This past weekend, my husband and I had the honor of celebrating the life of one of his cousin’s sons. This young man’s life was only 20 years long this side of eternity. He was one of those really special kids. He made you feel like the most important person in the room, no matter where you were, or what was going on. It truly was an honor to grieve with his parents during this tragic time of loss. In scripture we are told to rejoice with those who are rejoining and to grieve with those who are grieving. I honestly can not imagine the deepth of their loss. But my spirit is joined with them in this time as I try and show the love and compassion that Yehovah God has shown me.
Yet, grief, loss, tragedy is a strange thing. This morning, I got up and got around to come into my office like I do every Tuesday. As I wrote out the instructions on the board for my children, like I do every Tuesday, I couldn’t help but think of how strange it is that life moves forward after tragedy. In some ways, I think it is good to move forward, we can not move backwards. But, it seems like maybe life should stop for a moment, or two. I guess that is what the memorial service is all about. Still today the service is over, the burial is done, and these parents are still without a son. I remember when our family went through such a tragic time a while back, and how I sort of froze in time. I couldn’t understand why the whole world didn’t just stop. Didn’t they know our loss, couldn’t they feel our sorrow, why did the sun keep rising, and the flowers keep growing? Why did people keep working, and life keep going on and on.
I know grief and loss is sadly just a part of the life cycle. I truly look forward to the eternal Kingdom that has no sorrow or pain. But, I wonder, do we sometimes hurry back into life and routine too quickly. Especially, here in America. I know there are cultures that grieve loss for weeks and sometimes months. I have read books of times past where people grieved a loss for a year. I think there is even times in scripture where the people stopped to grieve.
In Genesis 50, we see the custom of the Egyptians is to mourn for seventy days, as the whole Kingdom of Egypt mourns the death of Jacob, Joeseph’s father. We also see that the Isralites mourned for both Moses’ and Aaron’s deaths for 30 days. (Exodus 33-34, and Numbers 20) It seems there are other examples of times of mouring in scripture.
As I drove into Lansing today, I couldn’t help but wonder about how we all had to be shut in recently, and how it was a gift of solitude. During the quaritine, I found life slowed down, and I could really focus on the important things, the things we all say we live for. I was able to really spend quality time in scripture, in prayer, and in quiet with Yehovah. I was also able to just be with my children and enjoy them, no hurrying through things. Just playing, sitting, reading, and visiting. We didn’t need to go anywhere, we didn’t need to rush off. I could safely reach out to those in need via the phone or internet, and I could pray for them and comfort them.
Maybe there is something about slowing down, maybe there is something to taking the time to allow ourselves to feel the joys and sorrows of life.
My next thought was of taking grief and loss to the extreme. In scripture, we see examples of this in Naomi, the mother in law of Ruth. She loses so much her sons and her husband. She can’t seem to let go of that lose either. What a blessing Ruth was to her, to stay with her in those years of grief. Naomi never got over that loss, but Ruth brought her great comfort, and evently new hope. Oh, how I desire to be like Ruth. So loyal, so caring.
We also, see grief gone to far in the life of Jacob. When his son Joseph is lost to him, Jacob lives in continuous mouring and grief. He can not let go of his sorrow, even for the joy of the sons he has remaining. He mourns for 22 years, and only comes out of mourning when it is discovered his son is actually a live. I often wonder what it must of been like for Leah and for Benjamin. They could never be enough for this husband and father. Oh, how, I hope I never play favorites like Jacob.
Today, life moves on in our nation for many of us. But for others there is trauma, grief, loss, and sorrow. Our country and the world is in constant chaos, and for many of us, we can ignore it and go about our daily lives. But, maybe, we need to stop and grieve with those who are grieving, and care for the dying. Maybe, we need to refocus. We don’t need to become paralyzied by grief, and we don’t need to allow the pain and sorrow to overtake our peace and joy that comes from our Saviour, Messiah. But, maybe, just maybe, we need to allow His mercy and compassion to fill us and over flow out of us to the many people around that are struck with so much loss and sorrow.
These are my thoughts this morning, as I pray for the families that lost their sons, and daughter in that tragic car accident. As I pray for all of them in this time of such pain. I can not and do not know that pain, and I pray that I never will.
May Yehovah God meet each of them today at their point of need.
Written by Katie
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