“Us” moms know which mom I am talking about…14 years ago, I was that mom. Yesterday, my friend joined me in this group that I never wanted to be a member. And again, my heart broke. For her, and every mom that has joined me here, and for every mom that will join me in the future. I am talking about moms who have to bury their children.
And every time it happens, I find myself searching for just the right words that will help make the difference and cushion the blow, knowing that there is not one word that I could say that will matter right now…only my living and breathing presence and the remembrance of a smile on my face as us moms’ lives have crossed before each joined me here on this unwelcomed journey. I remember what those first days were like: the desperation, the guttural pain, the slap in the face every morning when I woke from a much-needed, hard-to-come-by sleep, only to realize my nightmare really was my reality, and the oh-so-desperate cry out to Jesus because I had no idea how I was going to survive it.
All this and more, I want to spare my friend. I want to take the pain away to prevent her from knowing what I know. But the truth is, I can’t. And the truth is, God has used it and me in extraordinary ways. And to that mom…I know, it’s not worth your baby’s life. I know. We are only human. We are the only ones who were given that job of being their mom, to love and to nurture and to sacrifice for their well-being and safety. I know. But not only do I know, God knows. He knows…and He understands your heart. And He is okay with that. He gave us that role. He wouldn’t expect anything less.
You see, His Father and Mother made the same sacrifice. Mary stood and watched in anguish as her Baby Boy was tortured and hung on the Cross to pay the ultimate price for our sins. But unlike us and Mary, His Father chose this for His son. His Father knew He would have to sacrifice the Son and He knew that sacrifice would give us the hope that we would need when we faced our incomprehensible losses, the hope to continue on in this life when our entire foundation is stripped from underneath us.
THIS IS HOPE, MY FRIEND…
That hope that I speak of is the hope of eternal life! Because you see, the truth is, for all of us who believe, we WILL see our children again! JESUS MADE SURE OF THAT. Mary did not suffer in vain…and we are not grieving as if there is no hope.
How do we survive this? We survive it because we believe in Jesus. We believe in His promises. We won’t understand it. Ever. But we trust it…because we trust Jesus.
Easy to say…not so hard to DO. As I was, again, trying to find the right words for my friend, I began reading in the Bible about Job; and I am reminded, to know God is to trust God. Job suffered so much. One child is too many, but all of your children? Father, it’s so much. As I lay watching my own child die, I believed it was too much. I said as much to the Lord. I told Him He just did not understand. And he spoke to me that night. He said, “But I do.” And He gave me this picture of Jesus hanging on the cross. He knew we would need this example to help us overcome. And He gave us Job…his example…he lost everything, everything EXCEPT his faith. And his faith was enough to sustain him. It was enough!
But it wasn’t easy. And my friend, You Mom, it won’t be easy. First, Job did grieve. The Bible tells us he physically responded by tearing his robe and shaving his head to display his deep sorrow. Yet, it says, no outward sign of grief could capture the inward torture Job felt.
Another truth…IT WILL HURT, and IT WILL HURT FOR A VERY LONG TIME. For me, it was the unveiling of every layer of my being. And it was hard. Really hard. But that hasn’t been the end of my story. Stay with me. Trust me. Trust Jesus. Look to Job. His next step can be your next step. Because I know, you are desperate and you don’t know what to do. Let Job show you the way. Job’s next step demonstrates faithfulness toward God…HE FELL TO THE GROUND AND WORSHIPPED. That’s right. He didn’t waste time with “Why God?” Honestly, we both know, “why” won’t change the reality. And it won’t make us whole again. Instead, be like Job. Be like the example that God gave us to emulate. Instead, Job acknowledged that everything comes from God, and he praised the name of the Lord. Wow. That is faith.
“So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”
Picture Job, deep in the throes of grief, praising God! As the devotion says, it’s enough to take your breath away.
Before our life is forever altered, praising our Father comes natural for most of us. But once that life has been unveiled, oh how much sweeter it is to be able to praise the Father through our suffering!
But I know…you are just not there yet. And you have no idea how to get there. And I want more than anything to spare you from the journey. But I can’t. But I want you to know, YOU CAN DO IT. YOU WILL SURVIVE THIS. How, you ask? Look to Job.
As the Bible tells me, Job knew God. He really knew Him. His close communion with God had taught him that God was the only one who could give him any kind of real comfort. Job’s knowledge yielded a deep trust in an infallible Lord – A TRUST THAT ENABLED JOB’S HEART TO KEEP BEATING EVEN IN THE FACE OF OVERWHELMING HEARTBREAK. It enabled him to respond to horrible pain with worship and praise.
Yes, times are still going to be hard. There is no quick fix. Everyone else will go back to their lives, and you will be grappling for understanding following this day. But I encourage you to respond as Job did, with a heart that knows God. With a heart as though YOU know God. Because my friend, I KNOW YOU DO.
And I promise you, the Sun/Son will rise again…it will. It just takes time.
I LIFT MY EYES UNTO THE HILLS. WHERE DOES MY HELP COME FROM? MY HELP COMES FROM THE LORD, THE MAKER OF HEAVEN AND EARTH.
Remember this smile…it’s after the unveiling, after the unthinkable. And I have survived…and so will you! I promise!