Scripture Journal Challenge: Tears Won’t Last Forever

Before Dominic ran ahead to Heaven I didn’t cry much.

Since April 12, 2014 I’ve cried a river-tears for breakfast, lunch, dinner and into my pillow at night when I tried to fall asleep.

When sorrow overtakes a heart, it’s hard to think about anything else.

There was a very real danger that sadness would drag me down in a pit so deep I would never be able to crawl back out.

And then the enemy of my soul would win.

But God.

The most beautiful words I know.

God reached down and raised me up from the depths of despair. He dragged me out of the pit of sorrow. His light shone so bright that even the darkness of death could not hide it.

Like the Psalmist, I can praise the Lord for saving me from my enemy.

I praise you, Lord, because you have saved me
    and kept my enemies from gloating over me.
I cried to you for help, O Lord my God,
    and you healed me;
    you kept me from the grave.
I was on my way to the depths below,[b]
    but you restored my life.
Sing praise to the Lord,
    all his faithful people!
Remember what the Holy One has done,
    and give him thanks!
His anger lasts only a moment,
    his goodness for a lifetime.
Tears may flow in the night,
    but joy comes in the morning.

Psalm 30: 1-5 GNT

It’s thought that David wrote this psalm on the dedication of his house. He had been pursued, fought battles and only now taken the throne promised to him years before. He had literally been saved from death on many occasions. His enemies had plotted and planned and never been successful.

If God is for us, who can stand against us?

I think David was also thankful that God had rescued him from the pit of despair. I can’t read the psalms without a sense of David’s internal battle against what may have been depression but was most certainly deep, deep sorrow and disappointment that life didn’t go as planned.

When David thanked God for reaching down, lifting him up and setting his feet on solid ground he was as thankful for the emotional rescue as for the physical one. He had learned that things might be bad for awhile but they would not be bad forever.

Despite how long the darkness lasts or how awful the blow, it’s only a tiny blip compared to eternity.

It feels interminable. It seems insurmountable. But it isn’t. God’s goodness overcomes any scheme of the enemy and I need to remind my heart of that truth.

One of the reasons I watch the sun rise every morning is because it affirms this truth: night does not last forever. No matter how dark, no matter how cold, no matter how frightful, no matter how sad-night is constrained by the sunrise.

My earthly suffering is constrained by God’s goodness.

Tears are still my food more often than I could have ever imagined they would be.

Dominic is not going to be miraculously raised from his grave (although God could do it if He chose).

But my tears won’t last forever.

Morning is coming.

Sure as sunrise.

QUESTIONS:

  • I suspect I’m not alone in the changes child loss has wrought. For someone who didn’t cry much before, suddenly crying often was uncomfortable at first. Now I understand tears are often the only response I have left some days. Do tears bring relief or do they distress you further?
  • Does it help you hold onto hope to know that God will not allow our enemy, the devil, to win? Why or why not?
  • Some of the words used in Psalms hurt my heart. I may have been spared from the grave but Dominic wasn’t. How do you reconcile physical safety of some people with the fact that our child(ren) wasn’t/weren’t spared? It’s a question I had to face head on before I could allow God to begin a healing work in my heart.
  • Are you ever tempted to think your child’s death is punishment or that God is angry with you? It’s not and He’s not, by the way. (read this post for more: https://thelifeididntchoose.com/2019/01/15/is-god-punishing-me/)
  • God is not confined by time like we are so often the authors of Scripture are speaking about events current to their own lifetimes and also writing prophetically. When David writes about weeping lasting “for a night” he’s not saying that all sorrow ends in twelve hours. He is saying that all sorrow will end. Does that encourage you? Why or why not?

PRAYER:

Lord,

So often I am dragged down into the pit of despair by my sadness, sorrow and hopelessness. When I wake to tears on my pillow and fall asleep to my own sobs, it seems like there will never be a moment or a day when my heart is not overwhelmed.

I feel like the enemy is winning some days.

Help my heart hold onto the truth that I am only privy to a tiny sliver of knowledge. Give me strength to hold onto hope when my own strength fails. Put praise in my mouth when You pull me out of the pit, foil the schemes of my enemy and set me on the solid ground of truth. Speak courage to my soul.

Let each sunrise remind me again that the night will not last forever. Darkness cannot swallow the light. Death does not win. Life and light and love endure forever.

