I began a study of the book of James this week, using the guide from Well Watered Woman. My Community Bible Study class ended, and I wanted something to keep my digging into the Word over the summer weeks.
The first memory verses are James 1:2-4 (English Standard Version)
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
As I was praying, I thought, but, Lord…HOW can losing my daughter be counted as joy? Because it most certainly is not a joyful situation. It’s hard and deep and sucky. It still is as fresh as if it were yesterday. It’s. Just. Horrid.
As the Lord does, His still small voice sounded. “There can be joy in the journey itself. I am with you.”
Grieving is part of life; we grieve many things on many levels. Grieving the loss of our loved ones is difficult. But, look for the joy that is in the journey of grieving. There are different seasons: shock, anger, denial, etc. Anyone who has grieved and read about it knows the stages. They ebb and flow, sometimes mingle, but as you go through them, you can find joy in them.
The greatest joy that I knew today, is that in the deepest, darkest night, in the struggles, in the raw tearing of my heart, Jesus stood by me. He alone was my comfort, when nothing else could. His word, worship songs, His people…all of that can be counted as joy.
Sweet friend, no matter if you are one day or 25 years into the seasons of grieving your beloved child, lay it all on Him. God is there, arms wide open, waiting for you. He understands; He gave His Son, so that the sting of death would be no more.
1 Corinthians 15: 54b-57
“Death is swallowed up in victory.”
“O death, where is your victory?
O death, where is your sting?”
The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
I know this does not feel like victory. Trust God’s word, not the feelings. Feeling, like the seasons, drift and are easily manipulated. Be steadfast; be sure. GOD is in your grieving. he shares it. He stands by you through it. lean on Him today.
Be blessed, Barb
Please go to the Community Bible Study link above to find a class near you. There are many options.
In my book, Angels Unaware, Moriah, the main character, chooses to abandon the God of her youth in favor of fame and fortune. She finds that all she’s worked for is not a comfort as she grieves her mother. Available on Amazon and Books2Read.