A Harbor of Hope
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In times of grieving, God gives us the grace to grieve with hope. Recently, I noticed just how important this grace is when a very close friend went through a horrible loss.says:
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope (ESV).
Our God is the God of hope. As Christians, who do we turn to when life gets hard, and the suffering becomes overwhelming? Ideally, we turn to God—our strength, source of peace, and our safe place. He can handle our pain, our anger, and the fullness of our honesty from a place of hurt. We need people who will invite us to be honest, to be our true selves in light of the reality of our situations. And because we dock in the ultimate harbor of safety, we can, in turn, be that for others.
We need to become a harbor of safety for those around us. Because the world is a stormy, broken place.
I know for certain that when we turn to God in our grieving, He is waiting to be our comfort, peace, and hope. It still hurts and the grieving process can be long, but with God as our source of hope in those dark places, it seems a lot more doable to continue living and reaching people despite our own hurt.
Becoming a Harbor
My friend gave birth to a beautiful, healthy baby girl recently. This was a huge moment, not just because of the beauty of new life, but because she and her husband had been praying and trying for this precious bundle for more than a year. Their whole community celebrated this miracle and eagerly awaited to meet their child. Sadly, just after my friend gave birth, her husband had to tell her that her mother had died. She would not get to introduce her new baby, the first grandchild, to her mother.
We are close friends with this couple. When we heard this news, our hearts completely shattered for them. Expecting a baby ourselves, we couldn’t comprehend such joy alongside deep grief and loss.
We had to ask ourselves… How do we become a harbor of safety for our dear friends in their grief and loss? How do we reassure them that it’s okay to celebrate their daughter’s life joyfully while still grieving the loss of a beloved mother? After walking this journey with them for a little while, I still don’t have a clear answer. But I do know that God is with them, and He graciously guides us as we spend time with them and support them. Sometimes that means praying, distracting them with laughter, or gushing over their little one together.
Trusting Him Despite Stormy Seas
Being a harbor of hope doesn’t have a one-size-fits-all approach, but it does have one prerequisite — putting God first and relying on Him as your ultimate source of comfort and hope.
“Because he holds fast to me in love, I will deliver him; I will protect him, because he knows my name. When he calls to me, I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him and honor him. With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation” ().
No matter where you are today, turn to God. Be honest with Him about all that you’re feeling, and then lean into His strength, peace, and goodness. And then, because He fills our cups to overflowing, let His goodness flow out of you so that you can become a harbor for those around you that so desperately need light to shine in their stormy darkness.
Scripture is quoted from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®). ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. The ESV® text has been reproduced in cooperation with and by permission of Good News Publishers. Unauthorized reproduction of this publication is prohibited. All rights reserved.
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