Amen

Author: Melanie

I am a shepherd, wife and mother of four amazing children, three that walk the earth with me and one who lives with Jesus. This is a record of my grief journey and a look into the life I didn't choose. If you are interested in joining a community of bereaved parents leaning on the promises of God in Christ, please like the public Facebook page, "Heartache and Hope: Life After Losing a Child" and join the conversation.

5 thoughts on “Scripture Journal Challenge: Tears Won’t Last Forever”

  1. I have never been much of a crier, especially a public one. My mom seemed to use tears at times to “encourage” change in our behavior, and I determined at an early age not to cry. I guess I felt it was manipulative or more overly emotional than necessary and more than many a situation called for. And so I grew up not crying much, if at all. I don’t remember a time I cried…until Jason died. And then it seemed I couldn’t stop, although most of it was done in private. I still don’t let people see me cry, although there are time tears are very near the surface.

    I have struggled with God and church since Jason died. It has seemed as though God has turned His back and the heavens are brass. Besides Jason’s death, we have walked – and are still walking – a very difficult road otherwise. I prayed and prayed for our kids and for God to protect them nearly every day. I truly believed that the prayers of the righteous availed much in the kingdom of God. I have had to re-examine what I believed before Jason died. I felt like my “faith” tree was chopped down right to ground level. I do know, though, that my roots are deep. I’m just trying to “grow” a realistic, honest one in its place – one that is down-to-earth and not pie-in-the-sky.

    The fact that most of the people we knew were Christian people through church or homeschooling and that they almost 100% disappeared after Jason died colors my approach to church a lot. As our daughter said at the time, they made it so much worse because of the secondary losses and wounds. Our expectation, with our extended families all living so far away, was the they would walk with us and comfort, but they were unable to do so. At times, I felt like the traveler beaten up on the side of the road as people moved to the other side of the road to avoid us. As a pastor’s kid, it was a second home to me. My earliest memories are falling asleep under a church pew. It no longer feels that way and I have a hard time being in church at times. The whole “God is good…all the time” rah rah sis boom bah mentality just doesn’t seem to fit with my reality. The whole bumper sticker slogan Christian mentality just doesn’t work for me any more.

    There are many things I don’t understand, and I will not understand until I join Jason.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I appreciate your honest sharing! My church “divorce” started before Dominic left us. Our family had been very active in lay ministry for decades. Then stuff happened. Not a single person to whom we had ministered nor a single pastor/associate pastor under whom we had ministered contacted us. Crickets.

      I will say that a few very dear believers did so, so much for us in the immediate aftermath of Dom’s death. They facilitated the services and helped us make it through those early days. But most disappeared within a month or two.

      Like you, I pulled everything I believed out and examined it. I am now back in a small country church just down the road from me.

      Truth told, it’s not where I get my spiritual food. But it is a place of consistent, compassionate fellowship. So I stay.

      I’m so sorry your experience after Jason’s death was absolutely, unforgivably awful. There is no excuse for people claiming to follow Jesus behaving this way. I pray that one day soon, true disciples minister to your heart in ways that reaffirm some of God’s people are full of love and compassion. ❤

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      1. I think I could have borne it better for myself, but it was so difficult to watch my family struggle alone. Our daughter was 17 at the time, graduating from high school. I honor her wishes not to talk about what she went through, but it was so difficult. She and Jason were so close. Our older son reached out to Christian people we once considered family, but they had no time for him. Now neither one of them think about attending a church at all and our son is openly antagonistic about going, even on Christmas Eve. My husband was struggling so much and I was so concerned about him that I reached out to people we knew. Two couples came together to our home one night, and never again.

        At times like this, it’s hard to separate God and the people who are supposed represent Him. I just hope all of this has given me more of a kindness and an awareness of others walking this journey, and that I can somehow make a difference by encouraging people to step forward instead of stepping away.

        Thank you for responding.

        Hugs,
        ~Becky

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  2. Some days, tears are all I have. I’ve never felt like I was being punished for her death. Not a moment. It’s been a long time since I’ve really gone through the psalms, I focus more on the news testament. How God works with us when we suffer. That’s what brings me peace. Of course, remembering ultimate reunion in heaven helps.

    Liked by 1 person

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