I’m not going to say this is an easy chapter to read in The Faith-Shaped Life, it comes on the heals of me reading half way through a book called Grace Like Scarlett, a book that has surprised me with how much I remember an intense couple of years of grief. Therefore, when I read a chapter about what we learn from being in a valley of despair I just want to turn and walk away. I do!
I’d rather not dwell on those moments of despair and what I have learned from them, but sometimes it’s a necessary thing you know?
Mr. Hamilton points out a couple of things we learn from being in a time of despair.
- The knowledge that everything in life comes by the hand of the Lord. Good or ill. It’s from him and that’s a dependable a thing as we can count on.
- It’s a time to teach us to learn on the Lord. To rely on his grace to get us through whatever we are going through.
I learned through the miscarriages we’ve had, that God’s hand is apparent EVEN IF at the time it wasn’t. OH>>> It so wasn’t apparent. The tears shed, the loss felt…NOT FUN. Really really not fun.
But what I have is a delightful boy and he is enough. Having one boy in this house is so just enough. Is it fun having more around? FOR SURE. Noise and bustle, and then we can send them home again and quietness settles. We like quiet. 🙂 So having one works for us, we would have made more work for us, but having one was God’s fore-knowing of how our household works best. This knowing though.. it’s a hindsight thing, SO not something I would have wanted to hear back in the day when grief was real. The knowing of it NOW though brings peace to those days gone past, a surety in my heart that God truly does know what is good and right for us.
See what walking through pain WITH God does? The knowledge it brings?
Don’t lose your faith because of the pain, but rather seek God through it. He’s there. He knows.. oh heavens he knows.
Mr. Hamilton goes on to talk about two actions to take when in the valley of despair
- Quote the word of the Lord. Speak it out. If faced by the enemy of God rebuke him with scripture. Remember the promises of God in his word. Speak them out, Hold their truths near to your heart. Do you recall how Jesus did this when he was tempted?
- Call out to God for help. Jesus did this too you know, remember in the garden of Gethsemane? He didn’t look within himself for comfort and cheer, but called out to God.
I was talking with a friend the other day about this book, she mentioned the loss of her sister and how it was for her. She said that my loss was worse and I said no it wasn’t. Loss is loss. YES, miscarriage is hard, but so is losing a loved one. Losing family, regardless of who they are, if they were well loved it matters, and it’s hard and it won’t be the same for everyone. Grief takes it own way through for folks and we can’t play the comparison game. Grief and loss are just that and we should respect it for everyone you know?
Just like going through hard times … like job loss, family troubles, accidents etc… they are hard times. We shouldn’t make light of them or hurt folks already hurting. It is SO not fun being on the receiving end of hurt when pain is real. Things like telling a mom who has miscarried that she can’t have a flower on mother’s day… that’s a hard hurt. Or telling folks without a place to live “oh something will turn up.. when they have two days to find a place”. How is that being kind? Those hurtful things are what cause people to struggle all the more with their faith. Let’s be a help eh? Let’s call people to what they need to do in hard times… Remember the promises of God (not in a light flippant let’s just say something to be done with it way, but in a do you remember God minds us full well and he sees you right now? way). And praying, REALLY PRAYING with and for the person in struggle. It matters. These are the things that help strengthen the struggling believers heart. Be part of the help eh?