Yesterday I stood outside in the heat of a June afternoon and watched a man say good-bye to his wife. The sky was that lovely blue of a warm summer day, and popcorn clouds floated dreamily across. The grass of the cemetery grounds was the perfect shade of green, evidence of the abundant rains we have seen over the past several weeks. The service was short and sweet. I saw before me an old man. He seemed so frail and different than the man I had known him to be, and yet I am sure that the man I have known is still there. He is much older now and much changed, his hair is white and his skin is thin and frail. Yet his mind is sharp, and he is constantly pointing those of us who are mourning with him back to the God of all goodness.
It is painful to watch someone lose a loved one.
It is more painful to lose a loved one yourself.
This godly man got up before the small group who had gathered at the grave side and he simply read a bit of verse from the hymn, Day by Day. He read a bit and then he sat down. It was very hard to hear the words he spoke, as his voice isn’t as strong as it once was so I looked up the hymn, and found something beautiful.
The hymn Day by Day was written by Lina Sandell. She wrote this hymn at the age of 26. She was traveling on a boat with her father, when he was swept overboard and died. She witnessed the death of her father and she went to the Lord of all comfort and wrote many beautiful hymns. Her heartbreak poured forth into a soothing balm for many others who came behind her.
When you struggle do you go to God to heal your broken heart? Or is your first response to dive into a depression of why me’s? I find it interesting that we/ I allow ourselves/myself to fall into the trap of self pity, then what comes from that indulgence is anger, entitlement, fights, and many other negative behaviors. Often we resort to food, or other bad habits that feed bodies often in the worse possible way rather than diving into the words of the Lord Jesus and feeding our soul what it so desperately needs. Perhaps if we were quicker to cling to our savior then maybe what would be produced would be more along the lines of a blessing to those around us like this beautiful hymn rather than a curse of anger and hatred.
Why is it that we find it so hard to believe that God loves us when we are in pain? Why do we automatically assume that our pain is caused by God himself? It seems as though we have grown to believe that we somehow deserve a comfortable life that is free of pain. How have we fallen into this lie? How have we become so enraptured with comfort that the lack of that comfort causes us to scream in anger at God demanding why?
Perhaps it is time to reacquaint ourselves with what Jesus actually teaches us. Perhaps it is time for us to learn that we need to cling to the arms who paid the price for our sin, rather than yell and scream at God crying out in protest to the pain we feel. God is good. We can trust that.
I encourage you, if you are hurting don’t run away from God. Instead cling to him, and find the rest your soul needs there.