“I am sorry, but your mother has died.” This was the news I found myself having to deliver to a young lady in the hospital waiting room. I watched as waves of emotion flooded over her countenance. First was the blank look of shock and disbelief, then came the tears and sobs as reality began to settle in. Later anger surfaced, “Why did this happen?!” and eventually, the acceptance of the cold truth that her mom was gone. Over time, this grieving young adult would face ebbs and tides of grief, loneliness and wondering, “Will I ever get over this hurt?”[i]
Seasons of loss are a difficult part of life as we know it. Some seasons are worse than others, depending on the nature of the loss and what else is going on in your life at the time. Loss can come in many forms: sudden death of a loved one, life-changing diagnoses of a health condition, being let go from a job, a friend moves away, or you leave your hometown to begin a life elsewhere. The intensity of loss increases if you have experienced other losses around the same time or in the past that you have not recovered from. For example, a young man loses his job and feels like the world has ended. Others look at him and say, “Why are you so low? You can find work elsewhere.” But what they do not realize is that his girlfriend recently broke up with him and his mother was diagnoses with cancer. Put all these together and you have someone who is shouldering quite a burden!
It is easy to feel hopeless during a season of loss. “Will my life ever be the same?” “Will I ever be happy?” “What good can come from this?” If you have ever felt this way, you are not the only one. A man named Jeremiah went through a difficult season when life dealt him blow after blow. He was homeless, rejected by his own people, in physical pain and felt like darkness was closing in around him. He thought God Himself had turned him a deaf ear. The more he thought about his situation, the lower he became and the more he felt like collapsing.
Then something changed…a ray of hope pierced the darkness of his despair. Listen to his words as he gives us a glimpse of what made the difference.
“Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, ‘The LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.’”[ii]
Jeremiah remembered God’s faithfulness, steadfast love and compassion. Though his feelings told him everything about his situation was hopeless, he remembered who God was and submitted his feelings to this reality.
Are you going through a season of loss? It may be a significant loss, like the young lady above. Or, it may be less, but is still painful nonetheless. Do not give up hope. Remember in the midst of all the darkness that there is a light: God has not forgotten you. It may seem like it, but He is walking through this with you, and has what you need to get through it if you will yield yourself to Him. Your life may never be the same on the other side of the loss, but you will heal and find a “new normal” that is filled with hope and healing. I am praying for you.
God of compassion and faithfulness, I am in a low point
right now. I feel trapped and hopeless, and do not sense You
close by. But something far deeper than my feelings tells me
that You are there. I remember Your goodness in days gone by and choose
to trust You not only when life is pleasant, but when life is hard. I will
quietly wait on You. Grant me grace and strength to endure.
In Jesus’ name, amen.
[i] This story is a composite picture of many times I delivered such news.
[ii] Lamentations 3:21-24 (NIV2011)