Wednesday, April 24, 2013


"Whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away" James 4:14 

The truth of this scripture has been washing over me anew this day.  Some dear friends of ours lost a wonderful godly man to a very abrupt and unexpected tragedy.  A godly husband and father, now gone to be with the LordMy thoughts, tears, and prayers have been with them all through the day since finding out, and memories, like silent droplets of rain, gently drench my soul, remembering my own loss, years ago.

These two verses came to my mind immediately, and the tears began to flow as I poured out my heart in prayer, for these brothers and sisters in Christ.

"Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep." Romans 12:15

"Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ." Galatians 6:2 

I do not know their pain.  But I kept thinking and praying: this is the day of shock.  It is a day of blur.  This is a time where things get fuzzy, life seems to stop, yet nothing seems real.  You want to wake up, but you really don't.  The sad reality is still there with you for days, but it never really sinks in.  You expect to see their face again, their smiles, their laughter, their jokes.  But it's strangely quiet.   They are strangely not there.  You know in your mind that God is sovereign and has a plan in all this; you know He is good, that your beloved is in a place of no more tears in the presence of our heavenly Father; yet your heart is breaking.  The pain is real, the grief is real, the sorrow is all too acute.  Suddenly, life is very real again, life is really different without them.  You know God is good, but your heart is so wrenched all you can think of is how can life go on without them?

I know, because I had my day of shock.  I had those feelings.  I had that pain, that sorrow.  But it is different for every single person who loses someone they love.  Every relationship is different.  Some lose sisters, some lose husbands, some lose daddy's.  Each one feels a little differently than the rest.

And the absolute worst thing you can ever say to someone suffering the loss of someone they love?  "I know how you feel" or "I understand what you're going through".  No you don't.  No one wants to hear that when the grief is fresh.  YOU never knew what it was like to be her sister.  YOU never knew what it was like to have him as father.  YOU never were married to this exact person.  YOU will never know precisely how it feels to have lost what they lost.  So please, don't ever say this to someone, even if you mean well.

Perhaps I remember the above through the eyes of someone younger, surrounded by immature people.  It has been many years since I have been through a tragic loss of a loved one's life, but I would hope no one would dream of saying they know how someone else feels during a loss.  It is just unfathomable to say such a thing to someone hurting.  I also remember going through such a devastating loss as someone who did not have any true comprehension that God is absolutely sovereign, reigning on His throne, and that nothing happens out of His will and plan for life.  I did not really know that God is good, even in the midst of tragedy, for all I could think of was, "why"?-and it was so unfair.  But it's not unfair.  God is in control, and He was very kind to bless us with that person's life as long as He chose to.  Knowing God is sovereign over all makes a huge difference when going through trials and hardships.  When I went through an entirely different tragedy of sorts (no loss of life), it was amazing to cling to the Lord God and know His mercy, grace, peace, and comfort and knowing He was sovereign and in control, and not one thing happened that He did not first allow.  As Linus from the Peanut's strip commented to Lucy's remark about God's promises being reassuring, "Sound theology has a way of doing that". So...

Everyone is different.  Some people need to have others around to feel loved, and have life and activity all around them.  Some people just want to share every sweet memory they have with anyone who will listen.  Some people need to be alone.  Some people need time to cry, or wrestle through their feelings whatever they may be.  Some people want to laugh.  Some people want a shoulder to cry on.  Some may even want you to cry right there with them.  So be sensitive to each person grieving.  And each person in a family is different.  Some may cry every single night.  Others may cry once.  Each have their way of expressing their sorrow.

Above all, though they are different, everyone needs the same thing: prayer, and the comfort of God.  They all need the saints of Christ to bear their burden, to weep with them, even if it is not physically with them.

So even though you can't know how they feel, you can tell them, "I don't know how you feel or what you are going through, but your sorrow is my sorrow, my prayers are for you." 

And don't forget them in a month or two.  They are living with a new reality.  Next year, remember to give them a hug, send them a card, or a phone call, or text, to say, I love you and remember your loss. 

With my friends, all I could do was lift my tearful prayers up to the throne of grace.  I know the shock, I know it is going to be a slow process of sorrow and then healing.  I know they need the grace, peace, love, and comfort of God more than any other time in their life, right now.  But I do not know how they feel.  But our heavenly Father does.  And oh how sweet it is when He works in His timing to heal the brokenhearted, to comfort those in sorrow, and to give peace that surpasses all understanding when the world around you is chaos.

This life is but a vapor, quickly passing, quickly fading.  You never know when the one you love may not be here the next moment.  Cherish the blessings God has given you this day.  Trust in His unfailing love, and His sovereign plan.  Do not take for granted what you have this day. For who commands his destiny?  Who truly controls his own life?-none.

Remember, He gives grace to His children, yet His children are still sinners, so they need grace from you and I when they lack grace when grieving. 


  1. I so enjoyed reading this Bestie! The Lord has given you such a compassionate heart and such wisdom through the grief that you have walked through. Love you!

    - Hannah

  2. Thank you for this very sensitive post and reminder of how to grieve with those grieve, Mrs. Leah. I will pray with you for your friends. Love and a hug, and prayers that God would continue to heal you, and to use those heartaches you carry to be a vessel of His love for others.


Dear Reader,

When commenting, I would appreciate two of the following: first, that with humility of mind you might consider others better than yourself. Second, that you would not use inappropriate language on my blog.

Phil 1:21, Eph 5:3-4.

Thanks! (: