Archive for December 22nd, 2011

The Miracle of the Lens

Tragedy plagues our little town of Crandall. Death often drapes an ugly shroud over families in this East Texas town. So it was no shock when I received a phone call this morning seeking prayer for a family whose son has been critically wounded in Afghanistan.

The shock is that it is the third phone call this week. An eighteen-year-old, who lives around the corner returned from college tired from final exams and went to bed. His father found him dead next morning. A mother of three, suffering depression, committed suicide over the weekend leaving a newborn and two children without a mother. All this week! Oh God, where are You in all this?

And it’s Christmas!

I know grief never takes a holiday. But what do I do with this load of suffering? How do these families survive?

The holidays have been difficult for our family for the past eleven years since we lost our twenty-eight-year-old daughter. After her death, God called me to be a GriefShare facilitator, prayer warrior, and helper for those called to walk this dark journey.

This morning I’m reminded of the One who willingly carried an enormous burden for me. The Holy One, The Son of God, stepped down from His place of authority and power, left all the glories of Heaven, and allowed Himself to be confined in a human body, in the womb of a young Jewish girl. This King of Kings was born to die. For thirty-two years He walked the earth with one purpose—to die, so that I might live for Him and with Him. Forever.

It is only through trials, tragedy and tribulations that we learn to endure. We don’t learn to persevere when times are good and there are no problems. Scripture confirms, “In this world we will have trouble.” But Christ also tells us we are to “be of good cheer, He has overcome the world.”

So what can I do with this overwhelming load of grief today?

Take it to the One who understands sorrow. Dump it there and remind myself these are secret things. They belong to the Lord. My focus will no longer remain macro-lensed on the muck and mire of this earth. God gives the eyes of my heart and mind the ability to zoom out and inhale His perspective, His power and His plan.

The light of His joy floods in and pushes the grief of the moment into it’s proper spectrum. But He uses grief as a necessary tool to break my pride and help me understand that I’m not in control—He is. I am to trust Him during these times of abject sorrow and pain.

Through the depths of grief God produces in me the strength to climb those breath-taking mountain tops of joy where purified air flows and I can begin to comprehend a tiny portion of the depths of His love and grace.

That is the miracle! Accomplished for all who choose to believe in Jesus, the Balm of Gilead, the Great Physician, my Savior, my Lord and my King.

The question is not if grief comes, but when grief comes.

Will you allow Him to enfold you in His arms of love each day and comfort you ‘til joy returns?

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