This has been a very trying year and a half for our family and it's not over. Throughout the last year and a half, we have lost so many loved ones that it has become impossible to not be aware of the realities of life and death all around us. In this past year, we have seen Lindsey's Great Aunt Mary and Great Uncle Bill, my brother-in-law Sandy's Dad and Stepmother, my Aunts Marlene and Verna, my Uncle Jim, Lindsey's grandfather Daddy Dean, my surrogate grandfather John Prince, and Lindsey's own Mom go to be with the Lord. Yesterday we got the news that my Uncle Jack has only weeks to live from a cancer that has swept his body. All of these have had an effect on us as if building up to some colossal storm within us. Each one of these people has been special to us and each "loss" has hurt to endure. Some went quickly and some have gone slowly, but all have been sorrowful despite the knowledge of an eternal reunion in Heaven. An older pastor I know often says that funerals are sad days, but not bad days. I can truly say that about all of this. Tonight I sat in my car and listened to a new CD from Borders that I admittedly purchased based off of one song, "Praise You In This Storm" by Casting Crowns. That storm building up inside of me has materialized often in tears and cries to God over our temporary loss of such influential and important people in our lives. Two weeks ago I was driving home from the store and heard "Praise You In This Storm" in my car. I pulled over and sobbed. I love these people we have known that have gone on to Heaven and while I feel like an eternal wound has been caused to my soul to be without them, I have to remind myself to never forget that we are not alone in our grief and that God is exactly who He has always been no matter where I am in my life. God has always shown Himself to be the God who cares enough about us to weep with us in our grief, to send His Son to die for our sins, and to be a God who gives and takes away. It is all too convenient for me to say to God that He is my loving Lord and the provider of my needs when I am in the midst of all of the blessings He has given. It is another thing altogether to say the same when He has chosen to change my situation or has allowed it to change. I praise our Lord for what He has done and continues to do and I encourage you to do the same. I have included in this post a video which includes the song, "Praise You In This Storm." It convicted me in my car until I raised my hands and praised God for who He is. The video is admittedly a bit overdone, but the song is beautiful and I wanted to share it with all who would listen.
It doesn't make the pain less real to acknowledge its existence, however, it makes my understanding of that pain that much more bearable to acknowledge His existence in it.
These are some verses that have helped me: Romans 8:28, 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 (all of chapters 4 and 5 really), Psalm 42:5, Job1:20-21, 2 Corinthians 5:1-10, Daniel 3:16-18. Hope they teach you as much as they have ministered to me.