TREASURES IN THE PAIN OF DEATH
Today I found myself reflecting on a few of the more difficult deaths I’ve had to deal with in my life and said, “Lord, I thank you for experiencing each of them, I thank you so much.”
Why?, because in the pain of each of those deaths were priceless treasures.
Even though it was excruciatingly painful in so many ways, I thank the Lord for the experience of the sudden death of my father; we were very close, especially since I was his only daughter.
Up until that point in my life I never knew what it was to experience grief physically. I did not know that grief could feel like a cooking fork plunged in the middle of my chest then wound up so tightly that I felt like I could barely breathe. I did not know what it was like for others to turn to me for strength and see God amazingly provide it when my own soul and spirit seemed shattered in a million pieces.
But I thank God for that experience because in the midst of the pain, upheaval and turmoil, I got to experientially know Him at a deeper level as a comforter, an emotional healer, a present help in time of trouble, an unlimited source of strength and a source of peace that passes all understanding.
I thank Him for it because in losing my earthly father it caused me experience Him in a deeper way as my heavenly Father; to lean upon and depend upon Him in ways I never had to before. I also thank Him for that experience because having gone through it, I am better equipped to help others walk through the dark valley of losing a beloved father.
Then I thought about the sudden death of my oldest brother and I thanked the Lord for that experience. He was killed by a drunk drive on a Christmas Eve, leaving a wife and three small children……what a Christmas gift!!
I thank the Lord for this experience because in addition to all the ways He had already manifested Himself to me when dealing with the death of my father, through it He also allowed me to experience the potent power of praise.
About three days after my brother died, I was in my kitchen and had that same “kitchen fork twisting pain” in my chest. I stopped what I was doing and asked the Lord to please take it away because I felt like my body was breaking under the weight of it; it was just too intense.
His response was, “Kim praise Me”.
I wanted relief so badly that without even thinking about it, I immediately got on my face on the floor and amidst a bucket of tears began to praise Him. “Lord I bless your Name. You are a good God. You are a faithful God. You are a loving God. You do all things well. I thank you for your grace. I thank you for your mercy. You are just. You are merciful. God there is none like you. I worship you. I love you. etc.”
I do not recall how long I was on the floor praising and worshipping the Lord, nor at what point the tears stopped. But I can tell you this, when I was finished and got up on my feet, the pain in my chest was completely gone…… I really praised Him then! (smile!)
This was totally amazing to me because after the death of my father, it took three months for that same kind of pain in my chest to subside, but this time, it was gone after only three days due to the power of one session of praise.
Not only did the death of my brother allow me to experience the power of praise, in a deeper way but also the power of obedience to the Lord even when His instructions make no intellectual sense.
Come on now! What sense does it make to offer praise to a God who just allowed your brother to be killed in an accident on a Christmas Eve? No sense in the natural realm at all, but great sense in the spirit realm because it broke the back of grief off of my life. God’s ways are not our ways and His thoughts are no our thoughts. I thank Him for affording me the experiential knowledge of these facts through my brother’s death.
Finally, my mind ran across the death of my daughter whom I miscarried about eight months into my pregnancy. This was extremely painful for both me and my husband seeing that we already had a son and really wanted a baby girl.
The fact that my pregnancy was problem-free and the autopsy never revealed any cause of death so the doctors were totally baffled over how and why the miscarriage occurred did not make the situation any easier, yet it is another experience that I truly thank the Lord for today.
At a worship service that I attended the Sunday morning just prior to the miscarriage, we sung an old hymn called, “He hideth my Soul” written by Frances J. Crosby in 1890. The first verse and refrain are as follows:-
“A wonderful Savior is Jesus my Lord,
A wonderful Savior to me;
He hideth my soul in the cleft of the rock,
Where rivers of pleasure I see.”
“He hideth my soul in the cleft of the rock,
That shadows a dry, thirsty land;
He hideth my life in the depths of His love,
And covers me there with His hand,
And covers me there with His hand.”
For some reason, after the service and all during the week, I kept singing these words and hearing them sung over and over in my mind and spirit, even in my sleep.
When I got the news that I had miscarried, I kept hearing the hymn so even though I cried and hurt emotionally, I had an unexplainable sense of inner-peace and calm deep down on the inside. The hymn continued to be present morning and night thorough the entire ordeal, acting like an anchor for my spirit in the midst of all the turmoil.
What I came to later realize was that the Lord in His sovereignty, mercy and love allowed me to be exposed to the words of the hymn and let them be engrafted in my spirit in preparation for the impact of what was to come, so when it came, my spirit was prepared hence the inner-peace and calm that I had throughout the situation in spite of the emotional pain.
I truly thank the Lord for that experience because it enabled me to experientially know another level of the depth of His love and concern that I’d never known before in that He prepared my spirit in advance and literally became my shield and buckler, covering me in the midst of a potentially devastating situation and thereby not allowing the full brunt of its intensity to touch me as I walked through it…oh how I thank Him!
In retrospect, I never thought I would find treasures in the pain of these deaths, but I certainly did and I thank the Lord for each one. May what I shared be a blessing, source of strength and encouragement, and a testimony to the reality, love, and faithfulness of our God.
Copyright © 2012 by Kim, Author of “Unwalled” Blog, All rights reserved.
Image “Treasure Box” courtesy of Pong/FreeDigitalPhotos.net