Why am I so upended?
I wonder if you’ll set his place at the table
–even though he’s gone.
And I wonder if you’ll play her favorite song
–even though she’s not there to dance.
There isn’t a right answer, and I hope you’ll let yourself hang in this place for a moment. Because grief is complicated and personal. And a lot of us are acting funny because pain is making us feel funny.
As much as we’d like a playbook for these moments, it wouldn’t satisfy. Because we can see death coming from a million miles away, and it can still surprise us.
Are you feeling surprise? God is not. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. Colossians 1:17 (NIV).
Are you feeling dread? Let Him hold it. My eyes are dim with grief. I call to you, Lord, every day; I spread out my hands to you. Psalms 88:9 (NIV).
Are you aching for what should have been? God aches with you. He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem. Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering… Isaiah 53:3-4 (NIV).
She won’t be walking through your door this Christmas. And he won’t be sitting at your table. But God hovers in every room, long before you enter it. He was in this year before you ever were. He put grace in your today before you took your first breath. And if we really let ourselves fall into Him, we can make it through.
Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, ‘The LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.’ The LORD is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD.
Lamentations 3:21-26 (NIV).
Prayer. Lord Jesus, You were in my heartbroken holidays long before I was.
Application. Today, I will spend 10 minutes reading the Bible. Consider Isaiah 61 & Romans 8.