Sunday, August 9, 2015
Filling the Ache
It started a few weeks ago. I noticed the red cardinal that kept coming around. I'd see him by the bird feeder. I'd see him flying around with other birds. I'd see him at other houses. Yep, I'm sure it was the same cardinal. They say that cardinals represent someone you love who has passed. I was convinced it was my dad. Our daughter, Krystina, wanted to plant sunflower seeds (my dad loved sunflowers). We did, they are growing beautifully. Every time I look at them, I think of him. His beloved pick up truck was the center of a party we threw for our son yesterday - proudly displaying a banner of him winning the state championship game. Again, I couldn't help but think of how proud my dad would have been. I think of him every day, but for some reason, it had been more lately. When I think of my dad, it is typically with a huge smile on my face. Lately, though, my heart just seems to ache.
We all have someone in our lives who has passed on and gets to see Jesus every day in our heavenly home. Maybe it is a parent, a sibling, a spouse, a child or a dear friend. Maybe the losses have been more tangible such as a job or a home. It is difficult to processes these losses here on Earth. These losses leave us with an ache in our hearts. These losses are difficult to comprehend many times.
Mourning and grief are part of our lives. They are emotions that we need to work through when there are losses. Many times we try to bury them, we try to tell others, "I'm okay." Yet, it is important to work through these losses to understand better what we can gain. Gain? I'm sure you are all thinking, "What can we possibly gain from loss?" Well, my friends, let me share with you what we can gain.
We get to know that loss brings peace. My dad would have been 82 years old now. We lost him 14 years ago. If he had survived, he would have had 14 more years of pain and suffering - something he endured a good portion of his life. He was finally able to have the peace that he so rightfully and justly deserved. God's plan is far greater than our wants. His plans for our loved ones, whatever they might have been, is far greater than our understanding. The child I lost in miscarriage? Their life might have been filled with trouble and turmoil far greater than I could understand. The friend I lost all too early? Her life may have been filled with trials far greater than she might have been able to bear. We don't always know, but we can find peace in knowing that the One who does know it all is in control.
So what can fill our ache? The passage today can! What joy there must be in heaven!! The knowledge that one day we will see all those who have passed before us, what a wondrous day that will be. There will be a day when our tears will be dried and there will be no more mourning, no more crying. I can't imagine the wonder of it all. Yet, I do know that knowledge gives ME peace. This morning, our church family sang, "it is well, it is well with my soul." Yes, a tear may have been shed, but I know that God's will is well with my soul. His ever-present love and peace is always with me. This ache that I feel? It will one day be replaced with the joy of seeing my Earthly father's face in paradise. Now THAT make's my heart leap!! I hope it makes your heart leap as well. Know that our ache can be filled with the faith and knowledge that we will see our loved ones again. Know that our ache can be filled with the truth of life everlasting. Know that God loves you and will ease your pain. Blessings for filling those aches with knowledge, truth, and love.
"Dearest Lord, our hearts can ache at times with holes; holes of loss. These moments of aching can lead to sadness. Please remove the sadness from our hearts and replace it with the knowledge, truth, and love that only YOU can. Remind us that our tears will be dried and there will be no crying. Remind us of paradise with you. Remind us that your grace and mercy are with us forever. Thank you, Lord, for giving us paradise. In your gracious name, Amen."