When you’re out of gas physically and emotionally, it doesn’t mean that you have to be wiped out spiritually.
It’s been a hard week, as I watched a dear family lose both husband/father and home all in one night. Wiped out doesn’t even begin to describe it. My brother and I were talking that while we understand one aspect of the loss, we can’t the other.
Our church felt the loss deeply as well, since the one who is now rejoicing with the angels led our adult Bible study group. He touched so many lives with his fist bumps, witty comebacks and smile. We’re all a bit drained.
That’s when the Lord brought this verse to mind:
Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior. The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to tread on the heights.*
I can only imagine that our dear friends feel this way, with the loss of all they’ve known and loved. Empty of possessions and in deep mourning.
The one thing that is left is the Rock on which I can find stability. “I will rejoice in the Lord.” Because God is my Savior, I still have hope. The psalmist says, “my flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart.”*
When we’re wiped out by life and death, he alone is our strength, enabling us to put one weak foot in front of the other and keep climbing, keep walking, keep pressing on. We keep moving in the fog of grief and loss, sometimes not knowing we’re making any progress. Only later do we find that he’s led us to a place where we can see that his hand was at work…
to bestow on [us] a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.
As my dear friends find their strength in the Lord, I know that there will come the day when…
They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.*
Have you come to the point of yet yet? Are you wiped out, in grief, at a complete loss, and don’t know where to turn? There is one who is strong enough to let you stand on him, lean on him, cry out to him, call out to him, and even yell at him. Only by letting him be your source of strength will you be able to rejoice when nothing makes sense.
Are you there yet?
Grace and Peace
*Habakkuk 3:17-19 (NIV)
*Psalm 73:26 (NIV)