“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” (Psalm 34:18 NIV)
Grief is complex – it will have our emotions and thoughts all over the place. One minute we are overwhelmed with sadness, the next a sense of happiness as our minds are flooded with memories of the past, while trying to grasp the reality of the present, and grappling with the uncertainties of the future. Grief is complex. It’s like a volcano that can erupt at any given moment. It can be triggered by a familiar smell, a television show, a particular outfit, a meal, an empty seat during holiday gatherings – anything that reminds us of our loss can trigger an emotional eruption. Grief is messy and complex, even for the most dedicated believer.
We all have dealt with circumstances in our lives that we hoped would have turned out differently. We all have had our “Martha moment” (John 11:21), “Lord, if you were here then my mother; father; grandmother; grandfather; wife; husband; daughter; son; sister; brother; cousin; aunt; uncle; friend would not have died.” We all have had our, “If God would have stepped in and done things differently, then maybe…” moments. Grief is a true test of our faith. Even Jesus said, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me” (Matthew 27:46). The loss of a loved one is, at times, an unbearable pain. Loss cuts a hole in our hearts – one that can never be filled by anyone else or by anything. It’s painful. You may have been trying to mend that hole by yourself, but today I want to remind you that God will heal and mend your broken heart.
These divine encounters are what we need most when our hearts are broken. It is in these moments of stillness that strength is drawn from our heavenly Source, and there is divine embrace.
We have a Savior who is acquainted with grief. Jesus understands our pain. Our heavenly Father sees our tears, and in our weakest moments, the Holy Spirit undergirds us with the power and strength to go on. It is in these moments God sends ministering angels, family and friends to comfort our troubled souls. If you have been grieving loss, you are not alone. God promised that He would always be with us, even in the midst of grief. God’s arms of comfort are wide open, ready to embrace you. Today, God wants you to step into His embrace.
Comfort and strength are found in the presence of God. One of the most difficult spiritual disciplines is to quiet our busy minds and give God our undivided attention. However, while difficult, it is one of the most satisfying spiritual disciplines that ushers us into God’s presence and allows us to have divine encounters with our loving God. These divine encounters are what we need most when our hearts are broken. It is in these moments of stillness that strength is drawn from the heavenly Source, and there is divine embrace.
As you read this, I invite you to carve out some quiet time with God. To do this, you may want to set an alarm for fifteen minutes. Invite the Holy Spirit into this moment and center your heart on the goodness of God. Your mind will attempt to drift away, but just whisper the name of Jesus and refocus your attention on the Lord. This is fifteen minutes of undistracted time with God. This is fifteen minutes to meet with God and allow Him to minister to your soul. Let God do all the talking. Just listen. He will speak words of love, peace and comfort. God will restore your soul. God will heal your broken heart and bind up your wounds. We may not have all the answers. We may not know why we’ve had to endure pain, but we do know that God is near to the brokenhearted. In His presence, we will find strength and rest for our weary souls. Today I encourage you to bring all your cares and tears into His presence and step into God’s embrace.
Rev. Nichole Edness currently serves as the Minister of Membership Nurture at The Greater Allen Cathedral of NY where Rev. Dr. Floyd Flake is the Pastor and the Rev. Dr. Elaine Flake is the Co-Pastor. In this position she fulfills several roles including the Minister of Bereavement, Pastoral Care, and the Coordinator of Sick and Shut-in Visitation. She also serves as an instructor, preacher and worship leader…