My heart is sore pained within me: and the terrors of death are fallen upon me. Fearfulness and trembling are come upon me, and horror hath overwhelmed me. Psalm:55:4,5
This is Not Happening…
The men from our church placed two spruce poles across the open grave, the hole in the frozen ground where they intended to put our son. They slid the casket onto the poles and there it sat, suspended over the chasm. Unreal.
I stood there calmly next to the hole, but everything in me wanted to scream “No! Wait! Let’s talk about this. There must be another way. You cannot put my son in there!”
It was as if they were getting ready to throw my little boy off a cliff.
The writings of other parents who have buried children have been of tremendous comfort to me. It is nothing short of a rescue at sea to read your own heartache in the words of another; to wail through sloppy tears, “Yes, that’s just how it is!”
Likewise, I often find my emotions voiced perfectly in the pages of God’s Word. Since Hans left us for Heaven, I have spent some time each day reading in the Psalms. Circled in my Bible are many verses that have spoken to my heart in a special way these past months.
Here are some of them from Psalm 55:
Oh that I had wings like a dove! for then would I fly away, and be at rest. Psalm 55:6
The first three nights after the crash, I did not sleep more than a few hours total. I was in complete fight or flight mode with the adrenaline urging me to flee – to get up and go to where Hans is. To fly. To find him. I knew he was Home with the Lord and that he was safe and happy. But his body, his beautiful body that used to be my little boy was at the medical examiner’s in Anchorage. Then he was on a plane again back to Fairbanks. Then he was at the funeral home. These are not places where you want your child to be.
Why does he not come home? He always calls. Were those his headlights I just saw on the bedroom door? One of my children is not in their bed where they are supposed to be. On and on went the thoughts through my head making sleep impossible.
Listen, when you read about someone crying out to the Lord in anguish, I mean real crying and real anguish, and they say they prayed and God gave them an immediate and profound peace – believe them. It happened to me in a very astonishing way one time when I thought I just might really lose it – I mean I was truly coming apart. The pain was so fierce I could only get out two words:
And then, I felt it come, from the top of my head it poured down over me and shut my mouth – so abruptly, that I laughed.
It wasn’t the everything-is-fine-and-my-problems-are-all-gone kind of “peace.” It was something I never felt before. It was clearer than contentment and quieter than happiness. It did not last long, but neither did I return to my wailing. I was instantly “O.K.” and functional again and able to return to whatever I was supposed to be doing.
So, what happened here? Just this: I had received comfort from the God of all comfort.
Just when I most desperately needed Him, He was there – as He always is.
Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ. And whether we be afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effectual in the enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer: or whether we be comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation. And our hope of you is stedfast, knowing, that as ye are partakers of the sufferings, so shall ye be also of the consolation. 2 Corinthians 1:3-7
More Excerpts from Psalm 55
1 Give ear to my prayer, O God; and hide not thyself from my supplication. 2 Attend unto me, and hear me: I mourn in my complaint, and make a noise;
4 My heart is sore pained within me: and the terrors of death are fallen upon me. 5Fearfulness and trembling are come upon me, and horror hath overwhelmed me. 6 And I said, Oh that I had wings like a dove! for then would I fly away, and be at rest. 7 Lo, then would I wander far off, and remain in the wilderness. Selah. 8 I would hasten my escape from the windy storm and tempest.
If I step out my front door, walk around to the back of the house, down the outhouse trail and over the little bridge that crosses the creek, and keep walking, I will eventually come to Siberia. Of course, I would never make it, but you get the idea. There is a wilderness out there and it will kill you if you are not careful. I thought about that – not that I wanted to die in the wilderness – but I thought, “If I start walking and keep going until I am too tired to walk back, I will freeze to death. It is well below zero degrees today – I could be with Hans in an hour.”
I in no way wanted to die – I have a wonderful family that I love – plus, I hate to be cold. But these are the kinds of things you think of when you are in a tempest of grief, a screaming, windy storm of sorrow.
16 As for me, I will call upon God; and the LORD shall save me. 17 Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice.
22 Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.
Call upon God. He is there and ready to comfort you.
He has promised.
A few days after writing this post, I read this entry from Charles Haddon Spurgeon’s Evening By Evening:
“He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove.”—Matthew 3:16.
S the Spirit of God descended upon the Lord Jesus, the head, so He also, in measure, descends upon the members of the mystical body. His descent is to us after the same fashion as that in which it fell upon our Lord. There is often a singular rapidity about it; or ever we are aware, we are impelled onward and heavenward beyond all expectation. Yet is there none of the hurry of earthly haste, for the wings of the dove are as soft as they are swift. Quietness seems essential to many spiritual operations; the Lord is in the still small voice, and like the dew, His grace is distilled in silence. The dove has ever been the chosen type of purity, and the Holy Spirit is holiness itself. Where He cometh, everything that is pure and lovely, and of good report, is made to abound, and sin and uncleanness depart. Peace reigns also where the Holy Dove comes with power; He bears the olive branch which shows that the waters of divine wrath are assuaged. Gentleness is a sure result of the Sacred Dove’s transforming power: hearts touched by His benign influence are meek and lowly henceforth and for ever. Harmlessness follows, as a matter of course; eagles and ravens may hunt their prey—the turtledove can endure wrong, but cannot inflict it. We must be harmless as doves. The dove is an apt picture of love, the voice of the turtle is full of affection; and so, the soul visited by the blessed Spirit, abounds in love to God, in love to the brethren, and in love to sinners; and above all, in love to Jesus. The brooding of the Spirit of God upon the face of the deep, first produced order and life, and in our hearts, He causes and fosters new life and light. Blessed Spirit, as Thou didst rest upon our dear Redeemer, even so rest upon us from this time forward and for ever.
Share with us how God has comforted you.