My roots are in Oklahoma, so my heart has been heavy, grieving for those who have lost loved ones, even children in the tornado — thanking God for the safety of my family, especially my cousin whose three oldest were in one of the schools that got destroyed. My brother calling to tell me that her kiddos hadn’t been accounted for, immediately followed by another ring, saying they’d been found.
Because of these events I’ve struggled to write here. I feel I have no words and TODAY there are many suffering devastation and loss I can’t even fathom.
But I did commit to this, so I’m hoping my words show sensitivity and only compassion — for this is what I found in my own suffering.
Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 12:9, “And He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.’”
When I lost Justin, God gave me an abundant measure of grace.
I found that unlike man, He never rebukes the weak! No, He beckons, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest,” (Matthew 11:28).
It pleases God when we lean on Him – when we recognize that we can’t endure it alone, believing His ability to sustain.
And I found this to be all I needed. God Himself. A revelation of His glory and His heart.
When no one and nothing else could satisfy, God never tired of hearing from me. He never failed.
He showed His eternal nature, His Spirit declaring this One who is “compassionate, gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion, and sin,” (Exodus 34:6-7a).
I learned more of Him in my loss. I learned that though it may sound cruel, there is a privilege in knowing Jesus in “the fellowship of His sufferings” (Philippians 3:10) – a witnessing of the transformational power of His resurrection – a very special intimacy with Christ I may have never known.
And the Christian life is meant to be a constant revelation of the character of God. As we grow, we come to know Him more – and this continues through all eternity, when one day we will receive a victors crown. And we will tear it from our heads to cast at His feet, proclaiming that it was always His victory – not our own.
I tasted the goodness of the Lord – only a drop of what heaven will unearth. And I am confident that “the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared to the glory which shall be revealed in us” (Romans 8:18).