“This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
The death of someone you love is a test. How you respond to this test determines how you are able to carry on with your life afterwards. You can either allow God to move and to shape you through the process of grief, or you can allow yourself to hide in your grief, feeling like you are cornered with no way of getting out. You can decide to seek after God, and attempt to grow from your heartbreak, or you can run away from God, blaming Him for everything that has happened.
January 2016 is a month I will probably never forget. Being a senior in High School, I was eager to get out of my small town and go live life the way I thought it was meant to be lived; independently. As the second semester began, I decided that it was alright if I just stopped trying to minister to others at school and attempt to move on from my life; I had become passive. Unfortunately, things did not go the way I had planned as one of my good friends took his own life. This put a sense of grief on my heart that I cannot even begin to explain and it ate me up inside.
After enough time passed to where I could see the whole situation a little more clearly, I still felt like I had not felt God in the moments during or after this situation. I kept asking God to give me comfort or at least something to take away from this experience, maybe an explanation on why this happened, but never heard anything. So did this mean that God was not real? I mean why would He let this happen in the first place? Did He not love me so He just let me suffer? We see in Psalms that David experienced the same feelings. Psalm 42:9 says,
“O God my rock,” I cry,
“Why have you forgotten me?
Why must I wander around in grief,
oppressed by my enemies?”
So where was God? Where was the Light? All I wanted were some answers.
I soon realized, God was there the whole time. He wasn’t going to hold my hand through the experience because humans suffer, that’s just what we do, we grief. However, God was in every moment before my friend’s death and every moment after. God would not help me if I did not let Him into my life and let this experience change me. By denying God access to my life I was denying God access to comfort me and shape me. By just simply asking for easy answers, I was putting God into a box of my own understanding. I was blinding myself.
God was with me the whole time, watching over me and guiding me, even if I did not know he was there. Through this process of grief I was able to become friends with someone new and was able to share the gospel with them and let them know that God really does love them. Also, I felt God pushing on my heart to go into ministry, so I could help people that were struggling. Once I let God take control of the situation, I was able to move on and find what God wanted from me.
God is so much bigger than we can ever imagine as long as we allow Him to work within us and use us for His glory. All we must do is seek after Him and allow Him to use us and He will do the rest.