I like plans. So I like road maps, graphs and charts. So when there are trials I want a step by step plan to follow to heal. But when I can’t find one I figure I have three choices.
- Give up.
- Continue on my own way.
- Or trust God and step back.
It’s never viable to give up, so I keep looking. Alas,…as usual…the best solution is to accept I am not in control and maybe…just maybe God is.
So when our son Tim died I knew enough that while this was not going to be easy, God had something for us. God had known about Tim’s un-timely death since the beginning of time. And in that God always has a way to heal, what did He have in store for us?
And so what would my healing look like? I had faith that my healing would go deeper than the pain of our loss. As I don’t believe there are setbacks with God. I believe that while yes…our trials can many times be consequences. But His word says that He has His hand on us. That He loves us unconditionally. That there is no condemnation in Christ Jesus. So I was looking forward to seeing where He would take me. As I also realized quickly, as with any significant loss, it tends to bring up every unresolved issue one has. So I wanted more than just healing over Tim death.
I wanted the pain I was in to be the grounding for wholeness.
Am I there yet?…in progress. And while I believe my book has some great insight to grieving. I would love to share something I…if I get the chance….will add in.
Recently I’ve been exposed to the question: what is Gods perspective about all of this? I mean…every part of us. All our trials, triumphs and in between.
Wow Emily…that’s a tall order you might say. And yes it is. I could be flippant and say “there’s a book that has that for anyone to read”…of course it’s the Bible. But for the sake of time-lets just have a peak at what I’ve started to learn about God’s perspective.
One might assume God might say “what’s the big deal. You’re gonna see him soon”. After all God isn’t under time constraints as there isn’t time in heaven.
But that’s not what Jesus did when his friend Lazereth died. In fact, even though Jesus knew He was about to raise him from the dead, He still wept. If I were there and knew what was about to happen..I may have been like…seriously…we’re about to do something great here Martha and Mary…show some faith! But no…instead He wept with Lazereth’s two sisters. And then of course, to show us what would ultimately happen to Him, He raised Lazereth on the third day.
So with that we know His viewpoint is one of compassion. He cares for us, especially in our hurts. He knows that’s when He can do His best work in us. When we finally know how much we need Him.
But does He want us to stay in a state of mourning forever? Of course not, scripture talks about after weeping joy will come in the morning. (Plus He wants to bring us through the pain, to heal, to be overcomers so He can shine through us).
Let me share with you just one part of what God says happens to His children after death on earth.
“…but are like angels in heaven.”
Matthew 22:30 HCSB
While he is not an angel, it’s comforting to know he has been transformed.
After many years, I no longer think of him in his apartment for three days…alone…in the dark…and…well…dead. It used to just break my heart that no one missed him for those three days. And if you read the whole story you will see the circumstances were such that his friends and his sister all thought he was somewhere else. But as a mom, of course my heart went there.
Now with God’s help I am better about thinking of Tim as he is now…from God’s viewpoint, of how wonderful he has it. That he is walking on the streets of gold, with our savior. He gets to physically talk with Jesus. That he doesn’t have to be confined to this world that can take the best of those down dark paths. He gets to visit with all sorts of people like Joyce Lau the woman in the crosswalk Sept 1st 2010, Moses, family he never met, a friends baby that died on his day of birth, his grandparents etc.
I picture him being absorbed with God’s love and looking forward to seeing us again one day…as are we ;). The kid has it pretty good!
A friend of mine from high school lost her son Ryan in a drowning accident. She put on her Facebook page on the 9th anniversary of his death “I am now happier for Ryan than sad for me”. She is now able to see her situation from God’s perspective, or the perspective of eternity …that he has it pretty good. Which is much better than thinking about what we have lost. As all of this is just a flash in the pan. God sees it from the big picture…eternity.
It’s a process of letting go of our expectations and holding on to how God sees all of this. From the perspective of eternity.
And so it’s all about trusting Him in these times so that ultimately our “setbacks” can draw us closer to Him.
As a line in a song says “the worlds not falling apart, but falling in to place”. For whatever reason this is where we’re at. And I look forward to seeing what God is going to do with our loss. As so far there have been a string of miracles, so I have the faith to say…I know there’s even more.