By Carol Becwar
Every November, I think about the pain we experienced when our young son died. Entering that Advent season, I prayed for peace, yet my aching heart felt cheated. Beyond the pain, I saw only a dark mist shrouding any possibility of future happiness. How could God allow my sweet little one to suffer and die at such a tender age? How could it be His will to leave us alone, steeped in grief?
Psalm 46 reminds us,
“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea…and the mountains quake with their surging.” (vv 1-3b) “ …be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.' The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress” (vv 10-11).
Though the mountains were tumbling around me, I was eventually able to see that God had not left us on our own to sweep up the pieces of our broken hearts. He became my strength during those long days and nights. He assured me that our boy was in His arms, safe and sound. God gently reminded me that He understood my grief, for He Himself had also grieved the suffering and death of a Son.
It took months, even years, for grief's sharp edges to soften and for our hope to be renewed. But God never left us alone. He showed up with friends and relatives who cried with us. He helped us through their small, kind acts. He listened to their prayers when we'd run out of energy to pray for ourselves. And He did bring peace, and even joy.
God's Spirit has remained with us through many Novembers. He continues to be an “ever-present help”, no matter what I'm experiencing in life. He is my rock, my shield, my abiding Lord and Savior. He is the reason for my joy. I pray that you will also be assured of God's loving presence and experience joy beyond your imagining.