For me, grief has been coming in waves. When it comes, it tumbles me hard. My feet desperately searching and straining for the rock I once had a firm stance on.
Another wave, and I get thrown together with debris. In the midst of the tumbling more wounds ensue.
Several times in the past few weeks I have felt I lost my footing. Is this really happening or is this just the longest dream known to man? But then I sit at my Dad’s grave sight and see William Harold Perry 1952-2017 set right next to my Grandpop’s plot.
Why 2017? As I looked at the year, I was reminded that God knew this would be the year my Dad would go home, just two years and a month after my Grandpop, and a year after my life felt ransacked. So much can happen in such a short amount of time.
While I was thinking about the past few weeks, and the past few years I had a picture come to mind.
The picture was of the Grand Canyon. I have never been there, but it’s on my bucket list.
I thought about suffering , loss, and our unbelievable and incomprehensible times that God allows. Life cuts pieces out of our hearts.
Just two days ago, my heart hurt so bad it felt like I was having a heart attack. There was a physical pain because the emotional pain is too much for my heart to endure.
God allows debris to chip away at us, and He allows the tumbling to soften our edges.
When I was younger my brother would tumble rocks. He would put several rocks and pour water into it. Several hours, sometimes days, the rocks would come out as smooth as silk.
So in the suffering, God is digging out and refining us, so that we become like the Grand Canyon.
No one can look at the Grand Canyon and credit it’s majesty to human. When you look at the Grand Canyon it shouts the existence of God.
In the same way the Grand Canyon echoes, our lives also echo. We can echo bitterness, or we can echo the greatness of God.
Another aspect to this picture is the depth of the Grand Canyon. There is a depth that suffering gives you. When you meet someone and they have an understanding most people don’t, you can almost guarantee that they have endured some kind of suffering.
I once attended a church service where this young, hipster guy was speaking. It would have been easy to assume that he hadn’t spoken much, or had had much life experience. But almost as soon as he started sharing, I thought to myself, this guy has been through something… Sure enough, by the end of the message, he shared about his son being severely disabled, and not able to speak… This man said he longed for heaven, not only to see Jesus face to face, but also to hear his son finally be able to call him Dad.
I think God must have known I needed this picture because quite frankly in the midst of the tumbling, flash floods of grief, and loss, it’s hard to hold on. Grief and loss take you to dark places. Being so close a love one dying is a very dark place to be, and I have not been able to process it still…
But if I remember that God is creating a masterpiece, and that when He has His say and done His will in my life, I pray that it screams His greatness, because I cannot walk through this in my own strength. Life too often is just too hard to bear without God… And for now, this is what I am holding onto.
Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 3 And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; 4 and perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us. Romans 5:1-5
Song For Today: King of My Heart , by Sarah McMillan