Happy Thursday everyone!
Over the last two weeks, our family has been praised a lot. We've been praised for our strength, for our joy, for our forgiveness, for anything and everything... and while we appreciate the compliments, what we really want to say is, "It's not us. Truly not us." I will share with you our secret (if you don't already know).
I have heard people say that being a follower of Christ is only for people who are weak. To that I say, "Darn right!" We are weak and we know it. One of my favorite verses in scripture is 2 Corinthians 12:9 which says, "My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness." (I would actually recommend reading the whole section for context). I once heard someone use this passage to ask, "Are you weak enough for God to use you?" As a society, we pride ourselves on being strong and self-sufficient. But this is actually the opposite of what God wants - I admit my weakness, that I cannot do this life on my own!
We are weak, just like everyone else. We definitely have our bad days more than we'd like. And we do have moments we question God's wisdom in this tragedy.
The other day I had a relatively peaceful day - a "good" day in these times of grief. The air outside was crisp but my home was warm, the leaves were beautiful, I was burning cinnamon candles in my autumn-decorated living room, and I was in the kitchen cooking something fabulous (one of my passions!). And because fall is my favorite time of year, I felt snug and happy. I could even think back on events of the last 10 days and feel completely at peace. It was a good day.
But not two hours later, that all changed. I happened to see a video of Zo - my first since his death. The only thing I had seen up to that point were still pictures - I had not even seen him because I arrived after he passed. While watching that first video, tidal waves of grief crashed over me, knocking me over and not letting me up again. I didn't sleep much that night as I cried out in agony to the Lord, "Why? Why was his life cut short? Why are you allowing my sister to lose a child?" for hours on end.
But in that night - and in ANY night of grief - God's strong arms were holding me. He was big enough to handle my questions and emotions. Let me say that again because it's very powerful: He is BIG enough to handle our grief, our emotions, and our questions! We can safely rest in Him as we wrestle with His plans and purposes.
And as the sun rose the next morning, so did my spirits. I chose once again to cling to the Lord. My Topsy-turvy emotions and sleep-deprived body could have so easily chosen to reject the peace and comfort He offers. Letting God's strength work in our weakness is the ONLY reason our family is thriving, growing and hanging on after losing Enzo. We don't desire to be praised ourselves, but to give ALL the glory to God!
This peace and comfort can be yours. Truly, we put one foot in front of the other simply by placing our faith in the person of Jesus Christ. And the beauty is that this is available to everyone - FREE! If you are going through a hard time, I urge you to place your faith in Jesus - circumstances won't necessarily get easier, but won't it be nice to have Jesus with you as you walk the painful road? To get guidance from the one who knows ALL? To be able to hear from Him anytime you open the Bible? To be able to pray and tell him your thoughts, fears, joys, hopes, dreams, disappointments? I can assure you there is nothing more worth it in this world.
Philippians 4:13, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."
Grace and Peace,