What is it that you're grieving?

What is it that you're grieving?

A Story by Precious Prodigal

A Story of Grief



The middle of December 2008 brought the worst ice storm in ten years to Massachusetts. It took out power for millions of people in New England, crippled businesses and transportation and affected the Christmas shopping season. But it did much more than that to me. It also took my brother Ralph, who walked out in that storm for unknown reasons on Wednesday, became disoriented from hypothermia and died in the woods close to his home. The search for him was hindered by that terrible ice storm, and he was not found until Saturday.

I barely remember the flight home because I was numb with grief. And as broken-hearted as I was by his death, I was even more devastated by the thought that the brother I loved so much had died alone in those woods. And I was only slightly comforted by knowing that Ralph knew the Lord. There haven’t been many times in my life when I couldn’t understand or trust my God, but this was one of them. Where were you, God? And how could You let my precious, precious brother die alone? Those were the questions that played in my mind over and over again on Christmas Eve when I couldn’t sleep and was watching Rick Warren on television.

That’s when I glanced up and saw Ralph’s life verse on the television screen. “A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the Lord directeth his steps.” (Prov 16:9) Could it be that this wasn’t a terrible accident? Was it possible that God had this thing under control all the time? Could it be that Ralph wasn’t ever really alone in those woods? The Holy Spirit brought to mind the wonderful truth that Jesus promised He would never leave us nor forsake us. (Heb 13:5) And I knew that it had not been some terrible mistake. More than that, I knew my Ralph did not die alone.

That was not the end of my grieving. I’m still grieving, and I probably always will. And I still can’t tell you that I understand why my brother died in that terrible storm. But there’s great comfort in knowing that God was directing my sweet brother’s steps. Ralph didn’t have an appointment with death that day…he had an appointment with the God who loved Ralph enough to send Jesus to die for his sins. And I don’t have to understand.

I don’t know what burden you’re carrying today or what fears or what grief. But I can tell you with complete confidence that God hasn’t gone on strike. He’s still on the job, and it’s going to be ok. It doesn’t even matter if the people you love are doing things that frighten you or break your heart. They can “devise their steps” all day long; it’s God who will direct their path.

Challenge for Today: Can you, just for today, remind yourself that God has your situation completely under control, whatever it is? Can you rest in His assurance that it’s going to be ok?

© 2013 Precious Prodigal

Author's Note

Precious Prodigal
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