When we were first married, my wife and I decided to set the table with a fancy wedding gift we received. This beautiful set of six crystal goblets was stored in a specially made carton in our dining room. When I pulled the carton from the shelf, the bottom dropped out and all six goblets shattered on the dining room floor. The long and tedious clean-up process from our “dining room experience” was shrouded with disappointment that there was no way to reassemble the goblets.
Almost three years later, we experienced another “dining room experience.” This time, it wasn’t crystal goblets, but instead, it was our hearts that were shattered by the still-birth of our twin daughters, Amanda and Catherine. Just as the shards of crystal exploded across the floor, so it was with our hearts.
Like many on the journey of grief, our days were long and our nights were longer. The garments of despair were heavy and the silence was deafening. We grew to understand what the writer of Psalm 42 meant when he said, “My tears have been my food day and night.” I found myself wearied from bowing down to the idol of my intellect trying to understand “why.”
Steps on the journey of grief were, for us, a daily choice to trust in the sovereignty of God.
Along the way, God has carried us, has upheld us and has lovingly reassured us of the profound depths of His love for us. While there are still tears at times, we can say with assurance, while it is impossible to restore a shattered crystal goblet, we serve a God who can take a broken human heart and restore it to wholeness. Psalm 34:18 says, “The Lord is close to the broken hearted, and saves those who are crushed in Spirit.” Psalm 147:3 says, “He heals the broken hearted and binds up their wounds.” God can exchange ashes, mourning and despair with beauty, gladness and praise. He can create praise on the lips of those who mourn [Isaiah 61:1-3; 57:19] and he can turn our sobbing into dancing [Psalm 30:11].
Perhaps you are walking though a “dining room experience” where the bottom has fallen out in your life and your heart is shattered. I want you to know that there is hope and there is healing. Be encouraged: the God of all comfort can and will do immeasurably more in your life than all you can ask or imagine as you daily take just one more step with Him on the journey of grief.
[This devotional comes from 31 Days of Encouragement available for purchase on-line.]