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Seeing God’s Goodness in the Midst of Grief

 

I haven’t shared on here yet, but I recently lost my (step)father, whom was very very ill for a long time. Although it was something we had been somewhat preparing for, as we knew that his health had been declining, it was still a shock because of how abruptly it had happened. One day he was in the kitchen making spaghetti, and the next day he had collapsed on the floor and was gone. Even though I have witnessed death before of distant relatives and a few acquaintances, this was the first time I have ever lost someone especially near to my heart.

 

I was struggling so much with dealing with the concept of death. I knew in God’s word that death was inevitable, that each of our days are numbered (Job 14:5), that we all have to die a physical death one day (1 Corinthians 15:22), yet I just couldn’t wrap my head around this when I was forced to come face to face with it.

 

A sister in Christ reminded me that in the Garden of Eden, death was never part of God’s original plan. Everything had changed when sin entered the world. This is not something that God intended for us to have to endure, which is why it feels so wrong.  

 

This gave me so much comfort to know that there was a spiritual explanation as to why I felt so broken and so lost, as if a part of myself died along with my dad.

 

Suffering is one of the realities of the human experience as a consequence of living in a broken world. We were never promised to be spared from suffering; in fact, Jesus promised us that suffering would be inevitable. But as children of God, we were given many promises to assure us that we have hope beyond our suffering.

 

We can cling to the promises that our suffering is never in vain (Galatians 3:4) and that it is temporal (2 Corinthians 4:17-18); that even though we mourn the death of our loved ones, we do not mourn without hope (1 Thessalonians 4:13); and that even in the midst of suffering and grief, we can still experience the goodness of God in the land of the living (Psalm 27:13).

 

My grief has led me to continually choose to seek out God’s goodness, particularly in the way He has moved in the circumstances following death. I saw how God took my dad quickly and mercifully, sparing him from physical pain and suffering. I saw how He gave many people in his family- including myself, his mother, and my mother- good quality time with him in the weeks leading up to his death. I saw the way that He moved through the generosity of people around us to provide for my mother financially in the aftermath of his passing. I saw the way He gave me the opportunity to remain steadfast alongside my mother, which deepened our love and respect for one another and set in motion for many parts of our relationship to be restored. In the midst of suffering and grieving during this pivotal season, the Holy Spirit highlighted these blessings to me to remind me that God was still good. And that even sorrow brought on by circumstances, there is still goodness in it.

 


It is better to go to a house of mourning than to go to a house of feasting, for death is the destiny of every man; the living should take this to heart. Sorrow is better than laughter, because a sad face is good for the heart.”- Ecclesiastes 7:2-3

 


 

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