BIBLE VERSE OF THE DAY: “And when they were filled, He said to His disciples, ‘Gather up the leftover fragments that nothing may be lost.’ And so, they gathered them up, and filled twelve baskets with fragments from the five barley loaves, which were left over by those who had eaten.” ( John 6:12-13 NAS)
God’s Hope for the Grieving
By DiAne Gates
A number of years ago I was rereading the account of Jesus feeding the 5,000. And in the middle of my grief, His words jumped off the page.
Jesus fed a multitude after He blessed and broke five loaves and two fishes. He also gave His disciples 12 baskets to collect the leftovers so nothing would be wasted.
I’m sure you’re thinking, what has this got to do with my grief? But if our Lord Jesus instructed his disciples to scoop up crumbs of bread and stinky fish—might He want you to gather the crumbs and stinky emotions of your overwhelming grief and bring them to Him also?
God doesn’t waste anything—especially grief!
After the loss of a loved one, crumbs of shattered lives lay scattered around us. And we just don’t have the ability to look beyond our pain—but Jesus does.
How can God ever use anything as dark and ugly as what I’m going through? Which way do I turn? Where do I go? My life is over.
No, your life isn’t over… it’s going to be different. And we don’t like change. But Jesus scoops up the cracked pieces of your life, if you’ll let Him, and places them back on His potter’s wheel where He repairs, integrates, and reshapes each one of us into new vessels. By the power of His love, the warmth of His hands, and the pain we’ve experienced, He changes pride into humility, anger into hope, and rampant sorrow into comfort and love.
Then He certifies everyone He’s repaired. “… comforting us in all our affliction so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” ( 1 Corinthians 1:4 NAS)
Now it’s your choice—His light or your darkness. His comfort or your anger. His love and mercy or your doubt and fear. His peace or your pain. Of course, you will miss whoever you lost. And you will have moments of deep sorrow, but God is continually in the process of bringing good out of your debilitating loss—if you’ll let Him.
God will transform your life. He will turn you into a conduit of His mercy and grace so you can pour out the comfort you’ve received on others about to enter this dismal journey. And the example of your peace will shine the light of His grace and glory into their long, dark tunnel through grief.
Editor’s Note: Part of this devotional was taken from Hope for the Grieving Woman on Mother’s Day by DiAne Gates. You can read the full blog post here.
The Characters of Christmas is a podcast created to help you take a fresh look at the Christmas story by getting to know the minor characters that played a part in Jesus’ birth. It is the companion to Dan Darling's book "The Characters of Christmas: The Unlikely People Caught Up in the Story of Jesus."