was difficult and took time. I needed to find who it was I was pursuing and how I might re-encounter the God I had once so keenly followed. Leave the dead to bury the dead (see Matthew 8:22), get up and follow Jesus.
QUESTION: How is the gospel good news to those stuck in “the mire of self-pity”?
PRAYER: Lord, for those who are suffering and struggling with grief and loss, help them rediscover the God of all life.