A death in the family.
Is anyone ever ready for that kind of news? Especially when it’s sudden and unexpected. The brother of our soon-to-be son-in-law took his life yesterday. The events leading up to his self-inflicted death are sketchy, but at this point, I don’t think the details really matter. The cold, brutal truth is that a bright, fresh-faced 23 year old young man full of so much promise is gone. No explanations or clarifications will change this painful reality. Though we hadn’t the chance to really get to know this boy yet, I do know his family. And I have a mother’s heart and know what it is to love a child. So, even if you cannot fully grasp the pain of this kind of loss, who cannot feel at least some empathy for the agony that some very loving and godly people feel today … and will continue to experience for a very long time?
Replaying the conversations and events from hours before, I found myself standing on the back porch last night near midnight trying to process it all. Feeling very helpless, I continued peering out into the shadows for a long time… until I heard it.
A lone bird somewhere in the distance.
Its simple repeating song stood out in contrast to the dark scene before me and seemed to pierce the blackness of the night. Somehow the sweetness of the melody was comforting. An audible reminder of God’s promise in Psalm 42:8.
“By day the Lord directs His love, at night His song is with me.
Even in the depths of a moment that threatens to swallow those that I love, this little sound stood as a solitary assurance that even amid the confusion and questions,
God is still here…. still active… still present.
Into the moments when we cannot see anything except the midnight of hurt, God whispers with assuring tenderness ~
“… I am with you; …. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10
Isn’t that exactly what you need to know when you feel deep ache in your soul?
You are not alone.
You have not been abandoned.
I do not know why God permits circumstances to unfold the way they do, but what I do know is that even when the light slips away and shade falls with its all-encompassing gloom, we can still hold on to His unending love and compassion. Even at the moment when heartbreak settles over us like a heavy blanket, we can still choose to believe and turn to God instead of away from Him.
And… in those moments when we feel almost suffocated, if we strain just a little harder toward Jesus, it’s then that we just might hear a song in the night that keeps us going until the sun comes up again.
Your sun will never set again,
and your moon will wane no more;
the Lord will be your everlasting light,
and your days of sorrow will end.