Thursday, September 6, 2012

Grief is a disability

I am reading a book by John Piper titled, "Disability and the Sovereign Goodness of God." It's a short, free e-book I downloaded. It was a good read, and I was struck by several similarities between the death of a child and having a child with disabilities. In some respects, they are parallel griefs. One quote in particular by John Knight, whom Piper interviews in the book, resonates soundly with me. Knight says, "And disability is hard in every conceivable juncture of life. I don't get to not live with it or not live with disease in my wife. I have to live with it." (He is referencing his wife's cancer and his son's profound disabilities.)

This is so exactly how I feel about the death of my son. It is "hard in every conceivable juncture of life." I don't get to not live with the fact that my teenage son is no longer here. He died. I have to live with it. It is a hard reality. Yet another reality, a comforting one, is the truth of God's word. Another quote I agree with from the book says,  "One of the reasons I believe the Bible and love the Bible is because it deals with the hardest issues in life. It doesn’t sweep painful things under the rug — or complex things or confusing things or provoking things or shocking things or controversial things" (p. 7).

As I continue to struggle with the painful moments and reminders of what will never be, I take refuge in His Word, clinging to the buoy of hope, staying afloat through His promises. Heb. 6:19, "This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast..." I will not sink, though the waters overwhelm at times, because my hope is built on the solid rock. This reminds me of why I love the hymns, because of the truth they speak.

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly trust in Jesus’ Name.
On Christ the solid Rock I stand,
All other ground is sinking sand;
All other ground is sinking sand.
When darkness seems to hide His face,
I rest on His unchanging grace.
In every high and stormy gale,
My anchor holds within the veil.
His oath, His covenant, His blood,
Support me in the whelming flood.
When all around my soul gives way,
He then is all my Hope and Stay.
When He shall come with trumpet sound,
Oh may I then in Him be found.
Dressed in His righteousness alone,
Faultless to stand before the throne.

So when the way is dark and my faith is weak, it is God's Word that takes my hand and guides me along. In a GriefShare daily email, Dr. Robert Jeffress says, "Going through grief is like going through a tunnel. The bad news is the tunnel is dark. The good news is that once you enter into that tunnel, you are already on your way out." I have to add an important truth to this. You are not in that tunnel alone, groping and feeling your way aimlessly along. The LORD is there, patiently and tenderly guiding you through it. "When a train goes through a tunnel and it gets dark, you don't throw away the ticket and jump off. You sit still and trust the engineer." (Corrie Ten Boom)


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