In the last week, I have had friends and family enter into painful valleys.
I am glad that the Great Shepherd goes before us, that He walks with us, that He is our rear-guard.
I am glad that the Lord is a Holy, Mighty Warrior who has overcome, defeated the grave, gives life, and defeats the proud, the wicked, the haughty.
And on this side of heaven, the pain still hurts.
And I am glad that Jesus tells us “Blessed are those who mourn.”
For we are mourning. We are hurting. We are needy.
I so wanted to sort my thoughts and to write words that made some sense,… and while I was trying to sort it all out, I read this blog post from Emily, at Soli Deo Gloria, one of my favorite bloggers, and thought, I couldn’t have said it better myself.
So I want I would share her post with you…
Not the end of the story – click here for Emily’s blog
O Lord, I know only a tiny taste of their pain. But You know and feel it all. You have drunk that pain of separation and sorrow to the dregs. And even at this very moment, You are with them in their sadness and desolation. O might they feel Your loving, powerful presence, Father. Right at this moment, might they know that they know that they know that You will NEVER leave them. That You said, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” on the cross so that they need never ever be forsaken. Give them vision and faith in You that goes deeper than their feelings.
Lord, show them that this is not the end of their story.
No, not the end, just a part of a story that You are weaving and overseeing and ultimately bringing to a glorious conclusion. None of our stories are finished. You will always always always have the final word. Not death. Not disease. Not accident. Not failure. Not sin. No, You and You alone are the One who will always finish our stories.
And Your stories–every single one of them–end in redemption’s song. No matter how they start. No matter their middle. No matter the seeming defeats endured in those stories…they all end with You and in You and through You in victory and glory and redemption.
Because of the cross.
That’s how we know–what seemed the end…was just the beginning.
What seemed utter defeat…was glorious victory.
What seemed despair and hopelessness…was the joyous song of redemption and salvation.
So, too, our stories. The beginnings, the middles, wherever we are right now, Lord, show us, teach us, that You have something far greater and more glorious than we could ever begin to imagine.
And in the midst of it all, in the hardest, darkest places in our stories, You are still there. Right there with us. O help us to know how beloved we are by the One who made us. “See, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands; your walls are continually before Me.” (Isa. 49:16) We are forever inscribed on Your heart and Your hands, Father. And those walls of despair or doubt or disease that seem so certain to be the end of our story, well, they are nothing but a middle, maybe an intermission. You’ve not finished writing. Those walls are nothing to You. And You are our Door, the Door in that wall that will lead us to the other side. To hope and joy and peace and life–real Life–restored.
“He who was seated on the throne said, ‘I am making everything new!’ Then He said, ‘Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” (Rev. 21:5)
Thank You Lord that no matter what we will face in our stories, we know Who is with us through it all and Who will be there at the very, very end. And it is You. The One who sits on the throne and who is making all things new. Our mighty Lion of Judah. Our Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. Our Fortress. Our forever faithful Friend. Our Good Good Good Shepherd. Our Rock. Our Redeemer.