Occasionally, around this time of year, an old picture resurfaces in my phone.
It’s one my mom secretly took. In it, my late husband’s mother is kneeled in front of me, my hand in hers, as I sit on the edge of a hotel bed. I am wiping my nose after a wave of grief had overtaken me. Earlier that day, death had shattered my hopes and dreams in one single blow.
We were waiting on the results of his autopsy. It wouldn’t matter the cause, he was gone.
She had gently taken my hand in hers and with tear-filled eyes said,
“Your life will be made whole again.”
There have been times in my life when I’ve truly tasted the goodness of God. Life can be really hard and yet God is always really good. His goodness isn’t measured by the circumstances of life. It is measured by the glimmers of hope we see when all hope is lost. The kind of hope that death cannot steal. This was one of those moments.
I am of a firm belief that His goodness is not something you can just read about. It must be experienced. It is tangible. I have experienced it during the greatest of sorrows. “The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart…” (Psalms 34:18). When you truly feel His goodness, you are left wanting more. It drives you to live your life in such a way you want to ensure one day you feel what it’s like to eternally live in the presence of His goodness.
My life was made whole again, but that wasn’t how I felt His goodness.
I felt His goodness during every wave of grief.
I took a trip after my husband’s death - a naïve attempt to escape my sorrow. On that trip I went to the beach and stood at the water’s edge. I stared at the waves thinking: if I could explain the grief my broken heart feels to those who cared to listen, I wouldn’t. I would just bring them here. Then I could show them how sometimes the waves are gentle. Sometimes they will take your feet out from under you. There is no rhyme or reason to the distance between each wave, none to how large either. Sometimes they knock the very wind out of you.
Yet, like the parent holding their child’s hand in ocean waters, the God who made the waves held mine.
Jeremiah 5:22 (ESV) says, “Do you not fear me? declares the Lord. Do you not tremble before me? I placed the sand as the boundary for the sea, a perpetual barrier that it cannot pass; though the waves toss, they cannot prevail; though they roar, they cannot pass over it.”
If you are walking through loss, heartbreak, or a difficult season, take a moment to spend time with Him in His goodness. Lay down your burdens and pick up the promises. Time spent with Him is never wasted, more so, it’s an investment which produces fruit:
Joy unspeakable and full of glory. (1 Peter 1:8)