First let me say,
If you are a widow, I would like you to know that I understand. My heart is one of sincere compassion for you. I know your pain and grief. I understand your loneliness and emptiness.
This is a new path that you are called to walk, that is most probably not of your choosing. In the sovereignty of God, your life has changed forever.
My goal here is to give hope and encouragement to those of you who are widows, because I have known the deep, deep grief and sorrow of loosing a mate.
Each of us grieve in a different way, and at a different pace. You need to know that this is OK. Some feel like the “rug has been pulled out from under them”, and it probably has. Some feel like they are in a fog that just does not clear. Others feel very confused, overwhelmed, or like they just cannot function. Maybe you have felt all of these at one time or another, or maybe you have felt all of these at the same time. That is what deep grief is like. If that is where you are now, I understand. Sometimes it feels like no one understands, and that you are all alone in this “pit” of sorrow. At times it feels like a “tsunami” has hit and there is no relief from the overwhelming, relentless grief and pain of loss. Sometimes this pain from loss makes your chest hurt so badly that it literally “feels like” a broken heart. That is normal to feel all of this. If you are feeling like this, know that you are not alone.
Also let me encourage you that there is a personal God that understands. Jesus Christ went through all of this while He was here on Earth. He was “despised and rejected of men, a man of sorrows acquainted with grief”. The same passage in Isaiah 53 says, he was “wounded” and “bruised”. It says, “surely he hath borne our griefs and carried our sorrows”. On the cross, though He was ONE with the Father, that “oneness” was broken when He took on our sin, and the Father looked away. Jesus said, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” He knew, at that moment, the tearing pain of a break in a “oneness” relationship, similar to the “oneness” relationship that we knew with our mates. Jesus was truly tried “in all points like as we are” (Hebr. 4:15). This same verse says that He is “touched with the feeling of our infirmities”.
He feels your pain, and He is the Master Comforter. He knows each of us, and cares deeply for each of us. He wants to extend that comfort to us. The greatest way that He does that is through His word, and the presence of His Holy Spirit.
Pray, ask Him to “be there” for you. Ask Him to show Himself present and evident in your life. Jeremiah 33:3 says, “Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.”
To those of us who know Him as Savior and Lord, He gently instructs us to keep our gaze on Him. His desire is to heal our wounds that are so deep from the grief and sorrow. He is the only One that can meet that need.
He says that we are complete in Him (Col. 2:10).
Jere. 31:25 He says, “For I have satiated (filled full) the weary soul, and I have replenished every sorrowful soul.” And in Jere. 31:13 and 14 He says, “For I will turn their mourning into joy, and will comfort them, and make them rejoice from their sorrow…….my people shall be satisfied with my goodness, saith the Lord.”
It truly is the character of our great God that we can trust, and anchor our soul to when our lives are in what seems like confusion, disarray and total readjustment.
I heard about an illustration…
When the storm waves of the sea of life are about to overwhelm us, and wash us overboard, we are to anchor ourselves to the “mast” of the Character of God on the ship of His Grace.
I picture myself “chained” to that mast of His Character….never to be separated from Him and Who He Is…..the gracious, loving , compassionate, awesome, ever-present God who loves me more than anyone else has ever loved me. He loves me enough to come to me in my sorrow.
There is a verse that has helped me greatly….
Acts 20:24 says…,
“But none of these things move me,
neither count I my life dear unto myself,
so that I might finish my course with joy,
and the ministry,
which I have received of the Lord Jesus,
to testify the Gospel
of the grace of God.””
When I stand before the Lord, I want Him to be pleased that I have trusted Him ……no matter what He has seen fit to bring into my life.
This is a greater walk of faith than I have ever known before. May we widows who know Him be counted faithful.
Jesus Christ died for me, and now He lives in me. Is there anything that He cannot do in me, if I am faithfully yielded to Him?
Galatians 2:20 says…..
” I am crucified with Christ,
nevertheless I live,
Yet not I,
but Christ liveth in me;
and the life which I now live in the flesh
I live by the faith of the Son of God,
who loved me and gave Himself for me.”
May this be an encouragement to you. He loves you and desires to walk with you. If you do not know Him as your Savior,
“Where will I spend Eternity?” will give you insight into this. Or if you would like to email someone for encouragement, please feel free to do so at….. email@example.com.
The Ministry of God’s Presence
One way that the Lord helps so profoundly is that He is ever-present.
(This is called “omnipresence”. He is the only one that can be “everywhere present”.
No other created being can be everywhere present as God is.)
When we or someone we know is deeply grieving, a ministry we can have
is to just be there for them. Sometimes the person needs to be alone, and that
desire needs to be respected.
But to be there with them is a ministry that is to be the very hands and
heart of God reaching out to this suffering soul.
Be there in silence, “weep with those weep”, show the love of God
by “sharing” their grief with them. This comes by your presence.
Here are some things “not” to do.
Reject the temptation to speak Bible verses…. like they are a Band-Aid for their sorrow. Bible verses do not work like Aspirin….take two and the pain goes away. Physical injuries take a longtime to heal, and so does emotional pain and injury. These may take longer to heal. It is not like a bad cold. It takes much healing.
Refrain from the notion that you need to speak something profound. The very best thing is to let them speak first. We do not know what God is doing in the life of this person. 11 Cor. 2:16 says “Who hath known the mind of the Lord?” Prov. 25:2 says “It is the glory of God to conceal a thing.” In the case of Job’s friends, they got in big trouble thinking they knew what was happening.
Refuse the temptation of thinking we can get rid of someone’s grief. We cannot get rid of someone’s grief; we share it by our presence.
We do not need to speak to show love. At Lazarus death, Jesus wept. And those watching said, “Behold how He loved him.”
Refrain from comparing grief…. and turning the situation to yourself or a situation that you know about. This is not about you, or what you think you know about how they are suffering.
An example of this kind of situation……
A man and his wife had three sons. Their first son died 18 days after birth during surgery. The second son died at age 5 after having Leukemia. The third son was killed at age 18 in a sleigh riding accident. This man’s grief was overwhelming to him after the death of the third son.
People came to him and said things that he already knew, but his heart was to heavy to be able to absorb them at that point. He wished they would go away.
There were some who came but just sat and listened. They let him speak if he wanted to, and prayed simply for him and with him. When they left, he hated to see them go.
This is called ….the ministry of presence.
It is your presence that is ministering to the person because you are sharing the grief.
Of course, someone else cannot always be there for us when we are grieving, and those who are present can’t always know exactly what the need of our heart is.
There is One who…. is always there for us. He is ever-present, and is the Master Comforter. He knows all the sorrow and grief in our hearts, and can share it with us, as no other. We can talk to Him whenever we want, and He always hears and understands. We tend to underestimate this when things are going well, but when there is no one else who truly understands, He is our only comfort. The Lord says that He “will satiate the soul ….and my people shall be satisfied with my goodness….for I have satiated the weary soul, and I have replenished every sorrowful soul.” (Jere.31:14,25)