Twelve months ago tomorrow, I was told my husband was dying. He only lived three weeks after that. It was a strange and lonely journey through his dying… and, as all who have lost important people will know, a hard trek though a series of ‘firsts’.
But, as Solomon writes in Ecclesiastes, “…And there is nothing new under the sun.”
I can think of nothing worse, but perhaps these Israelites did. Their freedom came at a great cost.
Deuteronomy 8: 15 – 18
who led you through that great and terrible wilderness, in which were fiery serpents and scorpions and thirsty land where there was no water; who brought water for you out of the rock of flint; who fed you in the wilderness with manna, which your fathers did not know, that he might humble you and that He might test you, to do you good in the end- then you say in your heart, my power and the might of my hand have gained me this wealth. And you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth, that He may establish (confirm) His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is today.
This was part of my morning Bible study and I could not help but compare it to these last eleven months since my husband’s death.
v 15a who led you through that great and terrible wilderness, in which were fiery serpents and scorpions and thirsty land where there was no water
Only someone who has ‘lost’ someone precious to him or her would truly understand the great and terrible wilderness of loss, although most could imagine some of it.
The pain in those early weeks was ‘fiery serpents’. Oh how they bit!
The scorpions, the sting of realisation that my precious husband, my best friend, was gone.
v 15c and thirsty land where there was no water
There were only jagged rocks of pain.. oh the pain!
v 15 d who brought water for you out of the rock of flint;
As I took my pain to Him, by His Spirit, came comfort… till the next time, and it was there again.
v 15 e who fed you in the wilderness with manna
The truth and the promises all through His word. Eventually, the ‘tearing’ pain eased, but as anyone who has been in this position will know, the pain is always there, in the background… in the foreground sometimes. Those are the times when God’s word and truth provide the necessary help through the loneliness.
Surviving these eleven months has indeed been a test… of faith in God… in trust in God… and in love for God.
So yes, I would have to say that it has done me good in the end.
I cannot foresee ever not missing that special man, but I do know that God has the ‘big picture’ and is working His purpose out.
Physically I am not wealthy. Spiritually, I am working on it. And I know, most surely, that my ‘might’ has not brought me through this time. Comes to mind a phrase in…
1 Cor 4: 7… for what do you have that you did not receive.
And I have to recognise the support, and physical help from my daughter, from other family members, and via emails and phone calls, support, love and encouragement to keep ‘walking’ from members of my church.