Declining the Uninvited Journey Through Grief
No one asked me if I wanted to be on this road, this uninvited journey through grief. No one asked if I minded or if I felt strong enough for a tragedy. Not only did no one ask, and I didn’t really even have a choice. I was on a road I never wanted to travel.
We don’t really get to choose these roads, do we? On February 5, 2004, I woke up a wife and someone’s soul mate and went to bed a widow and all alone. My still beating heart ripped in half and I was left to cope, numb from pain and immobilized in fear.
Life’s uninvited journeys through grief don’t ask for permission to invade our lives. And you know what? God doesn’t either. He doesn’t ask permission, checking in to see if we’re okay with a hard season. He doesn’t ask because He doesn’t need to. He already has permission because I’m His child.
The All and Nothing Beauty of the Cross
When I made the decision for God to have first place in my life I signed over my rights to Him. Our agreement is redemption: I give Him my sin and filthy rags and He gives His Son Jesus to me and clothes me in His righteousness!
I gave God my life and took Him at His Word. I gave Him all of me. He took me at my word and planted Himself firmly inside my heart.
When the roads we travel become sad, unexplainable and hard, we don’t back out of the agreement. We embrace it. We’re all in because He took us at our word.
So, What To Do In Hard Seasons?
We have only one option. Take His hand, trust Him, and follow where He leads. As we go through our uninvited journey, we may be surprised to find He gives what we need in exactly the measure we need it. As we travel, learning ever so clumsily to say thanks in the midst of our pain, we start to see breakthrough.
It starts as the tiniest sliver of hope. It pushes through the dark cloud and we experience a shame-free moment. God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. (Romans 5:5)
We’re called to a journey of discovery, where God hides bread crumbs along the way so we’ll continue to follow Him. We follow even though it seems risky, scary, and hopeless. Then He reveals the most marvelous beauty.
As we follow Him, fear leaves, trust deepens, and we believe in greater measure that He is good,
even especially when circumstances are not.
In the midst of suffering, He calls to the deep places of the heart and invites adventurers to come, taste, and see that He is good, all the time. And eventually, even our uninvited journey of grief is turned into a sacrifice of praise to our good and faithful God.