I lost my way a little bit just this last week or two. Over and above the grief I have been walking with, I lost my hope. That is a double whammy. Grief is hard to handle, and exhausting at the best of times. Hopeless grief knocks you to the floor and tries to keep you there.
Steven Curtis Chapman has a song out that talks about how we “grieve with hope” because we know our goodbyes are not the end. The song talks about our heavenly hope of meeting our beloved ones again, and it is a blessed one! But to be honest with you all, that hope (great as it is) is not enough for me. I have a life time stretching before me, and the reality of our heavenly hope doesn’t completely erase the Jenna-sized hole in my heart. I miss her right now and I have to deal with it now.
The bible says “hope deferred makes the heart sick”. My heart is sick if I cannot find hope for today.
I so want God to do a great and lasting work in my heart for his kingdom’s sake. I want him to make me into a vessel that is so emptied of me and so full of him, that I will be able to give those who are hungry and thirsty a taste of Jesus. That is my hope and my vision, and I lost sight of it this week.
Jenna’s death seems like such a tragic waste if I don’t allow the pain to make me more like Jesus!
This week I took a placebo for the pain and withdrew into Sumi-land. I checked out of reality, and filled my hours with senseless and non-productive things. None of them were really ‘sinful’ per se, but they drew me away from Jesus and more worthwhile things and I hated that. When I got discouraged with myself for falling into that pattern, hopelessness was born.
What I forgot when I gave in to hopelessness, is who Jesus is. I once did a word study on the meaning of Jesus’ name in the Hebrew. Many of you will know that it is a compound word made up of the words Yehovah, and the Hebrew word for “saves”. If you dig into the root word though, you see that by “saves” he means: to make open, wide or free. To avenge, to defend, to help, to preserve, to rescue, to make safe, to bring salvation, to give victory, to make prosperous.
This, friends, is who Jesus is, and what he wants to bring about in all of our lives, for the here and now. He is our helper and not our enemy. His hearts’ desire is to see us prosper in a free and wide place, victorious over all the sin that so easily besets us. Oh, he is so merciful! How could I forget how much my God is “for me and not against me”?
He wants for me what I want for myself, and he is right here beside me with everything I need to make it! If I will simply yoke myself to him and walk with him I will find my way again. The word yoke means ‘to join, or to couple together.’ When I join myself to Jesus I find that the burden I carry is shared and that I am a blessed partaker of everything that Jesus has for me. His yoke truly is easy, and the burden of going his way and not mine, is a light one indeed.