He gives strength to those of us who are worn out and weak,
ever-increasing His strength in us.
Even the young people grow tired and worn out, and no matter how athletic, they stumble and fall.
BUT if we know the LORD and put our hope in Him, we will always find new strength in Him.
We will fly with the strength of eagles’ wings;
Run and run and not be worn out;
Walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:29-31 (my paraphrase)
Three years ago, on September 22nd, my youngest son, James, died. Three years seems like a long time – and like yesterday.
I was at a party recently and saw some young men, friends of James, that reminded me that time had marched on. These young men were taller, bigger through the chest, and in general, were growing into men. James, on the other hand, in my mind, was frozen in time. Grief, at time and opportunities lost, washed over me.
Grief is like that. It comes and goes. Sneaks up on a person when you least expect. Some describe it as a journey. It has mountains to climb. It has long, lonely stretches of flat road that require perseverance. And it has glorious valleys where you can be refreshed through friends, good memories, and that “peace that passes understanding” (Philippians 4:7).
I am convinced that healthy grief is possible. This healthy grief is characterized by a sense of loss that does not leave and yet does not rob me of the joy of day to day living. At the core, the heart of my journey, is faith. Because I know that Jesus Christ came to sacrifice Himself for my sins and James’ sins, I know that there is an eternal life that James and I will share. It is this hope that gives me the strength to live through our separation now with joy because there is much for me to do until the day that we meet again, never to be separated.
I don’t have all the answers. God and I still have our ‘wrestling matches’ as I move along this journey of grief. I recently wrote a book where I recorded some of the questions that He and I have wrestled over so far. Grief: Finding the Candle of Light is available through Energion Publications at its pre-publication price until September 21st. Check it out!