Dear hurting family,
My mommy-heart can scarcely comprehend the loss you are now processing. You may never read this letter, and that is absolutely okay. But I want you to know, from the depths of my heart, that I know that I know that I know that our God is a God who reigns. Our God is the Lifter of our heads. (Psalm 3:3) He is our strength in our darkest hour. He is the comfort and peace that makes absolutely no sense, even to those of us who are being strengthened by it.
Those of us who call Jesus Lord and have ever suffered loss, though very few losses could scarcely compare to your current situation, we know that when we hit the depths of our pain and the height of our sorrows our God shows up big time! He’s always been there, but when one of His children gets knocked to their knees He swoops in, and He wraps His arms around you, and every scripture you ever believed comes alive like never before.
None of us would ever ask to suffer such pain, yet when we do, it is only then that we can stand with Job and say, “Until now I had heard about Him, but now my eyes have seen God!” (Job 42:5) Because I know, precious family, of your great faith, and I know the same God whom you serve, I know without a doubt that He is there in the midst of your pain, and He is giving you a strength that you cannot explain. I am standing in awe and watching you. I know, as sure as the air that I breathe, that because of your decision and resolve to stand firm when everything else around you is falling apart, we cannot even begin to comprehend the vastness of the plans the Lord has for using you and your family and your story to make massive impacts for His kingdom. The lives that have already been changed and will be changed through your story and your faith will be countless!
Together, with you I stand and say, “Our God is an awesome God!”
A bone broken grows back stronger, and a faith, built on the firm foundation of Jesus Christ, though it may be shaken, will arise from tragedy stronger and more fully committed and more on fire than if it had never been tested. (James 1) “And we know that our God works all things together for good to those who love him and to those who are called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28) We know that, “though the earth maybe shaken and the mountains may crumble into the sea” (Psalm 46:1-3) our God never leaves us. He is our firm foundation. (2 Timothy 2:18) And we know, beautiful family, that Jesus will take our broken pieces and use them to build something more beautiful than we could ever imagine when we throw them at His feet. And we know as sure as the air that we breathe that what Satan intends for evil and for our distraction our God will use for good and for unfathomable greatness! (Genesis 50:20) This, my friends is what I referred to as the ultimate backfire!
And a quick word to the rest of us who can’t stop thinking about this family and their tragic loss (or others like them) and are struggling so hard to wrap our minds and our faith around it…
The Lord has told me that as sure as He has shown up for me when I have hit rock bottom or experienced pain or tragedy (though never on this great a scale), He is there for this family in the midst of their trial as they lean on Him. He is showing up!
I have to believe that God gives us the grace that we need when we need it and not before. As the rest of us watch and struggle with our own faith to accept what’s going on, I have to believe that I do not have the grace or the ability to comprehend it because it is not my journey right now. But I believe with every beat of my heart that, as this family stands in the midst of this pain God is wrapping the arms of His Holy Spirit around them and giving them a strength and a peace that even they don’t understand.
Not only is God’s peace beyond understanding (Philippians 4:7), it is better than understanding. I’m not going to pretend that we or this family will ever be able to completely get why this has been allowed to happen, but I do believe that God can give them a peace that they can trust and lean on Him and not even need to understand it in order to continue to hold firm, with hands raised and hearts open, declaring to the world that Jesus is Lord to the glory of God our great Father, the ruler of heaven and earth, our Mighty Help, our Strong Fortress, our Refuge and our Strength. May He be high and lifted up!
Amen! So be it!