Today’s Gospel: John 16:20-23
Grief. We all experience profound and unrelenting mental suffering or distress sometime in our life. It may come as a result of a death, a broken relationship, or disheartening news. Everyone experiences the human condition of sorrow in a unique way.
I remember the night I lay curled up in a fetal position and wept from dusk until dawn. Around me, the rest of the world seemed to sleep, but slumber eluded me. I felt alone in the silence as the knowledge of my grandson’s death buried me under the avalanche of heavy anguish. Each time a new image of my son and his wife as they dealt with Jack’s death marched through my thoughts, a new wave of agony engulfed me. It came at intervals. I had a respite of calmness, then acute pain, followed by quiet sobs until the heartache lessened.
But unlike the pains of childbirth, new life didn’t await me. Instead, I faced a visitation and a funeral. I had the choice to feel defeated or hang on to the promise Jesus made to us. “So, you also are now in anguish. But I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy away from you.” John 16:22.
Faith had taught me that this earth is not our home. That one day Jesus waits for us in heaven. Jack, five months and twenty-seven days old, had gone home. Images of this sweet baby in the arms of Jesus made it bearable. One member of our family had achieved the goal of life – eternal happiness. For Jesus said, “Let the children come to me, and do not prevent them; for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.”
With this promise, I faced the day. The joy would come.
Where do I turn when despair and grief overcome me? What gives me comfort during the difficult moments of life?
Lord, as we face the trials of day-to-day life, help me focus on the promise of eternal life. Send me the grace to direct my thoughts to my final destination – life with You in heaven. Amen.
Copyright 2018 Virginia Pillars
Virginia Pillars, author of the award-winning memoir, Broken Brain, Fortified Faith: Lessons of Hope Through a Child’s Mental Illness, writes and speaks about the effects of mental illness on families. She contributed to Grief Diaries Poetry, Prose & More and Surviving Suicide. Virginia volunteers for the National Alliance on Mental Illness as an educator/support group leader. She blogs at virginiapillars.com.
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