Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. Romans 5:1-5
Right from the first moments of our loss, I knew in my soul that my Father had a plan and a purpose for taking Hans to be with Him in Heaven. This did not lessen the astonishing pain but knowing that God is good and was in control of all things that day, transformed Hans‘ home-going from senseless tragedy to glorious appointment.
While I cannot know with certainty what God’s purposes are in all He allows in our lives, knowing He has a very good reason for allowing it, makes all the difference. I may not understand, but I can trust.
I believe trusting God is key in reaping the blessings available to us when trials come our way. I am certain trusting Him is the way to peace.
I have written much about the pain of our loss – sometimes it’s easy to get mired in the negatives. But I want to share here some of the positives I have experienced these past few years. Has it been all positives? Absolutely not. But it hasn’t been all negatives either. Positives are possible. Here are some of them:
Since Hans left us for Heaven, I have gained…
a strong awareness of the reality of, and a longing for, my home in Heaven;
a greater love for the Lord Jesus, the Christ;
a more constant awareness of His presence and love toward me;
a more definite understanding that fear for my family’s safety and well being has no power to effect the future;
an acceptance of the fact that safety does not always look like what we expect;
a realization that answers to prayer are far more intricate than we imagine;
a sturdy appreciation of and a solidifying reliance on God’s sovereignty;
a quieter spirit;
an increase in conviction regarding control of my tongue;
a disgust for how often I “miss the way of love” (Amy Carmichael);
a solid trust in God’s providence;
a firm knowledge that with God there is no danger, without Him there is no safety;
a solid assurance that Hans is not “gone” or “lost.” He is alive and he is Home. In the flesh, I will see him again;
a fondness for the night sky;
a surprising realization that sorrow is a joy and that grief can be beautiful;
a deep sadness that keeps me from reaching hasty conclusions about people;
a renewed gratefulness for my faithful husband and for our marriage;
a profound gratitude for the children God has given us;
a greater dependence on and confidence in the effectual outworkings of prayer;
a hearty anticipation of the Lord’s soon return;
a calmer acceptance of His will;
a sweeter appreciation for the beauty around me;
a sober detachment from the shallow and trivial;
a growing abhorrence for deceit and treachery;
an awe for how God demonstrates His love and care for me in very personal (and sometimes very spectacular) ways;
a delight for birdsong;
a deeper understanding of the great hymns of the faith;
a stronger connection to and fellowship with the saints across the ages;
a sense of peace while reading God’s Word;
a sense of relief when my sin is exposed;
a sense of wonder regarding the Lord’s grace;
a more defined recognition of my unworthiness;
an unfathomable awe of the Lord’s great love and mercy toward me.
an unquestionable knowledge that so many positives could flow from only one Source…
blessed be the name of the LORD.
Have you some positives in your season of bereavement or trial?
Please share in the comments below.
We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak; Knowing that he which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present us with you. For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God. For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:13-18
I love the LORD, because he hath heard my voice and my supplications.
Because he hath inclined his ear unto me, therefore will I call upon him as long as I live.
The sorrows of death compassed me, and the pains of hell gat hold upon me:
I found trouble and sorrow.
Then called I upon the name of the LORD; O LORD, I beseech thee, deliver my soul.
Gracious is the LORD, and righteous; yea, our God is merciful.
The LORD preserveth the simple: I was brought low, and he helped me.
Return unto thy rest, O my soul; for the LORD hath dealt bountifully with thee.
For thou hast delivered my soul from death, mine eyes from tears,
and my feet from falling.
I will walk before the LORD in the land of the living.
I believed, therefore have I spoken: I was greatly afflicted:
I said in my haste, All men are liars.
What shall I render unto the LORD for all his benefits toward me?
I will take the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the LORD.
I will pay my vows unto the LORD now in the presence of all his people.
Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.
O LORD, truly I am thy servant; I am thy servant, and the son of thine handmaid:
thou hast loosed my bonds.
I will offer to thee the sacrifice of thanksgiving, and will call upon the name of the LORD.
I will pay my vows unto the LORD now in the presence of all his people,
In the courts of the LORD’S house, in the midst of thee, O Jerusalem. Praise ye the LORD.