Tuesday, June 29, 2010

He Knows

When Jesus heard what had happened, he withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place… Matthew 14:13

Here we go again, I thought. Another day of going through the motions without any motivation to do so. It was like living in a world without color, always numb to whatever was going on around you. I was tired of being tired, tired of having no energy, tired of carrying the grief and sorrow from missing my son. The first year was hard as we went through all of the special moments without Andrew for the first time. But I think the second year was harder because everyone else moved on with life. But nothing felt normal to us without Andrew. People stopped checking on us. People forgot the days so special to us or days of intensely painful memories. It felt like people were forgetting him.

I turned to God one morning in prayer. His word said he knew our temptations; he understood our pains, trials and experiences. “Where did you go through this?” I begged of God. “Help me understand how to survive.” He led me to Matthew 14 which shares the story of how John the Baptist, Jesus’ cousin, was beheaded by Herod during a drunken display of pride. Verse 13 jumped out at me. “When Jesus heard what had happened, he withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place.” He did understand! The grief of losing his cousin made him want to retreat and withdraw. I felt so validated. Someone understood!

As I kept reading, I was perturbed when the crowds intruded upon Jesus. Having followed him to the other side of the lake, they wouldn’t leave him alone. I would have stayed in the boat and turned away. But Jesus didn’t. He ministered to the multitudes and ended up feeding thousands that day just from a few small pieces of fish and bread. Finally, verse 23 says he dismissed the crowds, sent his disciples on ahead by boat, and retreated up on a mountainside by himself to pray.

I felt God whisper, “That is the key. Yes, I understand your pain and grief and sense of loss. I’ve experienced it too. The key to survival is bringing it to me, spending time with me, allowing my spirit to minister to you and bring healing. Jesus did not run away from what was required of him in the midst of his grief. Instead of letting it control him, He controlled it. He kept himself strengthened and stable by setting aside one on one time with me. Only I can provide you with the strength to keep going.”

Jesus understands our grief. He offers a pattern for us --to bring our pain and grief to God. Then his comfort and help empowers us to go on. We can then be the parent to our children, the mate to our spouse, the friend and neighbor we need to be. Are you hurting today? Take time to share your pain with God today. Run into his comforting arms. There you will find the comfort, validation, and perspective to keep going.

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