Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Sudden Loss and God's Grace

Dr. H. Norman Wright says, "Sudden death is a shock to the system. It can often plunge a person into a crisis state. It's the suddenness of it that's just overwhelming. You don't have the resources. It stops you from your walk through life." 
Most of the families that I deal with, most that I have so much in common with, were shocked by the death of their child.  Some had a bit of warning but we had none.  It was like being hit by a train.  We went from a blissfully happy twin pregnancy with no signs of any concerns to a life threatening diagnosis, surgery for treatment, loss and another life threatening diagnosis all within 48 hours.  It was completely overwhelming and I really didn't know where to turn. 
The sovereign Lord will remain by your side and will keep you from being destroyed by your emotions and circumstances. Claim His words in the Bible, and stand on the truth of His promises, regardless of what you feel and see. Cling to God with all you have. He will preserve your life. 

I wish I knew then what I know now but then again I wouldn't be who I am now if it hadn't taken me the time it did to turn to Christ. 

In the following verse Paul said he felt great pressure and confusion, but God set a limit as to how far this would go:

2 Corinthians 4 : 1, 8-9, 16-18

1 Therefore, since through God’s mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart.
We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.
16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

When you need God's grace the most, God will bless you with a special, dynamic grace to get you through. 

Elisabeth Elliot experienced the deaths of her first two husbands. She says, "I think that the reason I did not cry at Jim or Ad's funeral was because God gives grace to help in time of need. Everybody else at those funeral services was just dissolved in tears. I can honestly say that I really did not feel like crying; I was just so swept away with the glory of the fact that my husbands were with the Lord. 
Sometimes those of deep faith are so filled with grace and can actually celebrate death and loss.  They don't dissolve in tears because they are so filled with peace knowing that their loved one is with God.  I don't know that this is the case with many when the loss comes as a shock.  So often in those situations if you don't see the tears and devastation it's because everyone is just in shock.  I sometimes think that is God's way of protecting us and our 'dignity' for lack of a better term.  He knows that we will need time to absorb what has happened and so he gives us a form of grace to cope with what has happened.

"I think God gives special grace at times like these to people who need it the most." 

As a Christian, God's grace protects you and sustains you in so many ways, even when you are not aware of it. Humans are limited in perception and understanding, but God's grace is infinite. Believe that God's grace is being poured out for you today, and if you need specific grace, ask Him for it. Through Jesus, you can find something to rejoice about in suffering.

"Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance" (Romans 5:1--3).
This scripture quoted by the Grief Share devotion folks reminds me of my favourite scripture...

James 1

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,[a] whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.

Savior of my life, I have said it time and time again, someitmes the pressure seems unbearable, but it has not crushed me and I do not believe it will crush others who turn to you.  Sometimes, even now, so many years after our loss, I am utterly confused and overwhelmed, but I have not given up, I will not give up.
I have been forcefully struck down, but I am not destroyed.  I believe that You have given me a special grace to help me through the hardest times. I will stand on Your promises even when I cannot see You or feel You. Amen

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