GRIEF is always too long. It takes too long. But the present context also takes us into the realm of a season of grief — something longer still — a series of griefs.
This is all about learning to live our new life now. What is gone seemed so right and nice; and what is new may seem so foreign. But what is new will soon transcend what is gone.
What could God be saying in such misfortune, or what is to others, sheer ‘bad luck’? The Lord certainly isn’t saying we deserve it. God’s not saying to suck it up. The Lord never speaks to us in ways that we find abrasive. Only the enemy does that. When we cling to the idea that life is a question (its premise is the answers to learning to live our new life now) then we can understand that life is not about the high times or the low times.
Life, more so, is about preparation. Life’s about getting organised.
Then what enters our lives is a series of griefs; not just one, which takes us out for nearly a year, and maybe a couple. Again, is this an especially unfortunate time?
What a series of griefs teaches us is that God is very serious about our discipleship; that he has called us to learn the deeper things of life.
What God has shown me when he’s taking me to the depths is how much he cares for how well I prepare — for the life that is to come. God not only cares enough to scourge us, so we may learn — for our own perpetuity — he vouchsafes us in his will and keeps and protects us in his way. He knows full well we will bring forth good fruit out of this if we remain in the palm of his hand. This is the only way to grow such friendship with God; out of the midst of a storm season where we remain on high alert. So we can see, what is seen as horrid and bad is actually something that should make us cheerful and glad — as a product of reflection later on. Even in pain, when we can see such a distant hope, we are saved from destruction.
The truth is this: fortune has already arrived, but we are apt toward not seeing it. Notwithstanding the ongoing presence of struggle when we are in that season — and how such a season can grind on with unconquerable endurance — we are blessed. We are blessed because we are strengthened. We are strengthened because we see it. We see it because we see our responses to the hardships of life are better.
God, through grief, is equipping us for the day we can live as Paul did — content, whether in plenty or in want.
© 2015 Steve Wickham.