We see in today’s text the devastating power of grief. First, the writer’s eyes, soul, body, strength and bones are all battered by the pain. Second, the neighbors, friends and family avoid the sufferer. Grief can do that to someone. It is tempting to avoid grieving people. In my seminary education, I read about grief. As a parish pastor for 16 years, I dealt with death and grief regularly. But it was not until my wife, Lynne, died of stomach cancer about two years ago that I really discovered the devastating power of grief. Several months after her death, I attended a grief support group. The co-leader described her grief experience after the sudden death of her husband. She was hospitalized with no known symptoms that could be diagnosed. Finally, the physician said her condition was caused by “broken heart syndrome.” That is the power of grief.
There are many causes and experiences of grief, caused by death, broken relationships or failure. How good it is to hear the bold confidence of the psalmist saying, “My times are in your hand …save me in your steadfast love.” When we are devastated by the power of grief, we throw ourselves into the arms of a loving and faithful God, whose steadfast love will sustain and heal, no matter what. That is what sustained and sustains me—and it will for you.
Gracious God, if we have not experienced the devastating power of grief, someday we will. Thank you for your unfailing love now and we claim it for the future, no matter what. Amen.
“Let Us Hold Fast” is a publication of Luther Seminary.2481 Como Ave. | St. Paul, MN 55108, 651-641-3456 | 888-358-8437 www.luthersem.edu