I sit here in the midst of unbearable grief holding onto the promise of unspeakable joy. Cancer and other forms of life stealing illness seems to touch every one of us. My story is similar to so many. My beautiful niece had her life stolen by cancer. Her smile, laughter and zest for life is gone. Yes, she has left a legacy that reminds us to be brave and live life to the fullest. Yet, there is this sense of emptiness that overwhelms my heart. I have found a strange comfort in Facebook. As I read the stories and look at the pictures friends and family are posting, I find comfort.
I know from experience that my grief won’t always be this intense, and I also know from experience that I will always miss her. Scripture tells us that there will be times of great pain and sorrow in life – this unbearable grief. Scripture also tells us of the promise of unspeakable joy.
18 The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. (Psalms 34:18 NIV).
4 Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. (Matthew 5:4 NIV).
He will wipe away all tears from their eyes. There will be no more death, no more grief or crying or pain. The old things have disappeared. (Revelation 21:4 NLV).
You are now very sad. But later I will see you, and you will be so happy that no one will be able to change the way you feel. (John 16:22 NLV).
You love him even though you have never seen him. Though you do not see him now, you trust him; and you rejoice with a glorious, inexpressible (unspeakable) joy. (1 Peter 1:8 NLV parenthesis mine).
His promise of comfort is already felt. I have felt the weight of the grief lift as those around me lift us in prayer. I feel comfort as we share with each other how special she was, and I feel comfort as I cling to His Word and promises. I know that one day there will be unspeakable joy again. I trust in Him to restore my heart, and I trust Him to use this for good. As much as I dislike this sorrow, I know that without it joy cannot exist and love would lose all meaning. Faith is trusting these promises are true. Faith is knowing that God, through Christ, knows my unbearable grief and seeks to bring comfort in a supernatural way. It’s faith that brings me hope. It really is faith, hope and love that carry us through.
How have you experienced unbearable grief and unspeakable joy? Share your stories here and breathe life and bring hope to others.