God’s Grief

Read: “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.” Isaiah 43:2 (NIV)

Reflect: My friend lost her husband in her eighth month of pregnancy. He died following a routine surgery and left her widowed and soon to be a single mom. They had their entire life ahead of them and she now faced going home and crossing the first precious milestones of her daughter’s life alone.

I went to visit her shortly after her daughter was born and I asked her if she had heard from God in the midst of her pain and had found answers in her searching to make sense of the tragedy. Her response made a huge impact on me. She told me that everyone thought that she would be asking God for insight and explanations. People told her they expected her to hear (like I did) some deep truth or wise theological points that helped ease her pain. Instead, she told me that she would just sit with God and feel him grieve with her. In her deepest sadness, her most broken and scared places, she would just sit in that ache and he would sit alongside her.

She relayed to me that his presence in her suffering was far more soothing than any words spoken to her soul. She felt him slide into the broken places and be strong in the times and areas that she couldn’t be. It wasn’t easy or pretty but he was there.

That is the most impactful picture of God shouldering our burdens and serving as our shelter. I had always thought God’s protection meant nothing bad would ever happen to me, but that’s not what God promises. He assures us that no matter what comes, no matter what fire we walk through, no mater what waters pass over us, he will be with us and we will make it out with him.

React: Are you walking through deep and scary waters right now? Can you feel God’s presence alongside you? If not, can you make time to ask him to show up in your most painful places?

Pray: God, thank you that we are not alone. Show us your face and strength in the areas we need you most. Help us make time for you.