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.
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 mePsalm 30: 1-5 GNT
and kept my enemies from gloating over me.
2 I cried to you for help, O Lord my God,
and you healed me;
3 you kept me from the grave.
I was on my way to the depths below,[b]
but you restored my life.
4 Sing praise to the Lord,
all his faithful people!
Remember what the Holy One has done,
and give him thanks!
5 His anger lasts only a moment,
his goodness for a lifetime.
Tears may flow in the night,
but joy comes in the morning.
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.
- 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?
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.